How Do You Spell OXGANGS?

Pronunciation: [ˈɒksɡaŋz] (IPA)

The word "oxgangs" is spelled with an "ox" at the beginning, followed by "gangs". The "ox" is pronounced "ahks" using IPA phonetic transcription, with the "o" sound being elongated and pronounced with an "a" sound. The "g" in "gangs" is also pronounced with a hard "g" sound, unlike the "j" sound some may expect. The word refers to a land measurement used in medieval England, with an oxgang being the amount of land an ox could plow in a year.

OXGANGS Meaning and Definition

  1. Oxgangs is a term that originated in medieval England and Scotland, referring to a specific unit of measurement for land area. The oxgangs measurement was used to estimate the amount of land that a team of oxen could plow in one year, hence the name derived from "ox" and "gang," meaning a group of oxen.

    In terms of area, an oxgang was roughly equivalent to around 15 acres or 6 hectares. However, it is important to note that the precise measurement of an oxgang varied between regions and even individual landlords, leading to some degree of inconsistency.

    Oxgangs were commonly utilized in the context of feudal systems, where land ownership and tenancy arrangements were defined and regulated. In this context, an oxgang was often the basic unit of land assigned to a serf or peasant family for cultivation and subsistence farming. The size and productivity of an oxgang determined the tax or rent obligations of the tenant.

    While the term "oxgangs" is no longer in widespread use, it holds historical and cultural significance in many parts of England and Scotland, serving as a reminder of the agrarian practices of the past.

Etymology of OXGANGS

The word "oxgangs" has its roots in Old English. It is a combination of two words: "oxen" and "gangs".

- "Oxen" refers to a type of domesticated bovine animal, traditionally used for plowing fields and pulling carts.

- "Gangs" is derived from the Old Norse word "gangr", meaning a going or course.

An "oxgang" was a unit of land measurement in medieval England and Scotland. It was the amount of land that could be plowed in a single season by a team of oxen. The word "oxgangs" emerged to refer to the collective plowed lands measured in these units.