The term scuttlebutt, meaning rumour stems from nautical origins. To scuttle is the act of putting a hole in a ship’s hull to cause it to sink. A butt is a barrel used in the days of wooden ships to store drinking water. The barrel would obviously have a hole in the side and therefore became known as a scuttlebutt. The area around the scuttlebutt became a place where sailors would congregate and chat and often the seeds of rumours about the ship or voyage would be sewn there. Hence they were referred to as talk from the scuttlebutt and eventually just as scuttlebutt.