[ bil-ingz-geyt or, esp. British, -git ]
/ ˈbɪl ɪŋzˌgeɪt or, esp. British, -gɪt /


coarsely or vulgarly abusive language.

Origin of billingsgate

First recorded in 1645–55; orig. the kind of speech often heard at Billingsgate, a London fish market at the gate of the same name Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for billingsgate

British Dictionary definitions for billingsgate (1 of 2)

/ (ˈbɪlɪŋzˌɡeɪt) /


obscene or abusive language

Word Origin for billingsgate

C17: after Billingsgate, which was notorious for such language

British Dictionary definitions for billingsgate (2 of 2)

/ (ˈbɪlɪŋɡzˌɡeɪt) /


the largest fish market in London, on the N bank of the River Thames; moved to new site at Canary Wharf in 1982 and the former building converted into offices
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012