What does "-gate" mean when it is added to a word?

Dear teachers, what does “-gate” mean when it is added to a word? Last year, one of the chess players accused the other one of using computer in… toilet to cheat him at the world chess championship. The story was labelled as “toiletgate”. What does this word mean?

Thank you in advance.

In the United States, Watergate (early-mid 1970s) was a major political scandal.

Now, whenever there’s a possible scandal (or in some cases, at least) people and/or the media will add -gate to it to make obvious the idea that it’s seen as scandalous.

If I stole my friend’s sandwich, for instance, someone might refer to that as “Sandwichgate”.


To answer your question, then:

Adding “-gate” to the end of a word is meant to convey the perceived presence of scandalous activity.

On the other hand, “-gate” probably is also present in the names of many shops/shopping malls.


Eastgate Mall, for instance (I’d bet there is a mall somewhere called Eastgate Mall), would fit the scenario.

In such cases, “gate” is meant to convey its literal meaning: opening/doorway/passageway.

prezbucky, thanks a lot for this valuable information.
By the way, what “hehe” mean…:slight_smile:

“Watergate” was the name of the apartment building where the political scandal began, so this suffix -gate comes from exactly the type of name that Prezbucky is describing.

Ahmadov, “he he” is the same thing as Russian “xa xa!”

By the way, in Russian хе-хе (he-he) is also an ironic snicker. It’s not equal to ха-ха (ha-ha) or хи-хи (hi-hi).
In Russian it (he-he) sounds much more… self-complacent, I’d say. :slight_smile:

Thanks Jamie, I was just joking because Prezbucky puts it everywhere.