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Why is Fargate called 'Fargate'?


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Sheffield History


Anyone know how Fargate got it's name?

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DaveJC

Well there’s Arundel Gate, Westgate, Southgate and Waingate, so is Fargate the furthest South West?

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Davey1889

High Street used to be called Prior Gate (map of 1736) so perhaps Fargate's name was relative to the site of the castle and / or the town?

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boginspro

As said above   "In many dialects a gate is a road and a bar is a gate. Fargate - the further way, the road beyond the town."  From the .pdf file Street Names of Central Sheffield , link below  ----------------

https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/content/dam/sheffield/docs/libraries-and-archives/archives-and-local-studies/research/street names study guide v1-2.pdf

 

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makapaka

My understanding was that it was all related to the boundaries of Sheffield castle in the area where the old market was.

waingate

castlegate

fargate

Etc 

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DaveJC

Cities, towns and villages were proudly and selfishly protected from anything/anyone that/who could do them harm. More’s the pity, looking at some of today’s  worst examples, that some of the so called excesses of the past didn’t survive.

OK, I’ll get back in my box.  🧰

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History dude
11 hours ago, makapaka said:

My understanding was that it was all related to the boundaries of Sheffield castle in the area where the old market was.

waingate

castlegate

fargate

Etc 

The problem with that is that the Old English for "gate" would be "yate". This can be seen in the 1379 Poll Tax returns, where some people are described as being next to the "yate". Meaning the gate to Sheffield Park.  

The word gate in street terms is an old Norse word for road, which would have lasted for years after the population were no longer speaking the language. Besides the Castle only had one gate and not all of the roads went to it.  

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Alastair

Gate is from the Norse meaning a way. Still in current use in Scandinavia as Gade

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leksand
8 hours ago, History dude said:

The problem with that is that the Old English for "gate" would be "yate". This can be seen in the 1379 Poll Tax returns, where some people are described as being next to the "yate". Meaning the gate to Sheffield Park.  

The word gate in street terms is an old Norse word for road, which would have lasted for years after the population were no longer speaking the language. Besides the Castle only had one gate and not all of the roads went to it.  

Are you sure they are "y"'s?

Obviously without seeing the source it's difficult to establish, but I expect they are probably the letter yogh ("ȝ"). The letter was in use in middle english but is seldom used in post-middle english transcriptions of middle english text. It tends to be written as g, gh or y depending on perceived usage but may on occasion just have a flat transfer to a single letter (perhaps y in your source?). In Scots, in early printing, yogh was maintained and represented as "ʒ", subsequently becoming "z" (in certain cases) - which is why Menzies & McKenzie are not pronounced how they look. It's also why Shetland occasionally appeared as Zetland (from the Norn name Hjetland) and has the postcode ZE.

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MartinR

More likely thorns (Þ, þ) which had the sound of "th".  There are three runic letters which were carried over into old- and middle-English: thorn, yogh and eth (Ð, ð).  Eth also has a "th" sound and was used interchangeably with thorn at different periods and places.  When you see "ye olde", that is from a misreading of "þe", pronounced "the".  Eth appears in modern welsh as a double d: consider "Gwynedd" which is pronounced "Gweneth".

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leksand
12 hours ago, MartinR said:

More likely thorns (Þ, þ) which had the sound of "th".  There are three runic letters which were carried over into old- and middle-English: thorn, yogh and eth (Ð, ð).  Eth also has a "th" sound and was used interchangeably with thorn at different periods and places.  When you see "ye olde", that is from a misreading of "þe", pronounced "the".  Eth appears in modern welsh as a double d: consider "Gwynedd" which is pronounced "Gweneth".

But thorn was never used for "g".

Yogh was a letter with multiple readings, including hard-g as in gate, It is sometimes seen to be equivalent to "gh" or "dutch-g" today, but this was not its sole use. The way "g" is used in Norwegian or Swedish is fairly similar to how yogh was used here, It's use predates the import of "g" and persisted with varying longevity (but coarsely, the further north you go, the longer you might expect it to have lasted).

