Definitions

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The armpit; also, the arm.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The armpit; also, the embrace of the arms.
  • To support under the arm; embrace with the arms.
  • n. In coal-mining, a reëntrant corner in a working face.

Etymologies

From Old English ōxta, related to eax ("axis, axle") and eaxl ("shoulder"). See also axis and axon. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Neither "ockster" nor "oxter" is an acceptable spelling, and I will give what I believe to be the correct spelling in comments.

    Poll prompted by reading Swift's Directions to the Footman

  • The correct spelling is "oxter"; Swift's spelling is archaic and nwhyte's instincts were correct.

    Poll prompted by reading Swift's Directions to the Footman

  • The "oxter" is crooked because the arm is engaged carrying them.

    The Proverbs of Scotland

  • At about 1.30 p.m. he elbowed the door handle and shouldered the door, coffee and sandwich in hand and papers in oxter.

    Well, Ken MacLeod agrees with me rather than with Jonathan Swift

  • "You rub your oxter over the beast's nose a few times, to give him your scent and get him accustomed to you, so he won't be nervous of ye."

    Sick Cycle Carousel

  • I touched the hair in his oxter and stroked it, surprised at the soft, silky feel of it.

    A Breath of Snow and Ashes

  • Ye canna live in a man's oxter for three years without learning a great many things ye dinna want to know about him, let alone something like that.

    A Breath of Snow and Ashes

  • Where? says Alf. And begob there he was passing the door with his books under his oxter and the wife beside him and Corny Kelleher with his wall eye looking in as they went past, talking to him like a father, trying to sell him a secondhand coffin. —

    Ulysses

  • And begob what was it only that bloody old pantaloon Denis Breen in his bathslippers with two bloody big books tucked under his oxter and the wife hotfoot after him, unfortunate wretched woman, trotting like a poodle.

    Ulysses

  • “There was many a good man went to the penny-a-week school with a sod of turf under his oxter,” said Mr. Kernan sententiously.

    Dubliners

Comments

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  • JM wonders if folk still refer to their armpits as oxters.

    February 1, 2009

  • "Private Cart and Private Compton, swaggersticks tight in their oxters ..."
    Joyce, Ulysses, 15

    January 28, 2007