-gate
Posted: 13 October 2010 03:23 AM   [ Ignore ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3026
Joined  2007-02-26

What was the first known incidence of someone using the prefix -gate to refer to a scandal, in reference to Watergate?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 October 2010 04:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  407
Joined  2007-02-14

Wasn’t it Irangate?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 October 2010 04:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4657
Joined  2007-01-03

American Speech, “Among the New Words” from Fall 1978 (53:3) records Volgagate from the August 1973 issue of National Lampoon in reference to an alleged scandal in the Soviet Union. The earliest reference to a real scandal is winegate from the 10 Sep 1973 issue of Newsweek, referring to a scandal in the French wine industry.

[ Edited: 13 October 2010 04:16 AM by Dave Wilton ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 October 2010 06:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3026
Joined  2007-02-26

WP lists Safire as an early populariser.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 October 2010 07:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3449
Joined  2007-01-29

From the latest, and alas last, edition of Safire’s Political Dictionary (full disclosure: he said some very flattering things about me in the Prolegomenon):

-gate construction A device to provide a sinister label to a possible scandal.

After WATERGATE, a scandal in France dealing with the adulteration of Bordeaux wines was promptly dubbed “Winegate.” This led to the adoption of the -gate suffix as a scandalizer in other fields.

When it became known in 1976 that an investigation had been launched into corruption of members of the U.S. Congress by the South Korean CIA, this writer started referring automatically to “Koreagate.” When mayoral candidate Mario Cuomo attacked New York Mayor Abe Beame for seeking to suppress an SEC report on the finances of the BIG APPLE—New York City—he called it “Applegate.” More aptly, charges leveled at Congressman Daniel Flood in 1978 were called “Floodgate,” and charges that some contractors were double-billing the government reminded those acquainted with British English of the possibilities of double-billingsgate. The formulation with the -gate suffix is too useful to fade quickly.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 October 2010 08:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1212
Joined  2007-04-28

My favourites are debategate for the rhyme and this for the sheer fatuity.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 October 2010 08:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  332
Joined  2007-02-13

Zippergate is my fave.  (Redirects to Lewinsky Scandal on Wikipedia)

I was going to say I thought the -gate construction has fallen out of favor, but then I googled “freezergate” (William Jefferson) and got 199 hits, then “witchgate"+"Christine O’Donnell” and got 75.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 October 2010 11:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2309
Joined  2007-01-30

This one (my favourite) cuts right to the chase in typical Oriental fashion - Sexy Photo Gate.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 October 2010 09:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1971
Joined  2007-02-19

As a more succint alternative to “Sexy Photo Gate”, might one diffidently propose “Gartergate”?

Profile
 
 
   
 
 
‹‹ boob tube      Cajun ››