There is an internet rumor that the word originated from politicians sending assistants to taverns to sip drinks and learn the opinions of people. They were told, “You go sip here and you go sip there.” The instructions were merged to form the word “gossip.” According to the Snopes message board, the word actually came from the old English “godsibb” or “godparent” and refers especially to women invited to attend a birth and engage in casual conversation. It eventually transitioned to “anyone engaging in idle talk.” There are several references to that origin dating back to 1014.

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