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Gossip

  • She was always in good rumor.

  • ... gossip ... was like any other commodity in the marketplace. You received it only if you had something of value to give.

  • Calumny is the offspring of Envy.

    • Countess of Blessington,
    • unpublished Night Thought Book (1834), in Ernest J. Lovell, Jr., Conversations of Lord Byron ()
  • 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.

  • The ball of rumor and criticism, once it starts rolling, is difficult to stop.

  • Gossip is theology translated into experience. In it we hear great stories of conversion, like the drunk who turns his or her life around, as well as stories of failure. We can see that pride really does go before a fall, and that hope is essential. We watch closely those who retire, or who lose a spouse, lest they lose interest in living. When we gossip we are also praying, not only for them but for ourselves.

  • ... by some mysterious method, Susan Carr's gossip gave the listener a gentler feeling towards his kind. When she spoke of her neighbors' faults, one knew that somehow they were simply virtues gone to seed ...

  • ... gossip, after it reaches a certain point of insult and falsehood, becomes a source of amusement to its victims.

  • ... I can imagine nothing more tiresome than always to speak of people as if they were listening at the door.

  • I don't call it gossip ... I call it 'emotional speculation.'

  • One person never tells anything about another person. Only about herself.

  • As I grow older and older / And totter towards the tomb, / I find that I care less and less / Who goes to bed with whom.

  • Gossip is irresponsible communication.

  • I believe all literature started as gossip.

  • Gossip is the opiate of the oppressed.

  • Men have always detested women's gossip because they suspect the truth: their measurements are being taken and compared.

  • Have you heard of the terrible family They, / And the dreadful venomous things They say?

    • Ella Wheeler Wilcox,
    • "They Say" (1890), in James Gilchrist Lawson, ed., The World's Best-Loved Poems ()
  • Can you suggest any suitable aspersions to spread abroad about Mrs. Thatcher? It is idle to suggest she has unnatural relations with Mrs. Barbara Castle; what is needed is something socially lower: that she eats asparagus with knife and fork, or serves instant mash potatoes.

  • [On Eve and Adam:] ... conversation between these two must have been difficult at times, because they had nobody to talk about.

  • The right sort of gossip is a charming and stimulating thing. The Odyssey itself is simply glorious gossip, and the same may be said of nearly every tale of mingled fact and legend which has been handed down to us through the ages.

  • ... what's the good of having news an' ye must coop it? It's like cold veal pie upon the chest for supper, the same being over old, under done, and dry o' gravy.

  • Gossip isn't scandal and it isn't malicious. It's chatter about the human race by lovers of the same. Gossip is the tool of the poet, the shoptalk of the scientist, the consolation of housewife, wit, tycoon, and intellectual. It begins in the nursery and ends when speech is past.

    • Phyllis McGinley,
    • "A New Year and No Resolutions," in Woman's Home Companion ()
  • Gossip lies nine times and tells a half truth the tenth.

  • ... gossip is just the small change of conversation.

  • Professional psychologists seem to think that they are the only people who make sense out of human actions. The rest of us know that everybody tries to do just this. What else is gossip?

  • ... gossip ... is only fiction produced by non-professionals.

  • We must be careful what we say. No bird resumes its egg.

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • 1874, in Mabel Loomis Todd, ed., Letters of Emily Dickinson, vol. 2 ()
  • ... she brought back gossip like a bird adding string and twigs to a growing nest.

  • She was an information service. She gathered it and she passed it on, often, Grandie said, much embellished. Mrs. Robinson was an artist. She was not content with life as it was — she improved upon it.

  • The affairs of the royal house form a subject of conversation for those who, as a rule, would have no conversation.

  • Calumny spreads like an oil-spot: we endeavor to cleanse it, but the mark remains.

    • Julie de Lespinasse,
    • in J. De Finod, ed., A Thousand Flashes of French Wit, Wisdom, and Wickedness ()
  • ... the common events of this little dirty world are not worth talking about, unless you embellish them!

  • There were too many ears that listened for others besides themselves, and too many tongues that wagged to those they shouldn't.

  • Gossip is a guilty pleasure — the guilt, of course, making it all the more pleasurable.

  • It is harder to kill a whisper than even a shouted calumny.

  • Folks will say anything, and next time round they'll believe it.

  • Gossip is the social mosquito.

  • ... they want to know everything. Their tongues are like chicken feet. Scratching at everything.

  • Rumor is untraceable, incalculable, and infectious.

  • Good gossip approximates art.

