Scuttlebutt, the Water Cooler Talk of 19th Century Seafarers
Nowadays, office workers catch up on the latest scuttlebutt around the water cooler, and when they do, they are continuing a long-standing (although not necessarily honorable) tradition. That kind of gossip sharing probably also occurred on the sailing ships of yore. Back in the early 1800s, the cask containing a ship's daily supply of freshwater was called a scuttlebutt; that name was later applied to a drinking fountain on a ship or at a naval installation. By the early 20th century, the term for the water source was also applied to the gossip and rumors generated around it, and the latest chatter has been called scuttlebutt ever since.
Examples of scuttlebutt in a Sentence
according to scuttlebutt in the financial markets, the company will be downsizing soon
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scuttlebutt.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.