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scuttlebutt (SKUT-l-but) noun

1. Rumor, gossip.

2. A drinking fountain or a cask of drinking water on a ship.

[From scuttle (a small opening in the deck or hull of a ship) + butt (cask). Also see furphy.]

"Elliott Teaford, hockey columnist for the Los Angeles Times: Toronto, with four dailies, three all-sports TV channels and a 24-hour all-sports radio station, is a veritable breeding ground for scuttlebutt."
Chris Zelkovich, The Rumour Mill, The Toronto Star (Canada), Jan 27, 2001.

"Broadcasters were the day's poorest-performing group after a rumor swept trading desks that Standard & Poor's planned to downgrade the debt of Comcast. An S&P spokeswoman declined to comment on the scuttlebutt, but investors acted like it could be a possibility and sold off the group."
Karen Talley, Small-Stock Focus, The Wall Street Journal (New York), Jun 21, 2002.

This week's theme: words from the word game Derivation.


Belief like any other moving body follows the path of least resistance. -Samuel Butler, writer (1835-1902)

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