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The origin of the word "scuttlebutt," which is nautical parlance for a rumor, comes from a combination of "scuttle" (to make a hole in the ship's hull and thereby causing her to sink) and "butt" (a cask or hogshead used in the days of wooden ships to hold drinking water).  The cask from which the ship's crew took their drinking water (like a water fountain) was the "scuttlebutt".  Even in today's Navy, this is what a drinking fountain is referred to.  Since the crew used to congregate around the "scuttlebutt", that is where the rumors about the ship or voyage would begin.  Thus, then and now, rumors are talk from the "scuttlebutt" or just "scuttlebutt". Posted on Sunday, May 29, 2005 8:58 AM Day Job | Back to top


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