  • Trading gossip is the shock exchange.

    • Daisy Brown,
    • in Melvin Helitzer, Comedy Writing Secrets ()
  • The grapevine should be named after a more bitter fruit. It should be called the grapefruit tree.

    • Chrystos,
    • "Perhaps," in Christian McEwen and Sue O'Sullivan, eds., Out the Other Side ()
  • Mis' Bickles's got more sense than you'd think from lookin' at her, and a tongue what tells all it knows and makes up what it don't.

  • There is a vital force in rumor. Though crushed to earth, to all intents and purposes buried, it can rise again without apparent effort.

  • I did ... learn an important distinction in graduate school: a speculation about who had syphilis when is gossip if it's about your friends, a plot element if it's about a character in a novel, and scholarship if it's about John Keats.

  • In the country, gossip is a pastime; in the city, it is a warfare.

  • Nobody's interested in sweetness and light.

    • Hedda Hopper,
    • in John Robert Colombo, Popcorn in Paradise ()
  • I got around a lot, and lots of people talked to me. I salted down stories by the barrel load.

    • Hedda Hopper,
    • in Hedda Hopper and James Brough, The Whole Truth and Nothing But ()
  • 'Ah,' said that gentleman, ever ready to discuss one friend with another — in fact, it was chiefly for this pleasure that he made them ...

  • A cruel story runs on wheels, and every hand oils the wheels as they run.

  • ... it starts as an inflection of the voice, a question asked in a certain tone and not answered with 'no'; a prolonged little silence, a twinkle in the eye, a long-drawen 'w-e-e-ell — I don't know.' These are the fine roots of the tree whose poisonous fruits are gossip and slander.

  • Everything we say about other people is really about ourselves.

    • Merrit Malloy,
    • in Merrit Malloy and Shauna Sorensen, The Quotable Quote Book ()
  • Remember if people talk behind your back, it only means you are two steps ahead.

  • Gossip is the purest form of human communication.

  • [Her motto, embroidered on a pillow:] If you can't say something good about someone, sit right here by me.

  • ... Avery ... gossiped as easily as he drew breath, and with almost the same urgent necessity.

  • Rumor ... often is fathered and mothered by false reports.

  • In such an ingrown community, rumor and gossip were the cake and wine of life.

  • A gossip is one who talks to you about others; a bore is one who talks to you about himself; and a brilliant conversationalist is one who talks to you about yourself.

    • Lisa Kirk,
    • in New York Journal-American ()
  • ... sometimes gossip is by far the most reliable source of information about yourself and all your friends, especially in Manhattan. I always say why trust myself when gossip can tell moi the real truth about moi?

  • Gossip is just news running ahead of itself in a red satin dress.

  • Never ... use the word gossip in a pejorative sense. It's the very stuff of biography and has to be woven in. To suggest that the personal life is not an essential element in the creative life is absurd.

  • Gossip is a news story with a lot of leeway.

  • ... bad gossip drives out good gossip.

  • I don't repeat gossip — so listen carefully.

    • Liz Smith,
    • pillow motto, in The New Yorker ()
  • Gossip is one of the great luxuries of a democracy. It is the tawdry jewel in the crown of free speech and free expression. You don't read gossip columns in dictatorships.

  • Gossip, even when it avoids the sexual, bears about it a faint flavor of the erotic.

  • I hate to spread rumors, but what else can one do with them?

  • Rumor and gossip, like sound itself, appear to travel by wave-effect, sheer preposterosity being no barrier.

  • Malicious gossip ... takes the place of creation in noncreative lives ...

    • Nancy Hale,
    • in Richard Thruelsen and John Kobler, eds., Adventures of the Mind, 2nd series ()
  • Blessed are those who know nothing, and diligently spread the same.

  • Trying to squash a rumor is like trying to unring a bell.

  • It is almost impossible to throw dirt on someone without getting a little on yourself.

  • ... by the general love of scandal and detraction in Dublin, one might reasonably imagine they were all to feed themselves through the holes which they had made in the characters of others.

  • ... having people talk about you is an indication of how much more exciting your life is than theirs.

  • Tallulah [Bankhead] never beat about the bush — she'd gossip about you in front of your back!

    • Patsy Kelly,
    • in Boze Hadleigh, ed., Hollywood Babble On ()
  • Don't indulge in gossip. ... People who throw mudballs always manage to end up getting a little on themselves.

  • Show me someone who never gossips, and I'll show you someone who isn't interested in people.