1) Said to have developed from ‘on gate’, it means on the move, ‘going’ or ‘working’.

The word was still in regular use until recently but the examples noted are not at all early. In 1709 the constable of Sowerby near Halifax paid 6d for a Watch stick when he sett the watch agate and in 1758 a Wakefield clothier expressed his admiration for a man who kept 60 looms agate.

dates 1709 1758

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