Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate is one of the smallest streets in York, if not the smallest. It is between Colliergate and Fossgate and intersects The Pavement and The Stonebow in York city centre. It is currently a length of raised pavement between St Cruxe church hall and a road junction.
The origin of the name is unclear. “Gate” derives from the Norse word “gatta” meaning street. A plaque erected in the street states that it derives from a phrase Whitnourwhatnourgate meaning “What a street!”, but most modern sources translate the phrase as “Neither one thing nor the other”.]The city’s whipping post and stocks were here in the middle ages, which may have influenced the change to the modern spelling and has certainly provided an alternative folk etymology. (Wikipedia)