Part of the name Watergate, widely used in compounds to form names for actual or alleged scandals (usually also involving an attempted cover-up), comparable in some way to the Watergate scandal of 1972. Etymology: Formed by abbreviating Watergate, treating the -gate part as a word-forming element in its own right. History and Usage: Before the Watergate scandal and the ensuing hearings were even fully over, journalists began to use -gate allusively to form names for other (major or minor) scandals, turning it into one of the most productive word-final combining forms of the seventies and eighties. In August 1973, for example, the US satirical paper National Lampoon wrote of persistent rumours in Russia of a vast scandal, and nicknamed this Volgagate; in 1975 the financial paper Wall Street Journal called a fraud inquiry at General Motors Motorgate, and in 1978 Time magazine wrote of an Oilgate concerning British North Sea oil. The suffix was used in a variety of ways: tacked on to the name of the place where the scandal occurred (as in the original Watergate), to the name of the person or organization at the centre of the scandal (for example Billygate or Cartergate for the scandal over the Libyan connections of Billy Carter, brother of US President Jimmy Carter, in 1980), or to the commodity or activity involved (for example Altergate for allegations that transcripts of official hearings in the US had been altered in 1983). It was principally a feature of US English until 1978, when the South African Muldergate scandal brought it wider publicity. Perhaps surprisingly, the productivity of -gate did not really wane in the eighties: in the US it was kept in the public eye principally because of the Iran-contra affair of 1986 (see contra), immediately nicknamed Contragate or Irangate (and still sometimes referred to by these names into the nineties) and by scandals over frauds allegedly perpetrated by televangelists, including the punningly named Pearlygate; in the UK there was Westlandgate in 1985 (involving Cabinet members in conflict over plans to bail out the helicopter company Westland), Stalkergate in 1986 (named after the Deputy Chief Constable of Greater Manchester police, John Stalker, who was invited to chair an inquiry into allegations of an RUC 'shoot-to-kill' policy in Northern Ireland and was then removed from this inquiry for several months while allegations of his own improper association with a known criminal were considered and rejected), and Lawsongate in 1988, involving allegations that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nigel Lawson, had deliberately deceived the public about the economy, to mention but a few. It suits the White House to flatter Mrs Thatcher's diplomatic pretensions, just as it suits it to deflate those of the Labour leader, Mr Neil Kinnock. But it is a long way from 'Kinnockgate' for the good reason that the Americans are barely aware of the 'Neil-snubs-Ron-snubs-Maggie-snubs-Neil' row they are embroiled in. Guardian 30 Mar. 1984, p. 6 The current deterioration of the Ulster environment will continue unabated...if future developments significantly touch the RUC ('Stalkergate') or the judiciary. Marxism Today Sept. 1986, p. 41 Europeans...are not going to stomach the star-spangled strain of bible-thumping religiosity peddled by smooth-talking American preachers like Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and Jim Bakker (he of the 'Pearlygate' sex and corruption scandal). Observer Magazine 22 Nov. 1987, p. 50 From the 'Lawsongate' headline...through to the...allegation of a 'cover-up'...newspapers were unanimous in their belief that it was Nigel Lawson who had misled people. Independent 14 Nov. 1988, p. 2 In those days...the Higher Skepticism had not yet appeared, fueled by the assassinations of the Kennedys and Martin Luther King and the others and by the Vietnam war and by Watergate...and by Irangate, etc. Paul Fussell Wartime (1989), p. 167 Blue Heat promisingly pits Brian Dennehy's blue-collar cop against Contragate corruption in high places. The Face Oct. 1990, p. 21

English colloquial dictionary, new words.      Английский разговорный словарь - новые слова.