oxgang

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Middle English oxegang, from Old English oxangang ‎(hide or plowland), equivalent to ox +‎ gang.

Noun[edit]

oxgang ‎(plural oxgangs)

  1. (historical) The area of land that could be plowed by an ox in a year, ⅛ hide or carucate and notionally 15 acres.
  2. (historical, Scotland) The similar Scottish concept, ⅛ of a ploughgate and notionally 12½ or 13 Scottish acres.

Usage notes[edit]

The hide was originally intended to represent the amount of land farmed by a single household but was primarily connected to obligations owed to the Saxon and Norman kings and thus varied greatly from place to place. Around the time of the Domesday Book under the Normans, the hide was usually but not always the land expected to produce £1 (1 Tower pound of sterling silver) in income over the year, meaning the oxgang was expected to produce 30 p. (1½ Tower ounces of sterling silver).

Hypernyms[edit]

Synonyms[edit]

Hyponyms[edit]

  • (½ oxgang) See nook
  • (¼ oxgang) See fardel
  • (various & for further subdivisions) See acre

References[edit]

  • Worchester, Joseph. A Dictionary of the English Language. Boston, 1881.