All Words > Scuttlebutt

Sunday, September 27

Scuttlebutt

[SKUH-dl-bət]

Part of speech: noun

Origin: North American English, early 19th century

1.

Rumor.

2.

Gossip.

Examples of Scuttlebutt in a sentence

"Tell me everything! I need the scuttlebutt."

"The scuttlebutt is that she's found a new job."

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About Scuttlebutt

Sailors have the best words for things. On a 19th century ship, a "butt" was a cask of drinking water, and a "scuttle" was the hole made for drinking. The sailors would gather at the scuttlebutt for a bit of chit-chat. Now we have the term "scuttlebutt" for watercooler gossip.

Did you Know?

If you're in Australia, "furphy" is slang for a story too good to be true. It comes from the name of the manufacturer of water carts used to supply soldiers in World War I. Scuttlebutt or furphy, it's all just a bit of watercooler gossip.

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