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[ Also see Babblers Busybodies Fame Gossip News Reputation Scandal Slander Story Telling Talking Tattling Tongue Truth ]

Rumor has winged feet like Mercury.
      - Henry Ward Beecher

And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.
      - Bible, I Timothy (ch. V, v. 13)

Rumor is the food of gossip.
      - Antoine Bret

False rumors die of their own stench.
      - Paul Chatfield (a/k/a Horace Smith)

Nine-tenths of the world is entertained by scandalous rumors, which are never dissected until they are dead and, when pricked, collapse like an empty bladder.
      - Horace Greeley

If it were not for a goodly supply of rumors, half true and half false, what would the gossips do?
      - Thomas Chandler Haliburton (used pseudonym Sam Slick)

Curse the tongue
  Whence slanderous rumour, like the adder's drop,
    Distills her venom, withering friendship's faith,
      Turning love's favour.
      - James A. