from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A narrow passage extending inland from a shore; a channel.
  • n. Slang A pistol.
  • v. Archaic A past tense of get.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A Gatling gun.
  • n. Any type of gun; usually in reference to a pistol.
  • v. To shoot someone with a pistol or other handheld firearm.
  • n. A guitar
  • v. Simple past of get.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • imp. of get.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • An old preterit of get.
  • n. An obsolete form of goat.
  • n. An opening or passage in a sand-bank; a way from the cliffs to the sea.
  • n. Nautical, a channel among shoals.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a gangster's pistol


Probably Dutch, from Middle Dutch.
Short for Gat(ling gun).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Gatling gun, after inventor Richard Gatling. (Wiktionary)
From guitar, by shortening (Wiktionary)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Thanks -- I was hoping someone smart would fill in my assumption! Much appreciated.

    October 1, 2008

  • Archaic past tense of get, i.e. equivalent of got. I'm surprised an 1895 translation would use it; probably the translator is aiming for an antiquated feel.

    Makes me think of the Morte D'Arthur, e.g. "How gat ye this sword? said Sir Ector to Arthur." (I. v.)

    Still exists in begat, which you sometimes see as past of beget. In this sense I guess the King James Genesis gave it extra momentum with its famous "Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech..." etc.

    September 30, 2008

  • Also an archaic past form of go or get, apparently:

    "So Thorir gat him west to Dublin, and enquiring there for tidings of Oli learned that he was with his brother-in-law King Olaf Kvaran. Thereafter Thorir brought it to pass that he gat speech of Oli, and when they had talked often and long (for Thorir was a very smooth-tongued man) fell Oli to asking about the Upland kings: which of them were still alive and what dominions pertained to them."

    -- Sturluson, Snorri: The Sagas of Olaf Tryggvason and of Harald the Tyrant

    (Note: I think the link leads to the same translation I'm quoting from, but I could be wrong.)

    September 30, 2008

  • Tag in reverse.

    November 3, 2007