Gait vs gate

Grammarist

gait is a way of walking, either an individual’s particular way of moving from one place to another, or an animal’s pace of moving, such as a trot, gallop, or canter. It can be used as a verb to train an animal to walk a certain way.

Incidentally gait did come from gate, which meant way. While gate, which is an opening in a barrier, usually a fence, came from the Norse gat, which meant opening.

Gate can also be a verb, meaning to put a gate in something. In Britain it can mean to lock down a university or dorm.

In pop culture, to add -gate to the end of a word is to refer to the Watergate scandal, in that the new term is a new scandal (e.g., gamergate).

Examples

With their wide, springy gait, ostriches can reach speeds of 40mph (70 km/h), covering up to 16ft (5 metres) in a single stride. [Daily Mail]

I’ll admit it: I was proud. My gait was getting a full range of motion and my stride was crisp. [Columbia Tribune]

But the movie does such a superb job of bringing us close to horses — their shaggy textures; the expressive flicks of their manes and tails; their enormous, liquid eyes; their powerful gaits — that I will never again wonder why people form such deep attachments to them. [Seven Days]

There is room for these classes to grow once the big lick classes are cut, as many gaited horse owners only wish to show on a fair and humane playing field – not one that is commonly associated with abuse. [News Observer]

The 78-year-old Montgomery is one of two major types of gated dams in service in the Corps’ Pittsburgh District to permit increased control over the navigation pool upstream. [Hydro World]

Roseville police report that on Oct. 16 a resident on Oakborough Avenue found the body of his neighbor’s cat hanging from his backyard gate. [Sacramento Bee]

The mostly unknown participants behind GamerGate — named for its Twitter hashtag — contend that they are fighting against what they see as favoritism and a lack of ethics in gaming journalism. [Boston Globe]