and seems to have Appalachian origins. I remember being amused by a gas station brand years back called "Gas-and-Go". There was a similar brand I saw in Ripley W.Va. called "Pit-'n-Git". I don't think folks there would buy the Harry Potter definition.
it can go.
Thanks to the J.K.Rowling Harry Potter books and movies the American audience has been introduced to the word "git", a noun, meaning a worthless person, or someone one doesn't like, or even in a friendly fashion like "You stupid git, why did you do that?" This has been quite common in lower class speech in Britain for decades, and as Estuarine English comes to dominate England "git" has spread. Now Estuarine English is English derived from the Thames Estuary area, specifically the East End of London and adjoining parts of Essex and Kent. It is rapidly becoming the dominant dialect and source of new words.
But "git" is not a new word. It's been around for not just centuries but for a millenium and a half. It appears in Beowulf, the Anglo-Saxon poem where some character is referred to as a "geat" and in this case it means a Goth, someone from the area of Sweden around Gothenburg (pronounced Yuttaburra just to show how obscure some of this stuff can get). Beowulf was composed in the 7th century ACE, and the Norse, Scandinavians and northern Germans wandered all over northern and central Europe building cities and organizing kingdoms as they went. The Rus were Vikings that settled near Moscow creating the Russians. Rus means Red haired or Red bearded. the Vikings sailed all the way down the Dnieper and founded Kiev, they also organized (insofar as that is possible) Ireland and founded Dublin. They ran the Hebrides for centuries, and controlled the central part of Britain as a kingdom called the Danelaw, which means exactly what it says.
They also were the first people to hold Parliaments or moot-courts, the oldest of these in Iceland, but a common occurrence in Britain from the 8th Century on. As I suppose everybody here knows many of the shire or county names in Britain come from North German or Scandinavian origins. The East Saxons (Essex) the Middle Saxons (Middlesex) and the South Saxons (Sussex) are fairly obvious, but the North Folk and the South Folk (Norfolk and Suffolk, and the generic area of East Anglia (from the Angles) are from Germanic and Danish tribal groupings and York, the heart of the Danelaw was once Jorvik, and much of it can be seen today as the archaeology has been exposed and is being kept preserved showing the plank roads and the building outlines having been built on a marsh and thus having been preserved. For those like Jonah who came from there he will have learned about King Canute (actually Knut which is still a Scandinavian first name) who in order to rebuke an overly flattering courtier walked into the sea and told the tide to stop. It didn't and something unpleasant happened to the courtier who said it would. Knut was a wise old bird, and kept his kingdom together, but in doing so contributed to the complications that attended 1066 and the Viking/Norman (viz. North man or Viking) invasions. Sweyn Forkbeard (think Sven) sounds like he's straight out of J.R.R.Tolkein, who was a specialist in Northern European languages and Icelandic, lost to Harold Godwinson in the north, but Harold then had to march his army all the way from Yorkshire to Hastings on the south coast, and couldn't quite hold it all together against Willie the Conk (William the Conqueror).
So the next time you watch Harry Potter with the kids, you can pause on the word "git" and bore them silly with its explanation.