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Inspirational and Insightful Quotations #34 --- Gossip

Updated on March 7, 2011

Quotations on Gossip

The sharp tongue is the weapon of envy and malice. It hides under the mantle of truth the dagger of vindictiveness. The trouble with gossips is that their eyes are never open and their mouths never shut.

—Edgar A. Guest, American Magazine, Springfield, Ohio, November 1927.

Gossip is only lack of worthy theme.

—Elbert Hubbard, quoted in Deseret Evening News, Salt Lake City, Utah, Oct. 14, 1905.

Gossip is the destruction of your own true value and self-esteem.

—George S. Benson, The Bison, Searcy, Ark., March 7, 1939.

Two thirds of all gossip is not true and the other third is a gross exaggeration.

—Les Goates, Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, July 15, 1952.

Did you repeat that idle bit of gossip? Perhaps tomorrow, or next week, or a year hence, the tale, told again in malice, may break a heart and send its victim, broken by worse than the ancient rack of torture, down into the dregs.

—Burris A. Jenkins, Kansas City Post, Kansas City, Mo., May 18, 1919.

Gossip, talebearing, harsh criticisms and ridicule are all attempts to make oneself big by making others small in comparison. People who indulge in gossip confess a lack of self-esteem. If they had it, they wouldn't be striving so desperately to attain it. Remember this: You have to be little to belittle.

—John D. Murphy, Journal of Living, New York, N.Y., December 1951.

What is a gossip suddenly picked you for a target? Don't try to stop gossiping by "answering it." A frontal attack upon gossip calls attention to the false stories that are being spread--thus bringing them to the attention of more and more people. If an angered father punches a man in the nose for gossiping about his daughter, he merely starts more gossip. Handley Cantrill said, "Go on performing--doing your job, living your life, in a consistent manner." Frustrating as this may seem, it is the best way to hasten gossip out of existence. Friends rally round a man or woman who goes on with the job, business as usual, while the bitter tongues wag. Cantrill said, "By carrying on, you are showing in a concrete way that you are not the kind of person the gossip makes you out to be."

—Howard Whitman, Journal of Living, New York, N.Y., February 1950.

Gossips can be classified into three different types: The vest-button type–always popping off; the vacuum cleaner type–always picking up dirt; and the liniment type–always rubbing it in.

—Lee R. Call, Star Valley Independent, Afton, Wyo., June 2, 1966.

Listening to gossip always gets you a little dissatisfied with three people: the person it's about, the person who's telling you, and yourself for listening.

—Roberta Lyndon, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., April 7, 1940.

Gossip does not improve the mind, but oh how it oils the tongue.

—Vera Wise, The Daily Herald, Biloxi, Miss., Feb. 22, 1946.

When we speak evil, which means simply the negative attitude, we bring it into action in our own environment. ... When we listen to gossip, slander or destructive criticism, we are contributing to its spread and deadly effects.

—Ralph O'Day, St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, Fla., March 23, 1935.

Gossip is the meanest child of an idle brain and a busy tongue. Gossip is the result of the lack of anything worthwhile to say. Gossip is always ready to damn the reputation of him who dares to be different. Gossip is something most folk will listen to but for which no one will assume responsibility.

—Robert O'Neal, Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle, Clarksville, Tenn., March 27, 1928.

Gossip is a villain turned coward.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., July 29, 1936.

Gossip is talk with halitosis.

—W.A. MacKenzie, The Leesburg Morning Commercial, Leesburg, Fla., Feb. 6, 1927.

Gossip is cankered criticism.

—W.A. MacKenzie, Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, Fla., Nov. 1, 1923.

Gossip is the advertisement of mental bankruptcy.

—W.A. MacKenzie, Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, Fla., Jan. 3, 1925.

The only kind of work some folks will do for nothing is peddling gossip.

—R.H. Lockhart, Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle, Clarksville, Tenn., Jan. 21, 1930.

Gossip is making a mountain out of a molehill by piling on the dirt.

—Myron Cohen, Houston Post, Houston, Texas, April 13, 1953.

There is no form of gossip more deadly than insinuation. It is the tool of the coward, for it is used to destroy reputation and at the same time to protect the monger from the grip of punishment that he has deserved.

—A.J. Gearheard, The Shreveport Times, Shreveport, La., Oct. 10, 1926.

Bury the secrets of others so deep they will not rise and confront you as ghosts.

—Lawrence Nelson Fox, Religious Herald, Richmond, Va., Jan. 2, 1930.

When it comes down to spreading gossip and rumors the exhale of the species is faster than the mail!

—Dan Valentine, Salt Lake Telegram, Salt Lake City, Utah, Feb. 23, 1951.

The kind of gossip that begins with "they say" followed by the request, "don't mention my name," is most likely to have only a modicum of truth for its foundation. Often this is the vilest kind of gossip, for the party indulging in it feels that because he has prefixed his remarks with "they say," that he has shifted the responsibility, therefore may go as strong as he likes, and he proceeds to tear the character of his victim to shreds. Often his attack is merely a result of envy of another's superiority or success. Sometimes it is occasioned by a vicious desire to tear down. In that case, one person is just as apt to be attacked as another.

DeRidder Enterprise, DeRidder, La., June 18, 1921.

Gossip is just burning the scandal at both ends.

Harlem News, Harlem, Mont., July 14, 1960.

An ear for an ear is the policy of every gossiper.

Illinois State Journal, Springfield, Ill., May 9, 1920.

Everyone in this world but the most superior person has been guilty of gossiping. People who are inferior derive great pleasure from talking about their superiors, belittling them, and trying to kid themselves into thinking that others are inferior. People are prone to talk about other people whom they envy, people who have met with success.

Gossip is an old, old, vocal sport. It has been called assassination on the installment plan. ...

Gossip is one sport that goes on anywhere, under all conditions, in all kinds of weather, and with all classes of people. Gullible people believe everything they hear; therefore, gossip has hurt people, perhaps has ruined what might have been valuable careers. Someone has said, "It is the truth that hurts," but it is so hard to sort the true from the false. "Where there is smoke, there is fire," is another maxim that the gossip flings in the face of anyone who reprimands a statement.

Since there are no perfect persons in the world today, who are you and who am I to say who is right and who is wrong? We can be sure though, that we are helping someone to skid down the path instead of up when we pass on every little juicy tidbit we hear. We can be superior, by being too big and too fine to have to gossip to pass away our leisure moments.

The Prairie, Canyon, Texas, Aug. 13, 1935.


Submit a Comment

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    Found this hub very thought provoking today, Gary. Thanks for the collection! Well done.

  • Hyphenbird profile image

    Brenda Barnes 

    7 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    Such a true article. Gossip is incredibly destructive. When someone says anything to me concerning another person, to reply with a positive. Gossip cannot survive where it is not fed.

    Great job here!


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