idle talk or rumor, especially about personal or private affairs of others

Gossip is idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others; the act is also known as dishing or tattling.


A woman and a mouse, they carry a tale wherever they go.
  • 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.
  • He's my friend who speaks well of me behind my back.
  • To create an unfavourable impression, it is not necessary that certain things should be true, but that they have been said.
  • 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.
  • Be Impeccable with Your Word... Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
  • Not without a slight shudder at the danger, I often perceive how near I had come to admitting into my mind the details of some trivial affair, — the news of the street; and I am astonished to observe how willing men are to lumber their minds with such rubbish, — to permit idle rumors and incidents of the most insignificant kind to intrude on ground which should be sacred to thought. Shall the mind be a public arena, where the affairs of the street and the gossip of the tea-table chiefly are discussed? Or shall it be a quarter of heaven itself, — an Hypaethral temple, consecrated to the service of the gods?
  • Everybody likes a bit of gossip to some point, as long as it's gossip with some point to it. That's why I like history. History is nothing but gossip about the past, with the hope that it might be true.
    • Gore Vidal, as quoted in Gert Jonkers, "Gore Vidal, the Fantastic Man," Butt, No. 20 (7 April 2007)
  • There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical QuotationsEdit

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.
  • 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.
  • Tell tales out of school.
  • Fabula (nec sentis) tota jactaris in urbe.
    • 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.
  • This act is as an ancient tale new told;
    And, in the last repeating, troublesome,
    Being urged at a time unseasonable.
  • I heard the little bird say so.
  • Tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.
  • Fama, malum quo non aliud velocius ullum,
    Mobilitate viget, viresque acquirit eundo.
    • Report, that which no evil thing of any kind is more swift, increases with travel and gains strength by its progress.
    • Virgil, Æneid (29-19 BC), IV, 174.

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