Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About | Media | Search | Contact  


Home

Today's Word

Yesterday's Word

Archives

FAQ



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

Discuss
Feedback
RSS/XML
Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share
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)

We need your help

Help us continue to spread the magic of words to readers everywhere

Donate

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 1994-2018 Wordsmith