Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1900-2000
Origin: scuttlebutt 'container for a ship's drinking water' (19-20 centuries), from scuttled 'having a hole cut in it' (18-19 centuries) (from SCUTTLE1) + butt 'large container for liquid, barrel' (15-21 centuries) (from Old French botte, from Late Latin buttis); because sailors gathered around the container to talk

scuttlebutt

noun
     
scut‧tle‧butt [uncountable] American English informal
stories about other people's personal lives, especially stories that are unkind or untrue [= gossip]

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