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Quotations about Gossip



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 (1883–1931)


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


When you are in trouble, people who call to sympathize are really looking for the particulars. ~E. W. Howe


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"


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 (Maria Louise de la Ramé, 1839–1908), Moths, 1880


All in a moment it seemed as if every one in society were murmuring, hinting, smiling, with that damnable smile with which the world always greets the approach of a foul idea.... so they muttered; and the fans and the cigarettes made little breaks and waves in the air, as much as to say it was always so... Then society laughed; its inane cruel chirping laughter, when it smells a sin. ~Ouida (Maria Louise de la Ramé, 1839–1908), Moths, 1880


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


The most powerful force in the universe is:  gossip. ~Dave Barry, "25 Things I Have Learned in 50 Years," Dave Barry Turns 50, 1998, davebarry.com


A gossip always gives you the benefit of the dirt. ~Sam Cowling


Nothing travels faster than the speed of light. Nothing, that is, with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws. ~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, rbrault.blogspot.com, 2018


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


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


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


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)


Some secrets are fires so scorching, the only way to quench the burn is to tell someone. ~Terri Guillemets


Who brings a tale takes two away. ~Irish proverb


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 every body. ~Benjamin Franklin, 1726


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


Some one says it is a lie. Well, I am reminded by that of the remark of the witty Irishman who said, "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, 1906


Three may keep a Secret, if two of them are dead. ~Benjamin Franklin, 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





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