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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

OX, n. Sc. usages, in combs.: 1. ox(en)-bow, a curved wooden collar for a draught ox. See Bow, n.4, 3.; 2. oxee, -eye, the great tit, Parus major (Rxb. 1802 J. Sibbald Chron. Sc. Poetry Gl.; Slg. 1885 Trans. Slg. Nat. Hist. Soc. 61; Bwk. 1889 G. Muirhead Birds Bwk. I. 91; Lnk. 1897 Annals Sc. Nat. Hist. 206; Ayr. 1909 Science Gossip (Aug.) 227; Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 260; Fif., m.Lth. 1964), the blue tit, Parus caeruleus (Dmb. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XVII. 250; e.Lth. 1885 C. Swainson Brit. Birds 34; Bwk. 1889 G. Muirhead Birds Bwk. I. 97; w.Lth. 1945 Scotsman (5 Aug.) 7, Ags., Per., Fif., Rxb. 1964). See also Black Ox-eye; 3. ox-gad, a goad or pointed stick for driving oxen. See Gaud, n.2, 3.; 4. ox(en)-gang, orig. the amount of land calculated as the share of one ox in the land ploughed by an eight-ox team in the course of a year, the eighth part of a Ploughgate, varying in size according to the quality of the land and the method of tillage. Also in n.Eng. dial. Now only hist. and in place-names. See Gang, n. Also in anglicised form ¶going; 5. ox(en)gate, -gait, id. (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Hist. See Gate, n., 2. Also attrib.; 6. ox money, -penny, -silver, a tax imposed on each ox of their tenants by the landowners of Shetland. Now obs. See also Owse, n., Combs.1. Ags. 1750 Meikle Miln Roup Roll MS.:
Fifteen oxen bows . . . To John Nicoll . . . 9s.
Sc. 1765 Caled. Mercury (27 March) 148:
Some fine Elm, Beech, and Plane, and a considerable number of ash trees, fit for Coach-makers, and for chairs, oxen-bows, sieves, and all other purposes for which such timber is used.
2. Sc. 1847 R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes 159:
I gied it till an ox-ee, A true sweitheart o' mine, O.
m.Lth. 1870 J. Lauder Warblings 10:
The oxeye and starling.
3. Knr. 1917 J. L. Robertson Petition 86:
An Ochil lad wi' a bare ox-gad Would match him in a fight.
4. Sc. 1716 R. Wodrow Corresp. (1843) II. 134:
Ten firlots of meal on every plough, or four oxen going of land, besides corn, and straw.
Sc. 1751 W. MacFarlane Geneal. Coll. (S.H.S.) II. 361:
The five Oxengang of the Toun and Lands of Brey . . . the new extent whereof is £100 Scotts and the old extent £49. 9. 4.
Sc. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 I. 213:
Sixteen oxgangs of the lands of Gogar belonged formerly to a family of the name of Balfour.
em.Sc. (b) 1954 P.S.A.S. LXXVIII. 48:
A common method of working the land in these parts was for four tenants or husbandmen to own the common plough, each providing a pair of bullocks. Hence the carucate or ploughgate consisted of four husbandlands, or eight oxgaits, oxgangs, or bovates. An oxgang thus became the equivalent of 13 and a husbandland of 26 Scots acres.
5. Bnff. 1712 V. Gaffney Lordship Strathavon (S.C.) 197:
James Bain possr of thrie oxgait lands payes thretty pound with eightein foulls custom.
Sc. 1726 Invercauld Rec. (S.C.) 136:
They extend together to eight Oxgates, or half a Davoch of Land with Houses, Biggings, etc.
Slg. 1750 Caled. Mercury (11 June):
Two Oxengates and a Quarter of Lands of Pocknave, lying within the Parish of Airth and Shire of Stirling.
Rs. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 VI. 249:
The land is divided into oxengates, pennies and farthings.
Sc. 1930 I. F. Grant Social & Economic Development Scot. 45:
During the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries the Oxgate and Ploughgate, the Bovate and Carrucate, were constantly mentioned in connection with land in the Lothians, in the Merse and Teviotdale, and also in Banff and Inverness-shire.
6. Sh. 1774 G. Low Tour (1879) 75:
They tell us they are yet subjected to many taxes laid on them at the time of the building of this castle, as the Ox-penny, or a tax laid on every Ox.
Sh. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XII. 353:
There is another payment exacted by the grantees of the Crown, called ox and sheep money.
Sh. 1822 S. Hibbert Descr. Shet. 288, 321, 198:
Bringing with him [Bothwell] a number of retainers, an ox and two sheep out of every parish were allowed for their maintenance . . . This voluntary grant became during the tyranny of the Stuarts the precedent for an annual demand to the same amount . . . Upon the forfeiture of Earl Patrick's estates the exaction was recorded in the Exchequer under the name of Ox and Sheep Silver; and it is paid at the present day.

[O.Sc. oxee, 1549, oxgang, a.1400, oxingang, 1481, oxinbow, 1460, oxengate, 1416, ox silver, 1511.]

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"Ox n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jul 2024 <>



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