noun[mass noun] North American informal
- There's been some scuttlebutt that the Enterprise is going to be involved in something pretty big, but that's all it is.
- This is fodder for schoolyard scuttlebutt, a ‘guaranteed to be repeated until you're sick of it’ situation that will definitely work your last nerve.
- I heard rumors that you had returned, Capitan Hinds, but I thought it was mere scuttlebutt.
Early 19th century (denoting a water butt on the deck of a ship, providing drinking water): from scuttled butt. Sailors would traditionally exchange gossip when they gathered at the scuttlebutt for a drink of water.
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