As I understand, the reason for the use of "Y" for thorn in english is similar in origin to the use of "ʒ", then "z", for yogh in Scots english and relates to lettersets available to early printers (which I think were of German origin). In written text the loop of thorn tends to be quite broad and the downstroke can also be counter-curved lending it a certain resemblance to gamma-like Y-forms. I don't know that thorn was commonly represented as y other than in its initial, capital form (where it persists as such in your example). The standard transliteration of both thorn and thæt (the name of soft-eth as used in english) is, obviously, "th" (though "t" & "d" also occur).

My suggestion was that yat(e) arose because someone looking at an old text saw yogh, didn't really know what it was, and interpreted it as "y" (it could look like some 19th century handwritten forms of "y"). It was subsequently reproduced as "y" in the document history dude saw. However, in hindsight maybe that is over-convoluted, particularly given the 1379 date. Perhaps they simply saw an oddly written "g", didn't recognise it and transcribed it as "y".

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MartinR

My suggestion was based on the shapes, thorn is closer to "Y".  Of course it all depends upon how the word was pronounced at the time!

<edit> I've done a bit more digging and have found a reference to "gate" being "ȝhat" in ME. </edit>

The use of the three runic letters is much older than printing, they come via the Old English Futhorc from the Scandinavian Elder Futhark.

I've enclosed a facsimile of the first page of Sir Gawayn and þe Grene Kniʒt c.1340 which shows the use of thorn in lowercase(!) positions:
 

Quote

 

SIÞEN þe sege and þe assaut watz sesed at Troye,

þe borʒ brittened and brent to brondez and askez,

Þe tulk þat þe trammes of treasoun þer wroʒt

 

Note in particular the MS for of the initial thorn on line 3, it really does look like "ye"!

Sir_Gawain_first_page_670x990.jpg

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History dude

I'm certain that I have heard people saying "yate" for gate. And most forms of dialects have words that were commonly used as a main language at one time. It was very common too for someone writing down what someone said to them to write it as they sounded it. Even vicars tended to do this when recording names in parish registers, at least till spelling became standardised. But that was years later. 

I believe the conversation with the Poll Tax man would have gone something like this (translated of course):  "What's your name?"  Man "John". "last name?" Man "Just John". "Where do you live?" Man "at the yate".

So he became John at Yate. Of course if the name stuck. His ancestors could have become: Yate, Yates, Bates and loads more variations.     

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MartinR

(OT)  There is an amusing tale told about the TV presenter Magnus Magnusson.  His father was was Sigursteinn Mangusson and his mother was Ingibjorg Sigurardottir.  Magnus was originally named Magnús Sigursteinsson since Icelandic tradition is to use a patronymic and not a surname.  Well this was fine in Reykjavík, but in Scotland in 1929 having Mr Magnusson living with Mrs Sigurardottir with a child called Sigursteinsson - well would you believe it, and so blatant too. Tut tut tut ...  So the family adopted Sigursteinn's patronymic as a surname to keep wagging tongues stilled.

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leksand
On 27/03/2021 at 19:04, History dude said:

I'm certain that I have heard people saying "yate" for gate. And most forms of dialects have words that were commonly used as a main language at one time. It was very common too for someone writing down what someone said to them to write it as they sounded it. Even vicars tended to do this when recording names in parish registers, at least till spelling became standardised. But that was years later. 

I believe the conversation with the Poll Tax man would have gone something like this (translated of course):  "What's your name?"  Man "John". "last name?" Man "Just John". "Where do you live?" Man "at the yate".

So he became John at Yate. Of course if the name stuck. His ancestors could have become: Yate, Yates, Bates and loads more variations.     

Good point. Obviously any conception of whether ȝ/g/y is the "correct" letter is, by my own argument, meaningless. (I'd cut a chunk from my previous post in reference to there being no spelling standardisation at the time too!).

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