Things in Scots #4: Oxter


Welcome to day four of Things in Scots!—a fun collaboration with my husband, Jez (Mind an gie Jez’s post a keek.)

As kids, we were discouraged from speaking Scots, so much so, we were given little bits of paper to put in a tin with the English for the Scots words we were meant to stop using.

It wasn’t until I met Jez that I realized that one of the words I’d used my whole life wasn’t English. When I twigged that the teachers didn’t know it wasn’t English, I couldn’t stop smiling.

That word is today’s Things in Scots: Oxter. (Oak-sturr)


So, what does oxter mean? It basically means armpit. I know, I know, so anti-climactic. But, it’s used in more ways than just to name a body part.

Oxter also means:

  • To carry things under your arm
  • Fold someone in a one-armed embrace 
  • Cuddling/sexy snuggles 
  • Underside of animals 
  • Being arm-in-arm 

Here’s a link to the full modern definition, and here’s one for the pre-1700s definition.

Stoap at! Ma oxters ur right ticklie.

In Inglis: Stop that! My underarms are ticklish.

See, oxter is a braw wird.

If you want to ken the Scots for anything, just ask in the comments section.

Thenks fur stoapin by, and hae a wunnerfu day.

Photo by Jonathan Borba on

2 responses to “Things in Scots #4: Oxter”

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Exit mobile version