Online Encyclopedia

GOSSIP (from the O.E. godsibb, i.e. G...

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V12, Page 269 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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GOSSIP (from the O.E. godsibb, i.e. God, and sib, akin, standing in relation to), originally a god-parent, i.e. one who by taking a sponsor's vows at a baptism stands in a spiritual relationship to the child baptized. The common modern meaning is of light personal or social conversation, or, with an invidious sense, of idle tale-bearing. "Gossip" was early used with the sense of a friend or acquaintance, either of .the parent of the child` baptized or of the other god-parents, and thus came to be used, with little reference to the position of sponsor, for women friends of the mother present at a birth; the transition of meaning to an idle chatterer or talker for talking's sake is easy. The application to the idle talk of such persons does not appear to be an early one.
End of Article: GOSSIP (from the O.E. godsibb, i.e. God, and sib, akin, standing in relation to)
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FRANCOIS JOSEPH GOSSEC (1734—1829)
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JOHANNES EVANGELISTA GOSSNER (1773-1858)

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