Gossip in the 19th century

What's up, Amy? Why did you start this conversation with UGH? You heard a lot of gossip when you served tea to a group of ladies in the 19th century?

Mr. and Mrs. Fottingham's maid was found in the stable with a young craftsman? And they were sitting together on bales of hay? Emma Collins said she missed church due to illness, but was seen laughing beyond a window as a neighbour walked by her home? Someone stole chickens from the coop behind the house where Florence Bickle lives? To which someone replied, "Who else could it be but one of the rude, poor, lazy unkempt boys who hang around town begging for handouts?"

hairdye.jpg





Mrs. Blanchard actually has gray hair but uses hair dye regularly so no one can tell?

Okay, well ugh pretty much sums all that up.
You're hoping they weren't gossiping about you when you were in the kitchen getting everything ready for the afternoon tea?

The word gossip has negative connotations pretty much around the world.
The Oxford English Dictionary states that the earliest recorded use of the word was in the 11th century, but it's meaning was totally different than it is today. The word gossip referred to a child's godparent and started off as "godsibb" or "god sibling". Because godmothers often assisted with childbirth and were present in most women-only events, the word became synonymous with  women who talked ... a lot.
In the 16th century, gossip related to only friendships, but today, gossip emerges as: "conversation or reports about other people's private lives that might be unkind, disapproving, or not true; someone who enjoys talking about other people and their private lives", according to the Cambridge English Dictionary.



By the mid eighteen hundreds, which is when, as we all know, you currently exist, gossip is in regular use. It is considered delectable and titillating.

The word scuttlebutt is an informal term for gossip that originated in large sailing ships. A butt was the word used for describing a barrel and a scuttlebutt described a cask of water where sailors would gather around to have a drink. And ... talk. Presumably, a lot.

So don't worry about this gossip stuff, Amy. I mean, what could they possibly have to say about you and what you've been up to in the 19th century.
Hmmm?