Recorded in many spellings including Eat, Gait, Gaite, Gate, Gater, Gaiter, Gates, Jett, and Yate, this is an English surname of truly ancient origins. It can be either locational or topographical the latter implying residence either by the gate of a medieval town, or curiously from living by a main road. The derivation is either from the Olde English pre 7th century word "geat" meaning a gate, or particularly in those areas of England controlled by the Vikings, the similar word of "gatu" meaning a street. Hence in the city of York streets are called 'gates,' and gates are known as 'bars'. Medieval gates were often arranged in pairs, fastened in the centre, and hence the development of the surname Gates, being the plural. Residential surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognizable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. In some cases, the name may be locational either from the town of Yate in Somerset, or from places such as Eastergate in West Sussex. This place was recorded as "Gate" in the famous Domesday Book of 1086, and later as "Gates" in the 13th century at a time when many surnames evolved. Early examples of the surname include Ralph de Gates of Oxfordshire in 1206; Gilbert atte Gaite in Cambridgeshire in 1260; and the interesting Richard Overthegate of Derby in 1327. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ailricus de la Gata. This was dated 1169, in the Pipe Rolls of Devonshire, during the reign of King Henry 11nd, 1154 - 1189. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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  • Gait — Gait, n. [See {Gate} a way.] 1. A going; a walk; a march; a way. [1913 Webster] Good gentleman, go your gait, and let poor folks pass. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. Manner of walking or stepping; bearing or carriage while moving. [1913 Webster] T is… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • gait — [gāt] n. [ME gate, a going, gait, orig., path < ON gata, path between hedges, street, akin to Ger gasse, lane] 1. manner of moving on foot; way of walking or running 2. any of the various foot movements of a horse, as a trot, pace, canter, or… …   English World dictionary

  • gait — [geıt] n [singular] [Date: 1400 1500; Origin: gate way (13 21 centuries), from Old Norse gata road ] the way someone walks ▪ a slow shuffling gait …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • gait — [ geıt ] noun singular the way that someone walks: his distinctive rolling gait …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • gait — gait·ed; gait; …   English syllables

  • gait|ed — «GAY tihd», adjective. trained when to use different gaits; having a certain gait: »a gaited horse, heavy gaited oxen …   Useful english dictionary

  • gait — index step Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • gait — (n.) c.1300, gate a going or walking, departure, journey, earlier way, road, path (c.1200), from a Scandinavian source (Cf. O.N. gata way, road, path ), cognate with O.H.G. gazza street, Ger. Gasse, Goth. gatwo. Meaning manner of walking is from… …   Etymology dictionary

  • gait — [n] way an animal or person moves, walks amble, bearing, canter, carriage, clip, gallop, get along, lick, march, motion, movement, pace, run, speed, step, stride, tread, trot, walk; concept 149 …   New thesaurus

  • gait — ► NOUN 1) a person s manner of walking. 2) the paces of a horse or dog. ORIGIN Old Norse …   English terms dictionary

  • Gait — A gait is a particular way or manner of moving on foot, e.g., *human gait *horse gait *dog gait.The word may also refer to one of the following. *GAIT (wireless), a standard to enable cross operation of wireless telephone technologies. * GAIT… …   Wikipedia

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