An area of yielding ice on a body of water; pl: the game of running or skating on yielding or broken ice; hence v phr run bendoes to play this game.
1860 Atlantic Mth. 6.671, There are still “busters,” as in our young days, and the ardent youth upon floating cakes of ice “run bendolas” or “kittly-benders,” or simply “benders.” 1877 Bartlett Americanisms 776, Bendolers. “Running bendolers” is a phrase given by boys to the pastime of jumping from cake to cake of broken ice. 1888 Narragansett Hist. Reg. 6.113 RI, A dozen of us boys were running what we called bendoes and bendolas. We were in a line holding each by the hand and running one way and back with the ice bending in waves as we ran, till suddenly the trough of a wave gave way and twelve boys were struggling in the icy water. 1892 Chr. Union 46.1116 NEng, The lads have found what in their inscrutable vernacular they dub a “bendoe,” or spot where the thin black ice over shallow water can be weakened by repeated ventures up to the breaking point. . . One marvels, as the odd sport goes on, at the flexible strength which the tough black ice reveals under the test, curving and waving until it seems ready to comb into an icy breaker. 1920 Minnigerode Laughing House 64 CN, Whether it were summertime . . or whether it were frost-biting winter, sliding the Drive down to the Village, trying out “bendos” on the Pond in the Hollow—places where the ice was so thin it would bend under your skates— . . , it was Mary Elizabeth who pointed out the way. 1921 Insurance Press 28 Dec 7, “Playing Ticklish,” the name of the folder [from Ætna Life], is taken from the game of teetering, ticklish or bendoes, as skating on thin ice is called.