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The OED has the three headwords gole, gool, and gull, which could all have the meaning ‘stream’ or ‘watercourse’, and the Yorkshire evidence suggests that they share a common origin. The place-name Goole has spellings which point to such a link and trace the word's changes in meaning: 1306 pro decimis de Gull Lewth [sic for laith]

1362 Gulle in Houk, a watercourse, and aque Gulle

1398 querentium bladum at le Gullath

1412 Goulle Lathes [a grange]

1480 ‘the townships of Howke, Airmyn and Goule

1540 tythes ... of hooke, gull and armyn

1546 Hoke Chapell, wherin is one chaplane ... to the towneships of Armyn, Hoke, and Gowle. As a vocabulary item the word occurs in the same area: 1356 racione gullae currentis in Merskland, Selby

1411-2 per diluvia de les Gulles, Selby. The OED quotes: 1832 any sudden breach or goole ... made in ... the east bank, from the Holderness Drainage Act.

spellings gole gool
places Selby Goole
dates 1306 1356 1362 1398 1411-1412 1412 1480 1540 1546

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