What is a bonnie?Referencing My Bonnie Lies over the ocean.

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Michael Ugulini | (Level 3) Educator

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A bonnie is a Scottish term that means "good, attractive, fine, pretty, and the like." Referencing "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean", Bonnie refers to a name of a person in this tune. This person in this folk song is Bonnie Prince Charlie (Charles Edward Stuart). He was born in Rome, Italy on December 31, 1720. He died in this same city on January 31, 1788.

The song is a story about Bonnie Prince Charlie in exile. He had led an uprising against the Georgian English in Edinburgh, Scotland; he was based in west Scotland. Subsequently, he attacked the English in England. He eventually retreated back to Scotland and then the Scottish Highlands as he faced opposition in Edinburgh. His forces were eventually defeated and he escaped the area and ended up on the high seas as he was taken out onto a ship destined for Skye.


   "My Bonnie lies over the ocean

    My Bonnie lies over the sea"

Bonnie is also the nickname of the St. Bonaventure sports teams (the Bonnies) at St. Bonaventure University in St. Bonaventure, New York. In the Atlantic 10, St. Bonaventure University has fourteen men's and women's intercollegiate teams in this competitive conference.

In addition, Bonnie is a popular female moniker as a first name. Bonnie is also a surname of families.


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