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.