Scuttlebutt definition

skŭtl-bŭt
(slang) Gossip; rumor.
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A cask on a ship used to hold the day's supply of drinking water.
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(nautical, countable) A butt with a scuttle, a keg of drinking water with a hole cut in it, on board ship.
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(informal, uncountable) Gossip, rumour, idle chatter.
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A drinking fountain on a ship.
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(naut.) A drinking fountain on shipboard.
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(informal) Rumor or gossip.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
scuttlebutt
Plural:
scuttlebutts

Origin of scuttlebutt

  • Alteration of scuttled butt cask with a hole cut into it scuttle to cut a hole in (the hull of a ship) butt Sense 2, probably from fact that sailors would exchange gossip while taking a drink from the cask

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • scuttle +"Ž butt. In sense of gossip, because sailors would gather around the scuttlebutt to drink and exchange gossip; compare water cooler and furphy.

    From Wiktionary