Gossip is idle talk or rumour, especially about the personal or private affairs of others. It is one of the oldest and most common means of sharing facts and views, but also has a reputation for the introduction of errors and variations into the information transmitted. The term can also imply that the news is of personal or trivial nature, as opposed to normal conversation.
- Whereas some ascetics and Brahmins remain addicted to such unedifying conversation as about kings, robbers, ministers, armies, dangers, wars, food, drink, clothes, beds, garlands, perfumes, relatives, carriages, villages, towns and cities, countries, women, heroes, street- and well-gossip, talk of the departed, desultory chat, speculations about land and sea, talk about being and non-being, the ascetic Gotama refrains from such conversation.
- A woman and a mouse, they carry a tale wherever they go.
- Gelett Burgess, The Maxims of Methuselah (1907).
- Elizabeth Gaskell, the Brontës, Edith Wharton, and Henry James, novelists who had a strong interest in gossip and made good use of it in their fiction, understood both gossip's attractions and its literary value. So, too, did writers whom one doesn't think of as primarily social novelists. Gossip plays a strong hand in War and Peace and Anna Karenina, as it does in the novels of Balzac, Dickens, and Flaubert.
- He's my friend who speaks well of me behind my back.
- Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia.
- To create an unfavourable impression, it is not necessary that certain things should be true, but that they have been said.
- William Hazlitt, Characteristics (1823).
- What kind of story am I going to give them next? Because that's what we are to other people, boy, we are their gossip. That's all civilization is, a giant mill grinding out gossip. And so I could be the story of the man who rode high and fell hard, and had his spirit broken and crawled off into a hole like a dog, to die as soon as he could manage it. Or I could be the story of a man who rode high and fell hard, and then got up defiant, and walked away in a new direction.
- Kim Stanley Robinson,The Years of Rice and Salt (2002), Book 4, §11.
- There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.
- Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891).
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 329.
- Whoever keeps an open ear
For tattlers will be sure to hear
The trumpet of contention.
- William Cowper, Friendship, Stanza 17.
- Gossip is a sort of smoke that comes from the dirty tobacco-pipes of those who diffuse it; it proves nothing but the bad taste of the smoker.
- George Eliot, Daniel Deronda (1876), Book II, Chapter XIII.
- Tell tales out of school.
- John Heywood, Proverbs, Part I, Chapter X.
- He's gone, and who knows how may he report
Thy words by adding fuel to the flame?
- Fabula (nec sentis) tota jactaris in urba.
- You do not know it but you are the talk of all the town.
- Ovid, Art of Love, III. 1. 21.
- He that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.
- Proverbs, XVII. 9.
- This act is as an ancient tale new told;
And, in the last repeating, troublesome,
Being urged at a time unseasonable.
- If my gossip Report be an honest woman of her word.
- I heard the little bird say so.
- Jonathan Swift, Letter to Stella (May 23, 1711).
- Tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.
- I Timothy, V, 13.
- Fama, malum quo non aliud velocius ullum,
Mobilitate viget, viresque acquirit eundo.