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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1983 (DOST Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Odman, n. Also: ode-, oyd- and -mane, -manne. Plur. odmen, also -mans. [ON. oddamaðr (acc. -mann), third man, odd man, who gives the casting vote, e.m.E. odd man (1530). Cf. Odpersoun, Od(d)isman and Overman.] In a body of arbitrators the third (fifth etc.) person, who was accepted as neutral and might give the casting vote; a thirdsman.(a) 1445 Melville Chart. 30.
The saide Schir Androwe and Johnne sale appere in Perth … befor thir five personis undirwirtyne [four names given] ande Schir Jamys of Auchinlek of that ilke, knycht, as od man
1492 Dunferm. B. Rec. I 32. 1498 Acta Conc. II. 282.
It sal be lefull to thame to cheise the fift persone to be odman and owreman quham thai pleis
1534–5 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 436.
As chancellar and odman [of an inquest of perambulationn]
1539–40 Ib. 482.
To the knawlege of xii persounis of inquest in evin noumer but ane odman to deliver with thame
1544 Maxwell Mem. I. 287.
Maister James Houstoun, subdane of Glasgow, odman … to the saidis jugis
1546 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 230.
With avise counsale of Thomas Menȝeis … odman and ouerman equaly nemmit and chosin be bayth the saidis pairtiis
1564 Crim. Trials III. 393.
1565 Douglas Chart. 260. 1567 Reg. Privy S. V. ii. 360/1.
Be the lait decreit arbitrall pronuncit be hir majestie as odman and ourewoman chosen be George, now Erle of Huntlie [etc.]
1571 Rec. Earld. Orkney 131. 1581 Acts III. 231/1. 1582–3 Burntisland B. Ct. 27 Feb.
1586 Grant Chart. 159. a1633 Hope Major Pract. II. 191.
The half of the assissers chosen be aither partie and the ode man be cavill
(b) 1487–8 Prestwick B. Rec. 32.
And thai batht tuk Michel Masoun of Aire the oyd man for thaim batht
1564–75 Hamilton & Campsie Test. I. 49.
I ordanis Jhone Stirling … my maister oydman owirman and owirsear in my testament

b. Occasionally, one of a group of persons mutually chosen as neutral arbitrators. 1500 Acta Conc. II. 424.
To abyd … the decret … of noble men, that is to say [two names] chosin be the sade Chawmerlane, [two names] chosin be the sade Georg, [three names] odmen in ane voce as arbitratoris and amicable compositouris chosin be the sadis partiis

c. In plur. = arbitrators. 1514 Prestwick B. Rec. 46.
And als the said parteis chesit equalie Ad. Wallace … & James Prestone od men baith in a voce to decern in al the debatis forsaid
1548 Edinb. D. Guild Ct. 27 Mar.
Odmen & ourmen
1605 Glasgow Chart. I. i. dcviii.
The … haill bodie of this toun … having chosin and nominat [four persons] … as owersmen and odmen commounlie chosin betuix the mercheandis and the craftis in caice of variance
1664 Rec. Old Aberd. I. 329.
Bothe the saids pairtie being discontentit hes submitit the decesioune of the said divisioune to [4 persons] odmans and ouermanes

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"Odman n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 30 May 2024 <>



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