O (Our Lady of). The Virgin Mary is so called in some old Roman rituals, from the ejaculation at the beginning of the seven anthems preceding the Magnificat, as: “O when will the day arrive …?” “O when shall I see …?” “O when …?” and so on.

Oak. The Romans gave a crown of oak leaves to him who saved the life of a citizen.

To a cruel war I sent him; from whence he returned, his brows bound with oak.—Shakespeare: Coriolanus, act i. sc. 3 (1609).

Oak (Byron). On his first arrival at Newstead Abbey, in 1798, Byron planted an oak in the garden, and cherished the fancy that as the tree flourished so would he. When he revisited the spot some years later he found the young tree choked with weeds and nearly destroyed. The sight called forth the poem To an Oak at Newstead (1807). When colonel Wildman took possession, it narrowly escaped being cut down; but ultimately it grew into a fine tree, and became known as the Byron Oak.

Oakly (Major), brother to Mr. Oakly, and uncle to Charles. He assists his brother in curing his “jealous wife.”

Mr. Oakly, husband of the “jealous wife.” A very amiable man, but deficient in that strength of mind which is needed to cure the idiosyncrasy of his wife; so he obtains the assistance of his brother, the major.

Mrs. Oakly, “the jealous wife” of Mr. Oakly. A woman of such suspicious temper, that every remark of her husband is distorted into a proof of his infidelity. She watches him like a tiger, and makes both her own and her husband’s life utterly wretched.

Charles Oakly, nephew of the major. A fine, noble-spirited young fellow, who would never stand by and see a woman insulted; but a desperate debauchee and drunkard. He aspires to the love of Harriot Russet, whose influence over him is sufficiently powerful to reclaim him.—Colman: The Jealous Wife (1761).

Oates (Dr. Titus), the champion of the popish plot.—Sir W. Scott: Peveril of the Peak (time, Charles II.).

Forth came the notorious Dr. Oates, rustling in the full silken canonicals of priesthood, for … he affected no small dignity of exterior decoration and deportment. … His exterior was portentous. A fleece of white periwig showed a most uncouth visage, of great length, having the mouth … placed in the very centre of the countenance, and exhibiting to the astonished spectator as much chin below as there was nose and brow above it. His pronunciation was after a conceited fashion of his own, in which he accented the vowels in a manner altogether peculiar to himself.—Ch. xli.

Oaths (Strange). (See Isabella, p. 530.)

Oaths used by Men of Note:—

(1) Angus (earl of), when incensed, used to say, By the might of God! but at other times his oath was, By St. Bride of Douglas!—Godscroft, 275.

(2) Bayard (The Chevalier), By God’s Holy-day!

(3) Charles II. of England, Ods fish! a corruption of “God’s flesh.”

(4) Charles VIII. of France, By God’s light!

(5) Edward the Confessor, By God and His Mother!

(6) Elizabeth, By God! God’s death! God’s wounds! softened afterwards into Zounds! and Zouterkins!

  By PanEris using Melati.

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