These gates are commonplace throughout the British countryside. The short swing of the gate and its design are such that pedestrians can pass through, one at a time, but not farm animals. The name has been around since the 16th century and there are two theories about the origin. One is that the gate itself kisses the entry and exits posts, which is a critical feature of its design. Kiss is used here in the sense of a light touch, as in two bowls or billiard balls touching lightly. This usage of the word kiss has also been around since the 16th century. The second and more romantic theory is that the escorting gentleman goes through the gate first, holding it open for the lady. The lady then passes through in such close proximity that a gentleman may ask for a kiss and, if he is lucky, a kiss may be given.