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What is the single word that describes a person who always gossips? (For example, telling things about others which are not true.)

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    You should note that gossip is not always false.
    – user13141
    Dec 28, 2011 at 10:23
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    @Theta30 that's assuming you know that gossiper is a valid noun; if OP had, s/he presumably wouldn't have asked the question.
    – user13141
    Dec 28, 2011 at 14:09
  • Are you looking for a noun or an adjective?
    – tchrist
    Jun 25, 2014 at 14:55

7 Answers 7

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Er... perhaps a gossip? You may also see gossipmonger and gossiper, but in US English just plain old gossip is the standard noun.

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    And also in the UK. Dec 28, 2011 at 10:15
  • Wonder why the hesitation and the 'perhaps'! Any reservations?
    – Kris
    Dec 28, 2011 at 11:39
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    The perhaps was a bit ironic, as the answer was contained in the question itself.
    – user13141
    Dec 28, 2011 at 12:30
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As onomatomaniak said, a person who habitually spreads rumors or engages in indiscreet talk (ie. gossips) can be referred to as a gossip. One thing to note, this would be independent of whether the things he or she tells are true or not.

Alternatively, you could also describe such a person as a rumourmonger, or even a scandalmonger, depending on the nature of the gossip and the intent.

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One might call such a person a quidnunc, although that might be thought somewhat out-of-date nowadays. Merriam-Webster suggests quidnunc is more likely to be someone keen on hearing the latest gossip than repeating it, but I have never met anyone who just listened to scandal and rumour without passing it on.

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Taleteller: One who tells tales or stories, especially in a mischievous or officious manner; a talebearer; a telltale; a tattler.

Slanderer: One who makes false and injurious statements about another, one who slanders, one who defames, one who maligns.

Backbiter: One who slanders, calumniates, or speaks ill of the absent; person who says nasty things about another person behind the second person's back: that is, out of sight and hearing of the second person.

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  • I'm confused. This is formatted like a block quotation, but there are three parts that seem distinct, and there isn't any attribution to a source. Is this all in your words, or are these definitions from somewhere else?
    – herisson
    Dec 27, 2016 at 8:19
  • @sumelic: Hi. I looked up those words from online dictionaries but I don't remember their sources (it's been some time). Dec 30, 2016 at 11:25
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Tattletale:

One who tattles (reports others' wrongdoings), often by a child seeking attention. (Wiktionary)

P.S. You did say that the person always gossips, whether what they say is true or not. The fact that they do it a lot could mean that the person thrives on it, and suggests that it might be child-like, attention-seeking behavior.

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  • The correct spelling is tattletale, or tattle-tale, it's an easy one to get wrong, I had to think a bit before I realized. Good suggestion, though. Could you edit your answer, and perhpas include the link which you appeared to have quoted from: en.wiktionary.org/wiki/tattletale. Thanks!
    – Mari-Lou A
    Nov 14, 2014 at 3:23
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Gossip should be your top answer but you should consider blab, too. It means an incessant or indiscreet talker. Hope that will help you mate.

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    I'm in the UK, and I don't think I've ever heard He is a blab. But this NGram strongly suggests this is primarily British usage. Blabbermouth, which sounds completely normal to me, appears to be the dominant American form. Dec 28, 2011 at 16:31
  • Well I guess you are right mate, I am just an ordinary not native who has found the word in the dictionary :D I will try to remember blabbermouth - it sounds interesting. Cool nickname, mate. Dec 29, 2011 at 7:14
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Gossip or gossiper. People can also say blabber (root word: blab).

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    Please note that both gossip and gossiper are both given in the highest voted answer. You might do better to remove those and edit your answer to include an example of how to use blab and blabber Jun 25, 2014 at 10:11

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