Etymology
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gutter (n.)

late 13c., "watercourse, water drainage channel along the side of a street," from Anglo-French gotere, Old French guitere, goutiere "gutter, spout" of water (12c., Modern French gouttière), from goute "a drop," from Latin gutta "a drop" (see gout). Meaning "furrow made by running water" is from 1580s. Meaning "trough under the eaves of a roof to carry off rainwater" is from mid-14c. Figurative sense of "low, profane" is from 1818. In printers' slang, from 1841.

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gutter (v.)

late 14c., "to make or run in channels" (transitive), from gutter (n.). Intransitive use, in reference to candles (1706) it is from the channel that forms as the molten wax flows off. Related: Guttered; guttering.

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gut-bucket (adj.)

in reference to jazz, "earthy," by 1929, supposedly originally a reference to the buckets which caught the drippings, or gutterings, from barrels. Which would connect it to gutter (v.).

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guttersnipe (n.)

also gutter-snipe, 1857, from gutter (n.) + snipe (n.); originally Wall Street slang for "streetcorner broker," attested later (1869) as "street urchin," also "one who gathers rags and paper from gutters." As a name for the common snipe, it dates from 1874 but is perhaps earlier.

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waterboard (n.)

1610s (n.), "gutter," from water (n.1) + board (n.1). Waterboarding as the name of a type of torture is from 2005, but the practice is older.

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autoharp (n.)

1882, name on a patent taken out by Charles F. Zimmermann of Philadelphia, U.S.A., for an improved type of harp, an instrument considerably different from the modern autoharp, which is actually a chord zither, and was invented about the same time by K.A. Gütter of Markneukirchen, Germany, who called it a Volkszither. See auto- + harp (n.).

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canal (n.)

early 15c., in anatomy, "tubular passage in the body through which fluids or solids pass;" mid-15c., "a pipe for liquid;" from French canal, chanel "water channel, tube, pipe, gutter" (12c.), from Latin canalis "water pipe, groove, channel," noun use of adjective from canna "reed" (see cane (n.)). The sense was transferred by 1670s to "artificial waterway for irrigation or navigation."

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gargoyle (n.)

"grotesque carved waterspout," connected to the gutter of a building to throw down water clear of the wall, common in 13c.-16c. buildings; late 13c., gargoile, also garguile, gargule, etc., "carved mouth of a rain spout, a gargoyle," from Old French gargole, gargoule "throat;" also "carved downspout," in the form of a serpent or some other fanciful shape, also from Medieval Latin gargola, gargulio (see gargle (v.)). "An archaic spelling, retained in books; better gargoil or, in more modern form gargel" [Century Dictionary].

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gullet (n.)

"passage from the mouth of an animal to the stomach," c. 1300 (as a surname), from Old French golet "neck (of a bottle); gutter; bay, creek," diminutive of gole "throat, neck" (Modern French gueule), from Latin gula "throat," also "appetite," which is related to gluttire "to gulp down, devour," glutto "a glutton." De Vaan writes, "We seem to be dealing with an onomatopoeic formation of the form *gul- / *glu-." Compare Old English ceole "throat;" Old Church Slavonic glutu "gullet," Russian glot "draught, gulp;" Old Irish gelim "I devour."

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channel (n.)

early 14c., "bed of a stream of water," from Old French chanel "bed of a waterway; tube, pipe, gutter," from Latin canalis "groove, channel, waterpipe" (see canal). The English word was given a broader, figurative sense by 1530s: "that by which something passes or is transmitted" (in reference to information, commerce, etc.); the meaning "circuit for telegraph communication" (1848) probably led to that of "band of frequency for radio or TV signals" (1928). Also "part of a sea making a passageway between land masses, a large strait" (1550s).

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