-gate Suffix

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The suffix -gate is a word ending that has its roots in an American scandal that occurred in the 1970s. We will examine the meaning of the suffix -gate, where it came from and some examples of its use.

The suffix -gate is added to words in order to designate a scandal or a controversy. Some recent examples of the use of the suffix -gate include hamburgergate, a lighthearted controversy involving the placement of cheese on hamburger emojis, pizzagate involving a fake news story about clandestine politics, and kneegate involving a politician touching a female’s knee. For the most part -gate is used in a humorous manner, but not always. The use of the suffix -gate stems from the Watergate scandal, in which operatives from the Nixon campaign broke into the Democratic National Committee headquarters, housed at the Watergate Hotel in Washington D.C. The hotel name became synonymous with the convoluted, years-long scandal which involved Congressional hearings, prosecutions and the eventual resignation of President Nixon.


The most notorious pedophilia-related smear recently promulgated by the right is Pizzagate, a lurid conspiracy theory alleging that Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta, had operated a child sex trafficking ring out of the basement of Comet Ping Pong, a Washington, D.C., pizzeria. (Newsweek Magazine)

That predisposition to be on the field of play a lot was underlined by the incident known in his native Belgium as Burgergate and which was a product of Hazard’s sometimes tempestuous relationship with the Belgium national coach, Georges Leekens. (The Independent)

Last night she told Sky News: “If this is over ‘kneegate’ – him touching my knee 15 years ago and me not having any issue with it today – this is the most insane, absurd and ridiculous resignation of a Cabinet minister ever.“ (The Mirror)