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Scuttlebutt

In modern use, scuttlebutt refers to rumor or gossip. The word has a couple of old nautical definitions, one being a drinking fountain for the crew. The modern definition likely comes from the practice of gathering around the ship’s scuttlebutt to gossip, though this origin isn’t definitively established.

The word dates from the early 19th century, and the modern sense came about around the beginning of the 20th century. Today, while most people who use it are unaware of its nautical origins, the word survives because of its quirky sound.


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Examples

Last we checked, Silicon Valley scuttlebutt put the iPad 3 launch in early March. [Christian Science Monitor]

Meanwhile, the scuttlebutt concerning the FSA’s rank-and-file clipboard bearers is that they are thoroughly demoralised. [Financial Times]

Forget all the scuttlebutt you’ve heard about this being an atypical Minnesota winter. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

Former ACP executive turned Pacific Magazines boss Nick Chan refused to comment on the scuttlebutt when contacted yesterday. [Courier Mail]

The scuttlebutt had been that Trump would back Newt Gingrich, but the former House Speaker won the coin toss and it went to Romney. [Barron’s]

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