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Apparently from Middle English *oxtere, *oxte, from Old English ōxta, ōhsta, related to Old English ōxn (armpit), Old English eax (axis, axle)[1] and eaxl (shoulder). See also axis and axon.


oxter (plural oxters)

  1. (chiefly Scotland, Ireland) The armpit. [from 15th c.]
    • 1922 February, James Joyce, Ulysses, London: The Egoist Press, published October 1922, OCLC 2297483:
      , Episode 12: The Cyclops,
      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, []
    • 1955, Robin Jenkins, The Cone-Gatherers, Canongate 2012, p. 90:
      ‘It's a small beast,’ he said. ‘I could carry it under my oxter.’


oxter (third-person singular simple present oxters, present participle oxtering, simple past and past participle oxtered)

  1. (transitive) To hug with the arms, or support by taking the arm of.