What is gossip?

27 Jan 2023

When I hear the word gossip, the verb,  I think of several people chatting about an absent person and talking about them in a negative way and without their permission. A gossip the noun, makes me think of someone who always dishes out the dirt on others who are not around.

The dictionaries agree with my definitions:

“Casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true:”

What does the word gossip mean to you?

I have been researching definitions of gossip, well googling, and have found that recent definitions have revealed that gossip can be positive. Below are some definitions:

Gossip is, “Chat  about a person who is not present.”

Additionally, it is “The process of informally communicating value-laden information about members of a social setting.”

These definitions do not see gossip as being slanderous about another person. Gossip may not have any negative connotations. Some definitions see gossip as having different aims - to establish, develop, and relationships, to learn how to behave socially, to influence others.

I am now confused. To me gossip will always be negative and mean and it has hurt me and others.

These positive definitions need to find another word and not use the word gossip.

What do Moodscopers think?

Do you feel gossip has only a negative meaning or can it have a positive meaning as well. Has anyone had a positive experience of gossip, or do you feel that it needs its own name.


A Moodscope member

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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