Welcome to Weird Word Wednesday! Today’s word is oxter. It sounds bovine, but has nothing to do with large, slow-moving plow pullers from days gone by.
Actually, you have oxters. I have oxters. Sis, boom, bah, we all have oxters!
They’re armpits. Yep, plain and simple, the word “oxter” comes from the Old English “ocusta” meaning “armpit.” Way back when, in the 1400s, folks were talking about oxters, and given their lack of hygiene, we can only imagine what was being said.
We’ve come a long way, baby, and have bazillions of products to take care of any suspicious smells emanating from our oxters. But where did deodorant come from? Turns out, back in the day, smelling funny just wasn’t discussed. It was improper, unseemly, to talk about our odors, but leave it to a marketer to find a way to bring the smell out into the open so they could sell us something to fix it!
And like a great smell, the deodorant industry has blossomed, selling over $10.5 billion in 2008. Whew! Or “phew!” as the case may be…
I’ll let you take a peek at the difference between deodorant and anti-perspirants here, and keep the conversation focused on our oxters. (Be aware that we all have different odors, and stronger smells might indicate a medical condition or the body’s reaction to a change in diet.)
Here’s to our oxters – may they never get in the way of a good relationship!