- Agate in its simplest sense is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is derived from a topographical name for someone who lived by a gate, the first element represents the Olde English pre 7th Century prefix "atte-", at. The second element derives from the Olde English "gatu", meaning gate, hence, "at the gate". Gate was often used in Northern Middle English to describe a road or thoroughfare, a usage quite similar in form and meaning to the Scandinavian "gata", road. In a broader sense the name is occupational, as it often refers to the gate of a town or estate, thus the name may describe someone who worked at a gate, i.e., a watchman. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages, while job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. Recordings from London Church Registers include: John Agutt, a christening witness at St. Giles' Church, Cripplegate, on January 21st 1643, whilst on February 15th 1729, Thomas Agate was recorded at St. Mary's, Whitechapel, Stepney. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam Ategate, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Huntingdonshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Surnames reference. 2013.
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agate — agate … Dictionnaire des rimes
agate — [ agat ] n. f. • XIIIe; acate XIIe; lat. achates, gr. akhatês 1 ♦ Minér. Variété de calcédoine, finement zonée, aux teintes nuancées et contrastées, utilisée comme pierre précieuse (camées, coupes, etc.). ♢ Objet d art en agate. Les agates… … Encyclopédie Universelle
agate — AGATE. s. f. Pierre de la nature du caillou; elle est fort dure et prend parfaitement le poli; elle donne des étincelles lorsqu on la frappe avec de l acier, et elle varie pour les couleurs, les veines et les accidens qui s y trouvent. Les agates … Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798
Agate — Ag ate, n. [F. agate, It. agata, L. achates, fr. Gr. ?.] 1. (Min.) A semipellucid, uncrystallized variety of quartz, presenting various tints in the same specimen. Its colors are delicately arranged in stripes or bands, or blended in clouds.… … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
agaté — agaté, tée (a ga té, tée) adj. Qui contient de l agate. Jaspe agaté. ÉTYMOLOGIE Agate … Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré
agate — AGÁTE s.f.pl. Litere tipografice a căror floare corespunde unei litere de şase puncte. [sg. agată. / cf. fr. agate]. Trimis de LauraGellner, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DN AGÁTE s. f. pl. litere tipografice cu floarea de şase puncte. (< fr. agate) … Dicționar Român
agate — [ag′it] n. [ME agaten < OFr agate < ML < L achates < Gr achatēs < ?] 1. a hard semiprecious stone, a variety of chalcedony, with striped or clouded coloring 2. any of various tools having agate parts, as a burnishing instrument… … English World dictionary
Agate — A*gate , adv. [Pref. a on + gate way.] On the way; agoing; as, to be agate; to set the bells agate. [Obs.] Cotgrave. [1913 Webster] … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
agate — (n.) 1560s, from M.Fr. agathe (16c.), from L. achates, from Gk. akhates, the name of a river in Sicily where the stones were found (Pliny). But the river could as easily be named for the stone. The earlier English form of the word, achate (early… … Etymology dictionary
agate — AGATE. s. f. Sorte de pierre precieuse qui n est point transparente. Agate d Orient. agate de Boheme … Dictionnaire de l'Académie française
agate — , agate line a traditional unit of area used in printing and advertising. The agate line is equal to 1/14 inch (1.814 millimeters) multiplied by the width of the printed line. Its name comes from the traditional type size called agate,… … Dictionary of units of measurement