Word of the Day Archive
Wednesday October 21, 2009
1. A drinking fountain on a ship.
2. A cask on a ship that contains the day's supply of drinking water.
3. Informal. Gossip; rumor.
What were they talking about? Sports? Neighborhood scuttlebutt? Off-color jokes? I didn't know; I knew only how exciting it was to see Dad in action.
-- Eric Liu, The Accidental Asian
It was written in the optimistic belief that open debate beats backroom scuttlebutt.
-- Jon Entine, Taboo
In snooping around, my mother overheard the pageant scuttlebutt, which was that Snow White was the big winner.
-- Delta Burke with Alexis Lipsitz, Delta Style
Scuttlebutt comes from scuttle, "a small opening" + butt, "a large cask" -- that is, a small hole cut into a cask or barrel to allow individual cups of water to be drawn out. The modern equivalent is the office water cooler, also a source of refreshment and gossip.