Green’s Dictionary of Slang

gatter n.

[ety. unknown; note Rom. gatter, water; DSUE suggests poss. Ling. Fr. or mix of agua + water]

1. (also gater) beer; esp. in phr. shant of gatter, a pot of beer.

[UK] ‘Pickpocket’s Chaunt’ (trans. of ‘En roulant de vergne en vergne’) in Vidocq IV 260: I pattered in flash, like a covey knowing, ‘Ay, bub or grubby,’ I say. ‘Lots of gatter,’ quo’ she, ‘are flowing, [...] Lend me a lift in the family way.’.
[UK] ‘The Coalheaver’s Feast’ in Fun Alive O! 59: And half of St Giles came down in a troop, / To wolf up the gatter, the bacon, and soup.
[UK]Flash Mirror 5: While the men are quarrelling over their gatter, their better halves [...] are always ready and willing to accomodate a swell with anything, from a snadwich to a slice of ling.
[Ire] ‘The Scavenger’s Ball’ Dublin Comic Songster 10: They made such a clatter, drank ruin and gatter.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open 100: Brown gater [sic] droppings, heavy wet, heavy brown, beer.
[UK]Kendal Mercury 17 Apr. 6/1: To moisten his throttle it vas his delight / An’ jacks of good gatter he’d put out of sight.
[UK]A. Mayhew Paved with Gold 71: ‘Come, lad, have a bit o’ scran, and I’ll stand a shant o’ gatter, I’ve got a teviss here;’ and then, suddenly remembering that he was no longer talking to one of his own fraternity, he added, ‘I meant to say, have a bit of this here vittals, and I’ll pay for a pot of beer, I’ve got a sixpence’.
[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor I 218/2: They have a ‘shant of gatter’ (pot of beer) at the nearest ‘boozing ken’.
[US] ‘Bet, the Coaley’s Daughter’ in Overland Monthly (CA) Sept. 308: If you’re a cove wot likes a gal. / Vy don’t you stand some gatter?
[UK]W. Newton Secrets of Tramp Life Revealed 9: Gatter ... Beer.
[UK]F.W. Carew Autobiog. of a Gipsey 112: I don‘t object to stand a shant of gatter.
[UK]A. McCormick Tinkler-Gypsies of Galloway 197: I’d prefer a chant o’ gatter (pint of beer) to a cant of peeve (glass of whisky)!

2. gin.

[UK]Dickens ‘Slang’ in Household Words 24 Sept. 75/2: For one article of drink, gin, we have [...] max, juniper, gatter, duke, jackey, tape, blue-ruin, cream of the valley, white satin, old Tom.
[UK]G.A. Sala Gaslight and Daylight 263: The stuff itself, which in the western gin-shops goes generally by the name of ‘blue-ruin’ or ‘short,’ is here called indifferently, ‘tape,’ ‘max,’ ‘duke,’ ‘gatter,’ and ‘jacky.’.