scuttlebutt n : a report (often malicious) about
the behavior of other people; "the divorce caused much gossip"
- In the context of "nautical|countable": A keg of water on board ship, around which sailors would gossip.
- In the context of "informal|uncountable": Gossip, rumour, idle chatter.
- 2006, Thomas Pynchon, Against the Day, Vintage 2007, p. 3:
- Since their orders had come through, the “scuttlebutt” among
the excited and curious crew had been of little besides the fabled
“White City” [...].
a keg of water on board ship, around which
sailors would gossip
gossip, rumour, idle chatter
- Hungarian: pletyka, mendemonda
Scuttlebutt means water fountain or a
Water for immediate consumption on a sailing ship
was conventionally stored in a scuttled butt: a butt
small barrel) which had been scuttle
d by making a hole in it
so the water could be withdrawn. Since sailors exchanged gossip
when they gathered at the scuttlebutt for a drink of water,
scuttlebutt became Navy
slang for gossip
Regatta EventIn the United States, Sea Scout regattas
include a variety of events, one of which is scuttle butt, or
formally "Raising of the Scuttlebutt." In the event a 50 gallon
drum of water is lifted 3 feet off the ground using a block and
tackle and a tripod. The tripod is constructed from three spars,
which are tied together by "head-lashing." The block and tackle is
suspended from the top of the tripod, which is then erected by the
crew. A barrel hitch is tied around the drum, which is then lifted
off the ground. It must then be lowered and the equipment "broken
down" back to its original condition. Time stops when all crew
members are back in line and called to attention by the coxswain.
There are three trials per crew, and the crew with the fastest time
wins. Disqualification can occur when water is spilled or if crew
other than the coxswain (and sometimes the barrel hitchers) talk.
The event can be completed from start to finish in around 30
seconds with a veteran crew and a perfect run. A run under a minute
is generally considered good.
- Water cooler
WW1 Australian Army slang same meaning and provenance as above;
also in general use (somewhat arcane now)
, common talk, cry
, flying rumor, gossip
, idea afloat, latrine
rumor, news stirring, on-dit, report
, town talk, unconfirmed