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Word of the Day
Friday, January 24, 2003

Definitions for scuttlebutt

  1. Informal. rumor or gossip.
  2. Nautical. a. an open cask of drinking water. b. a drinking fountain for use by the crew of a vessel.

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Citations for scuttlebutt
At the Bizerte Naval Base, we got the first scuttlebutt about the coming invasion of continental Italy. "Scuttlebutt," that's Navy slang for gossip. Bob Hope, "I Never Left Home," Life, August 7, 1944
I hear scuttlebutt he's muscling in on the deal. Well, let me warn you. He's a real estate man. Leonard Spigelgass, The Wrong Way Light Bulb, 1969
Origin of scuttlebutt
Scuttlebutt entered English in the late 1700s from the word scuttle, referring to a hatch in the deck of a ship, and butt in the sense of a cask or barrel. The informal sense arose in the early 1900s.