26 April 2014

Gossip


GOSSIP is from Old English godsibb, from god and sibb, the term for the godparents of one's child or the parents of one's godchild, generally very close friends.

The term originates from the bedroom at the time of childbirth. Giving birth used to be a social (ladies only) event, in which a pregnant woman's female relatives and neighbors would gather. As with any social gathering there was chattering and this is where the term gossip came to mean talk of others.

In the 16th century, the word assumed the meaning of a person, mostly a woman, who delights in idle talk.  The person might also be called a newsmonger or a tattler.

The verb to gossip, meaning "to be a gossip", first appears in Shakespeare.

In the early 19th century, the term was extended from the talker to the conversation of such persons. The content can be referred to as rumor, tittle-tattle, whispers, canards, tidbits, candal, hearsay, dirt, buzz, or scuttlebutt.


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