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


Rumor is the food of gossip.

Antoine Bret.

False rumors die of their own stench.


At every word a reputation dies.


A long-tongued, babbling gossip!


Stuffing the ears of men with false reports.


Bring me no more reports.


Rumor has winged feet like Mercury.


Rumor is like bees; the more you fight them the more you don’t get rid of them.

H. W. Shaw.

Rumor is a vagrant without a home, and lives upon what it can pick up.

H. W. Shaw.

It flourishes by its very activity, und gains new strength by its movements.


Idle rumors were also added to well-founded apprehension.


Rumor, once started, rushes on like a river, until it mingles with, and is lost in the sea.


Enemies carry a report in a quite different form from the original.


It is among uneducated women that we may look for the most confirmed gossips.


In every ear it spread, on every tongue it grew.


Nine-tenths of the world is entertained by scandalous rumors, which are never dissected until they are dead, and, when pricked, collapse like an empty bladder.

Horace Greeley.

  • Rumour doth double, like the voice and echo,
  • The numbers of the fear’d.
  • Shakespeare.

    Rumor does not always err; it sometimes even elects a man.


  • Rumour was the messenger
  • Of defamation, and so swift, that none
  • Could be the first to tell an evil tale.
  • Pollok.

    If it were not for a goodly supply of rumors, half true and half false, what would the gossips do?


    Many a wretch has rid on a hurdle who has done less mischief than utterers of forged tales, coiners of scandal, and clippers of reputation.


    The tale-bearer and the tale-hearer should be both hanged up, back to back, one by the tongue, the other by the ear.


    How violently do rumors blow the sails of popular judgments! How few there be that can discern between truth and truth-likeness, between shows and substance!

    Sir P. Sidney.

  • The flying rumours gather’d as they roll’d,
  • Scarce any tale was sooner heard than told;
  • And all who told it added something new,
  • And all who heard it made enlargements too.
  • Pope.

    Some report elsewhere whatever is told them; the measure of fiction always increases, and each fresh narrator adds something to what he has heard.


    Rumor is a pipe blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures, and of so easy and so plain a stop that the blunt monster with uncounted heads, the still-discordant wavering multitude, can play upon it.


    He that easily believes rumors has the principle within him to augment rumors. It is strange to see the ravenous appetite with which some devourers of character and happiness fix upon the sides of the innocent and unfortunate.

    Jane Porter.

  • Curse the tongue
  • Whence slanderous rumour, like the adder’s drop,
  • Distills her venom, withering friendship’s faith,
  • Turning love’s favour.
  • Hillhouse.

    The art of spreading rumors may be compared to the art of pin-making. There is usually some truth, which I call the wire; as this passes from hand to hand, one gives it a polish, another a point, others make and put on the head, and at last the pin is completed.

    John Newton.

    Straightway throughout the Libyan cities flies rumor—the report of evil things than which nothing is swifter; it flourishes by its very activity and gains new strength by its movements; small at first through fear, it soon raises itself aloft and sweeps onward along the earth. Yet its head reaches the clouds.***A huge and horrid monster covered with many feathers: and for every plume a sharp eye, for every pinion a biting tongue. Everywhere its voices sound, to everything its ears are open.