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Apr 11, 2012
This week's theme
Words of nautical origins

This week's words
doldrums
scupper
scuttlebutt
bonanza
groundswell

scuttlebutt on the USS Constitution
A scuttlebutt on the USS Constitution

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

scuttlebutt

PRONUNCIATION:
(SKUT-l-but)

MEANING:
noun:
1. Rumor, gossip.
2. A drinking fountain or a cask of drinking water on a ship.

ETYMOLOGY:
From scuttle (a small opening in the deck or hull of a ship) + butt (cask). Also see furphy. Earliest documented use: 1801.

NOTES:
The word arose from the sailors' habit of gathering around the scuttlebutt on a ship's deck. Things haven't changed much with time. Now we have watercooler gossip in modern offices.

USAGE:
"Here's a roundup of iPad 3 rumors, with a little context as to whether you should believe the scuttlebutt or not."
Matthew Shaer; iPad 3 Rumors; The Christian Science Monitor (Boston); Dec 14, 2011.

See more usage examples of scuttlebutt in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
If words are to enter men's minds and bear fruit, they must be the right words shaped cunningly to pass men's defenses and explode silently and effectually within their minds. -J.B. Phillips, writer and clergyman (1906-1982)

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