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

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First published 1983 (DOST Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Oxgang, n. Also: oxgange, oxgan(e. [Late north midl. ME. (a n)oxgang (15th c.), north. e.m.E. oxgang(e (1532), and in later use north. and north midl. Eng.: cf. Oxingang n., Oxgate n.]Before the mid 16th c. the localised quots. for this form all refer to southern or south central Scotland.

An oxgang or bovate; a measure of land equal to one eighth of a ploughgate and reckoned as (more or less) equivalent to 13 acres.The extent of land calculated as the share of one ox in the land ploughed by the standard eight-ox team (see also Ox n. 1 b, quots. 1427, 1578–9, etc.) of a single plough in the course of a year, thus one-eighth of a ploughgate (Pleuchland n., also Pleuchgang n.).Freq. oxgang of land and regularly uninfl. in plur. following a cardinal number; also quasi-comb. in oxgang-land. Also oxgang of (a specified farm). c 1300 Coldingham Priory App. lxxxv.]
[Et quælibet carucata fuit viij bovatarum Et quælibet bovata fuit xiij acrarum et dimidii
a1400 Leg. S. xvii. 49.
Ane oxgange hale the space, That twa hundreth fet in lynth has & twenty, and in bred alsa Sewyne schore of fute & nama
c1420 Wynt. vii. 3604.
Yhwmen, powere karl or knawe That wes off mycht an ox til hawe, He gert that man hawe part in pluche … Swa than begowth and efftyr lang Off land wes mesure ane ox-gang. Mychty men that had ma Oxyn he gert in pluchys ga
1428 Liber Melros II. 520.
Alsua at he sulde hafe be uthir charteris twa oxgang of land and thre akris
1431 Ib. 524. 1437 Reg. Dunferm. 285.
That the oxgang of land of the chemis pertenand to the said abbot … wes lese na the westir oxgang of land and chemis of the said Dauid
1439 Charter (Reg. H.) C.O. No. 49.
All & sindry my landis callite the Hollcroft with the pertinentis the quhilk is thre oxgang of landis
1475 Acta Aud. 39/1. 1513 Wigtown B. Ct. 13 b.
Ib. 16 b.
For the vrang occupin of his oxgan of Clachare
1515 Ib. 46 a.
Ox gane
1530 Carnwath Baron Ct. (ed.) 117. 1533 Bell. Livy II. 304.
Lucius Quintius … havand na richis bot onle iiij ox gang of land beȝond Tiber fornens the common havin
Ib. 116/32, etc. 14.. Acts I. 387/1.
The plew land thai ordanit to contene viij oxingang, the oxgang sall contene xiij akeris
Ib. xxiv. 1564–75 Hamilton & Campsie Test. I. 21 b.
My kyndnes of ane bair ox gang of land
1567 Reg. Privy S. V. ii. 358/1.
Una bovata terre nuncupatur Hegingis oxgang
1575 Old Ross-shire I. 21.
My teind schaeffes off ane quarter and ane oxgang … off the towne and lands of Tayne
1620 Grant Chart. 318.
That hallf toun and landis of Corthullie extending to thrie oxgang land of the davach of Letoche
1663 Dunkeld Presb. I. 147.
Of one-fourth part of eight oxgang of the town and lands of Wester Caputh

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"Oxgang n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 5 Mar 2024 <>



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