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 “I dig old books.”
 Est. 1998

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Quotations about Gossip

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NOTE:  Some of the quotes on this page were submitted to me by visitors, and not all have been verified for original source or wording. I'm working hard to confirm everything, but in the meantime please be aware of the possibility for errors.   —ღ Terri, March 2021

If you can't say something good about someone, sit right here by me. ~Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Small tongues gossip and large ears magnify. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897

What you don't see with your eyes, don't witness with your mouth. ~Jewish proverb

What is told in the ear of a man is often heard a hundred miles away. ~Chinese proverb

Few tales speed that carry a load of honesty. ~Henry Stanley Haskins, "Truth," Meditations in Wall Street, 1940

[T]hey liked their gossip strong and highly flavored, like their tea. ~Louisa May Alcott, "Governess," Work: A Story of Experience, 1873

Busy souls have no time to be busy-bodies. ~Author unknown, quoted by Jacob M. Braude

Some men consider their wives nobody; when a secret is confided to them, with the injunction to "tell nobody," of course they tell their wives only. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882

A secret's worth depends on the people from whom it must be kept. ~Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind, 2001, translated from Spanish by Lucia Graves, 2004

Gossip is saying behind their back what you would not say to their face. Flattery is saying to their face what you would not say behind their back. ~Author unknown

The widespread interest in gossip is inspired, not by a love of knowledge but by malice: no one gossips about other people's secret virtues, but only about their secret vices. ~Bertrand Russell, On Education, 1926

If you reveal your secrets to the wind, you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees. ~Khalil Gibran, Sand and Foam

One Swallow makes ('tis true) no Summer,
Yet one Tongue may create a Rumour.
~Thomas D'Urfey, c.1690

A Slander counts by Threes its victims, who
Are Speaker, Spoken Of, and Spoken To.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Quarrels," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924

If it's very painful for you to criticize your friends — you're safe in doing it. But if you take the slightest pleasure in it, that's the time to hold your tongue. ~Alice Duer Miller

When you are in trouble, people who call to sympathize are really looking for the particulars. ~Edgar Watson Howe, Country Town Sayings, 1911

The easiest way to keep a secret is without help. ~Author unknown

There are two kinds of people who blow through life like a breeze,
And one kind is gossipers, and the other kind is gossipees...
~Ogden Nash (1902–1971), "I Have It on Good Authority"

The Puritan's idea of hell is a place where everybody has to mind his own business. ~Wendell Phillips, attributed

Curiosity had twins — one was Invention and the other was Stick Yer Nose Into Things. ~Josh Billings

Scandal travels fast, but a good deed goes without saying. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1908, George Horace Lorimer, editor

A cruel story runs on wheels, and every hand oils the wheels as they run. ~Ouida

What Greedy Ears receive, Loose Tongues betray;
But no one can Repeat what you Don't Say.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Secrets," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924

Whoever gossips to you will gossip about you. ~Spanish proverb

Do not repeat anything you will not sign your name to. ~Author unknown

Nothing travels faster than light, with the possible exception of bad news, which follows its own rules. ~Douglas Adams

I had a secret... It was on the tip of my tongue, taking up all the room in my brain, cupped in both my empty hands. ~Abby Geni, The Wildlands, 2018

RUMOR  A monster with more tales than an octopus. ~Charles Wayland Towne, The Foolish Dictionary, Executed by Gideon Wurdz, Master of Pholly, Doctor of Loquacious Lunacy, etc., 1904

Don't let your hatred gossip. ~Terri Guillemets

Nature keeps secrets, man cannot. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897

Measles are said to be catching, but I always thought GOSSIP was a little more so. ~Josh Billings, revised by H. Montague

There are secrets I would not reveal under torture. I mean, there would have to be a silence at a cocktail party, or you would have to be sitting next to me in tourist class. ~Robert Brault,, 2018

Show me someone who never gossips, and I'll show you someone who isn't interested in people. ~Barbara Walters

SECRETS are a burden. That's the reason we are so anxious to have somebody to help us carry them. ~Josh Billings, revised by H. Montague

Gossip needn't be false to be evil — there's a lot of truth that shouldn't be passed around. ~Frank A. Clark

It is one of my sources of happiness never to desire a knowledge of other people's business. ~Dolley Madison

I look at it this way. I'm not an eavesdropper; I have an attention surplus disorder. ~Robert Brault,

It isn't what they say about you, it's what they whisper. ~Errol Flynn

The first gossip occurred between Eve and the Devil. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897

A  SECRET is like an aching tooth — keeps you uneasy till it's out. ~Josh Billings, revised by H. Montague

To a friend, who asked him how to find out a girl's faults, he gave the sage advice to praise her to her girl friends. ~Edwin Lillie Miller, 1938, Explorations in Literature, about Benjamin Franklin (Thanks, Sam)

Old Lady Gossip is a mean old gal;
      All kinds of trouble she causes!
      You'll find her in homes; wherever she roams,
      In her work she never pauses.
Nothing can give her more joy and more glee,
      Than to start an untrue story
      That will smirch the name of a gent or dame,
      For it covers her with glory.
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "Old Lady Gossip" (1940s)

Trying to squash a rumor is like trying to unring a bell. ~Shana Alexander

There are persons who, when they cease to shock us, cease to interest us. ~F.H. Bradley, Aphorisms

Who brings a tale takes two away. ~Irish proverb

A rumor without a leg to stand on will get around some other way. ~John Tudor

Gossip is just news running ahead of itself in a red satin dress. ~Liz Smith

I resolve to speak ill of no man whatever, not even in a matter of truth; but rather by some means excuse the faults I hear charged upon others, and upon proper occasions speak all the good I know of everybody. ~Benjamin Franklin

There is so much good in the worst of us,
And so much bad in the best of us,
That it hardly becomes any of us
To talk about the rest of us.
~Edward Wallis Hoch

Men have always detested women's gossip because they suspect the truth: Their measurements are being taken and compared. ~Erica Jong

If an American was condemned to confine his activity to his own affairs, he would be robbed of one half of his existence. ~Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835

The best way to keep one's word is not to give it. ~Napoleon I, Maxims

"They say" is often a great liar. ~Proverb

Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead. ~Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, July 1735

"Three may keep a secret if two of them are dead," said Poor Richard, but to-day the remaining one would have to burn up his letters and keep away from the reporters. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor

There are a terrible lot of lies going about the world, and the worst of it is that half of them are true. ~Winston Churchill

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Last saved 2021 Apr 21 Wed 11:48 PDT

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