After I chuckled heartily at Dan Piraro's depiction of the Fairy Gothmother in his awesome comic strip Bizarro, I wondered how goth today differs from the goths of yore. After a little research, I present to you this:
Goth (of yesteryear)
Goth (of today)
|Who||3rd and 4th centuries East Germanic tribe.||Kids dressed up like undertakers, complete with black eyeliners, nail polish, white face powder and so on|
|Origin||Scandinavia.||Early 1980s in the UK in the gothic rock scene|
|Feared by||The Romans and later, the Huns||Their parents, who feared social ostracism and high cosmetics bill, and the Russians government|
|Conquered by||The Byzantine Empire||Mean bullies at school|
|Likes||Warfare, sacrificing their vanquished to their god Tyz||Listening to gothic rock, playing dress ups, watching The Crow|
|Dislikes||The Romans and Huns||Tanning, being mistaken for Emo|
|Fashion accessories||Chain mail, swords, big axes and other weapons||Coffin-shaped things, piercings, pagan and Egyptian symbols, crosses, etc.|
|Similarity||Both have nothing to do with gargoyles and Gothic architecture (though they both may like the building style). At first, Gothic architecture was called "French Style" (Opus francigenum) by the Germans - I presume that was some sort of an insult.
In the 1500s, the term "Goth" is a pejorative, meaning rude and barbaric. The Renaissance architects, who disliked the style, started calling it "Gothic" and the name stuck.