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scuttlebutt

[skuht-l-buht] /ˈskʌt lˌbʌt/
noun
1.
Nautical.
  1. an open cask of drinking water.
  2. a drinking fountain for use by the crew of a vessel.
2.
Informal. rumor or gossip.
Origin of scuttlebutt
1795-1805
1795-1805; 1900-05 for def 2; scuttle3 + butt4
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for scuttlebutt

scuttlebutt

/ˈskʌtəlˌbʌt/
noun (nautical)
1.
a drinking fountain
2.
(formerly) a cask of drinking water aboard a ship
3.
(mainly US, slang) rumour or gossip
Word Origin
C19: from scuttle³ + butt4
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for scuttlebutt
n.

1805, "cask of drinking water kept on a ship's deck, having a hole (scuttle) cut in it for a cup or dipper," from scuttle "opening in a ship's deck" (see scuttle (v.2)) + butt (n.2) "barrel." Earlier scuttle cask (1777). Meaning "rumor, gossip" first recorded 1901, originally nautical slang, traditionally said to be from the sailors' custom of gathering around the scuttlebutt to gossip. Cf. water-cooler, figurative for "workplace gossip" mid-20c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for scuttlebutt

scuttlebutt

noun

Rumors; gossip; presumed confidential information: worry about a slump, according to business scuttlebutt

[1901+ Navy; fr the chitchat around the scuttlebutt, ''drinking fountain, water cask,'' on naval vessels]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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