Real Talk: Scuttlebutt

tumblr_lsju0tpJ9z1ql14hlo1_500“My dear, have you heard the latest scuttlebutt about Cary Grant and Randolph Scott?”

An English teacher in high school once said, “If you know the Bible, Greek mythology, and Shakespeare, you’re set up to get most of the allusions in the world.” I would add that if you know Shakespeare and nautical slang, you’re set up to understand nonsense words we use without thinking twice.

Scuttlebutt, for instance. A scuttlebutt was originally a drinking barrel on a ship, and it became synonymous with gossip because the men would gather there and chatter as they quenched their thirst. That’s right: Sailors had water cooler talk! Probably will-they-or-won’t-they talk about  Captain Ahab and that whale.

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