Streetwise: Marketgait

Marketgait

The names of the Marketgait (now High Street), the Nethergait, and the Overgait are self explanatory. The place of execution stood in the Marketgait, and was known as the “The Heding-Cross”. The earliest name of the Nethergait was “Flukergait,” and the Overgait of the olden time was called “Argyllis-gait,” because the house of Campbell of Balruddery (a scion of the Campbells of Argyll) stood in the street, and was called “Argyllis Ludging”. Nether and Over simply mean Lower and Upper.

It will be noticed that all such names as “Murraygait” are correctly spelled thus: “Murraygait” which is accordance with the Scottish language. The word “gate” means a doorway, while “gait” means a road. Thus, the Well-gait is the road to the well, not a door at the Well, Sea-gait is the road to the sea, Cow-gait the road to pasture-land, and so on. The affix “gate” is a modern corruption.

Source: ‘Glimpses of Old and New Dundee’ – A.H. Millar, January 1925