Definition of scuttlebutt in English:



mass nounNorth American
  • Rumour; gossip.

    ‘the scuttlebutt has it that he was a spy’
    ‘the court cautioned against relying on scuttlebutt’
    • ‘Yet the 61-year-old Diller insists there was never anything to the scuttlebutt.’
    • ‘The scuttlebutt of late is that product labels containing statements such as ‘No Hormones’ or ‘Hormone Free’ are misleading American consumers.’
    • ‘Certain scuttlebutt avows that the girls actually do not participate in the makings of many of these records.’
    • ‘I heard rumors that you had returned, Capitan Hinds, but I thought it was mere scuttlebutt.’
    • ‘Walk more, eat less and include dairy products to help burn fat is the scuttlebutt of late.’
    • ‘The scuttlebutt I hear is that Enron was long to the same extent that other energy suppliers and wholesale traders were long.’
    • ‘There's been some scuttlebutt that the Enterprise is going to be involved in something pretty big, but that's all it is.’
    • ‘Walker took off to see if he could find out the latest scuttlebutt, leaving Emmert alone.’
    • ‘There's some scuttlebutt that she took out the whole camp.’
    • ‘One night in Pescara, we got the scuttlebutt from a pharmacist.’
    • ‘I was getting scuttlebutt that nobody really cared about anymore.’
    • ‘If Hymath could learn of our whereabouts in Mainport, probably just from local scuttlebutt and word of mouth, then anyone else could also find us.’
    • ‘I hear scuttlebutt that you got an eyes-only message from High Command over the hyperwave.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Like most X-Box scuttlebutt, the various elements of the leaked spec. are tantalisingly plausible - bloody obvious, if you think about it, possibly too obvious - but too vague to draw any real conclusions.’
    • ‘Asked to rubbish this scurrilous piece of scuttlebutt BT has sheepishly acknowledged that it is true.’
    • ‘To test the accuracy of such scuttlebutt, you must next ring the flack representing the subject-company, with a wildly-exaggerated version of the dirt you got from his competitor.’
    tittle-tattle, tattle, rumour, rumours, whispers, stories, tales, canards, titbits
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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.