Goth, to an extent, has always been used to describe things that don't fit to well within society. For example: The name "Gothic" refers to a Germanic tribe the "Goths" that lived in their mythical homeland - the Gotland island. They were renowned warriors, famous for their courage and "barbaric" cruelty. During the 3rd and 4th centuries harried the roman armies, waged war against other tribes and Roman Empire. They famously sacked the city of Rome, creating their kingdoms on the ruins of other civilizations. Goths contributed to the fall of the Western Roman Empire.
Another example is the gothic architecture of the 12th to 16th centuries. At this times, family mansions, houses and churches were built in imitation of the gothic style, paintings of knights commissioned, and collections of medieval poetry published. This term was applied to the architecture as it was supposedly "rude and barbaric".
The current usage of the term in reference to the subculture. In the late 1970's Then it appeared in several music magazines in the UK and musicians and journalists used it to describe the new direction which some bands' such as Siouxsie & the Banshees, The Cure, Joy Division, and Bauhaus music was taking after the punk movement and music slowly began to decline. It is not clear whose idea it was to use this word for the first time to describe this new musical style, but it stuck and the musical genre is since then called gothic rock. It is believed that the name was chosen because the music was close to the gothic novel and its gloomy atmosphere. The fans of this music were the first goths who gradually created a whole subculture that soon ceased to be only centered around music.
Although members of this gothic subculture may differ in their own definitions, goth can be characterized by a fascination with all things otherworldly, from vampires to magic and themes of death and morbidity. Like punk, goth comprises a musical genre as well as an attitude, represented by somber acts like Bauhaus, Dead Can Dance, Christian Death, and Faith and the Muse. Often perceived by the general public as little more than "kids who wear black clothes," the goth scene is in fact a fusion of attitudes stemming from the sublime emotion of Romantic poetry, the macabre images of decadent Victorian poetry, and the contempt for normative bourgeois complacency found in the punk movement.