C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


Gossip, like ennui, is born of idleness.

Ninon de Lenclos.

A long-tongued, babbling gossip.


There are male as well as female gossips.


How much an ill word may empoison liking!


Old maids sweeten their tea with scandal.

H. W. Shaw.

Foul whisperings are abroad.


Everybody says it, and what everybody says must be true.

James Fenimore Cooper.

A knavish speech sleeps in a foolish ear.


It is not virtuous women who are so ready to report suspicion of their sisters.

Mme. de Krudener.

Let the greater part of the news thou hearest be the least part of what thou believest.


The subtle sauce of malice is often indulged in by maidens of uncertain age, over their tea.


Most women indulge in idle gossip, which is the henchman of rumor and scandal.

Octave Feuillet.

Female gossips are generally actuated by active ignorance.

La Rochefoucauld.

Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea.


Not only is the world informed of everything about you, but of a great deal more.


Old gossips are usually young flirts gone to seed.

J. L. Basford.

We are disgusted by gossip; yet it is of importance to keep the angels in their proprieties.


Tale-bearers, as I said before, are just as bad as the tale-makers.


Our globe discovers its hidden virtues, not only in heroes and arch-angels, but in gossips and nurses.


Half the gossip of society would perish if the books that are truly worth reading were but read.

George Dawson.

Too many individuals are like Shakespeare’s definition of “echo,”—babbling gossips of the air.

H. W. Shaw.

It is only before those who are glad to hear it, and anxious to spread it, that we find it easy to speak ill of others.

J. Petit-Senn.

  • He’s gone, and who knows how may he report
  • Thy words by adding fuel to the flame?
  • Milton.

  • In fact, there’s nothing makes me so much grieve,
  • As that abominable tittle-tattle,
  • Which is the cud eschew’d by human cattle.
  • Byron.

    Truth is not exciting enough to those who depend on the characters and lives of their neighbors for all their amusement.


    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.

    George Eliot.

    It is among uneducated women that we may look for the most confirmed gossips. Goethe tells us there is nothing more frightful than bustling ignorance.


    For my part, I can compare her (a gossip) to nothing but the sun; for, like him, she knows no rest, nor ever sets in one place but to rise in another.


    Such as are still observing upon others are like those who are always abroad at other men’s houses, reforming everything there while their own runs to ruin.


    As to people saying a few idle words about us, we must not mind that, any more than the old church-steeple minds the rooks cawing about it.

    George Eliot.

  • Skill’d by a touch to deepen scandal’s tints,
  • With all the high mendacity of hints,
  • While mingling truth with falsehood, sneers with smiles,
  • A thread of candor with a web of wiles.
  • Byron.

    News-hunters have great leisure, with little thought; much petty ambition to be considered intelligent, without any other pretension than being able to communicate what they have just learned.


    I will not say it is not Christian to make beads of others’ faults, and tell them over every day; I say it is infernal. If you want to know how the Devil feels, you do know, if you are such an one.


    I take it as a matter not to be disputed, that if all knew what each said of the other, there would not be four friends in the world. This seems proved by the quarrels and disputes caused by the disclosures which are occasionally made.


    Gossip is always a personal confession either of malice or imbecility, and the young should not only shun it, but by the most thorough culture relieve themselves from all temptation to indulge in it. It is a low, frivolous, and too often a dirty business. There are country neighborhoods in which it rages, like a pest. Churches are split in pieces by it. Neighbors are made enemies by it for life. In many persons it degenerates into a chronic disease, which is practically incurable. Let the young cure it while they may.

    J. G. Holland.