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4 comments on this post.
  1. Nancy:

    The mention of Billingsgate, brought to mind some regency history and went to this site
    for the following quote:

    “Richard Barry the 7th Earl of Barrymore (1769-1793), the eldest son, bore the nickname of Hellgate for his wild behavior. His brother the Hon. Henry Barry (1770-1823), who became the 8th Earl of Barrymore on his brother’s death, was dubbed Cripplegate since he limped, probably due to a club foot. The Hon. and Rev. Augustus Barry (1773-1818), even less reputable than the other two, was known as Newgate, for he had been a tenant of every gaol in the kingdom save that one. The eldest, a sister, Lady Caroline(1768-?), who became Lady Melfort in 1788, from her ready and copious use of oaths received from the lips from the Prince Regent the sobriquet of Billingsgate.”

  2. Jeff:

    At one point you indicate a “watergate” is a term used to control the flow of water. Yet I thought it was the “gate” from a castle or fortification that allowed access to whatever water was nearby (river, moat, etc.)

    Then later you indicate Billingsgate was a “water gate” because it allowed access for people and freight from London to the Thames.

    Er….watergate – a access point for people or a plumbing device? Or both?

  3. John:

    “Billingsgate” has another potential background. In the north of England there are a LOT of -gates in towns like York. And, the original York walls stand, and a lot of those -gates do not connect with an opening. However, they were controlled by the vikings, those rascally people. In Norwegian, “gate”, pronounced ga-teh, is nothing more than a street. So a lot of those gates in England are nothing more than streets by a different name; if this applied to this particular locale, it would mean Billings Street.

    [Curious sidebar: In Norwegian, the word gift (pronounced yift) can mean either marriage or poison.]

  4. Steve Dunham:

    The Watergate Hotel not only overlooks the river, it is adjacent to the watergate where Rock Creek empties into the Potomac River and where the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal reached the river.

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