A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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Oxter(e, -ar(e, n. Also: oxster(e, -ar(e, oxstair, oixstar, oc(k)ster, okstar(e, okister, uxter, auxter, hokster, and Hoxstar. [North. e.m.E. oxtere (16th c.), and mod. Sc., Eng. (chiefly north.) and Ir. dial., appar. altered f. OE. óhsta, óxta.]

1. The armpit. Also, more loosely, the under part of the upper arm or of the arm as a whole. (Carried) under or in one's oxter, under one's arm. In one's oxter, in one's arms. In (utheris) oxteris, arm in arm, in one another's arms. (To leid or tak) be the oxter, by the arm. (To join) oxter to oxter, arm in arm. Ocster claith = one carried under the arm. (1) The hart has his clengyng plas vnder the armys that is in the hol of the oxteris; c 1420 Liber Calchou II. 449.
[He] tuke and harlit the sade Wilyeame … with ane cord under ilkane of his oxteris; 1497–8 Acta Conc. II. 103.
With hate eggis bound under hir oxstaris; Bell. Boece II. 199.
By the earis, under the oxstaris [etc.] … maist frequentlie apperis apostumis callit bubones; Skeyne Descr. Pest 14.
He had his purs vnder his oxter; c 1563 Reg. Panmure I. xxxiv.
He stoggit him … throw the oxtare; 1576 Reg. Privy C. II. 553.
Vnder his oksteris; 1596–7 Misc. Spald. C. I. 115.
Be ane schot in his syde vnder his oxtar; 1597 Ib. 131.
William Muterar … struik the said Johne in the left oxstair with ane knyfe; 1597 Ib. II. 136.
That the devill … is laid agane be tacking of a dog vnder thy left oxster; 1598 Ib. I. 120.
And laid the blaidis thairof vndir hir bair oxsteris; 1598 Crim. Trials II. 46.
With … a staff in the an hand and … his servand halding upe the uther oxtar; Melvill 33.
Ib. 70.
Taking the hen and puting it vnder the seik womanis okstar or airme; 1623 Crim. Trials III. 557.
The bishops oyle him [the King] in the boughts of his armes, looffes of his hands, the toppes of his shoulder and ocksters; 1628 Reg. Privy C. 2 Ser. II. 394.
He did let her fall out of his auxter; 1662 Highland P. III. 7.
The mear … used to shut her head beneath a mans oxters; 1694 Lanark Presb. 123.
(2) Johne Brand, minister, … having on his gowne and a byble under his oxstare; Bann. Memor. 247.
Haifing ane katt under his okister; 1630 Justiciary Cases I. 145.
The devill … did cary hir under his auxter unto [etc.]; 1662 Highland P. III. 7.
With a dish under his oxter; Welsh Alarm to Impenitent 4.
(3) His fa sum by the oxstar leidis; Dunb. xiii. 17.
Othir sais at the ewill spret led him be the hokster in the see; Abell 125 a.
Amang my freindis I wes weill kend … Thay wald me be the oxstar tak; Bann. MS. 81 a/13.
(4) Presentlie ordaines them to shake hands … and to pas in oxtars togither; 1528 Wemyss Chart. 276.
Ane of the ta craftis & ane the tother in oixstaris as breithir & companȝonis; 1532 Mill Mediæv. Plays 248.
In otheris oixstaris; Ib. 249.
In oxsteris clois we kis; Scott xv. 31.
(5) In my oxster fast I find the bowster richt; Bann. MS. 231 b/18.
Sum in thair oxteris it cleikis [H. Some in there oxtere hard it cleekes] Lyk a bagpype; Montg. Flyt. 513 (T).
That is carreit in anes hand or oxter; 1608 Edinb. B. Rec. VI. 47.
With the stra quhilk his bairne hed in hir hokster; 1620 Perth Kirk S. MS. 12 Sept.
That Beatrix Douertie had lyne in ane wichis oxster; 1620 Fraserburgh Kirk S. 113 (27 Sept.).
Oxster; Spalding II. 297.
(b) That [scho tuik] Willame Browne his calf in hir uxter and charmit the same; 1597 Misc. Spald. C. I. 191.
(6) We joyne oxster to oxster and arme to arme; Row Cupp of Bon-Accord 3.
(7) Tua d. of ilk burding, ane penne of ilk ocster claith; 1575–6 Lanark B. Rec. 71.

2. The underside of the shoulder of an animal. The flescheoures … in cutting of all bestiall … takis furth of the forder quarter thairof in the oxter of the samyn ane portioun of flesche callit the bowbreids; 1593–4 Edinb. B. Rec. V. 110.
Okstares; 1618 Stirling B. Rec. I. 151.
That all fleshe presenting the mercate … shall not be shoot in the oxters as formerlie; 1671 Kirkcaldy B. Rec. MS. 28 Aug.

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"Oxter(e n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Jun 2021 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/oxtere>



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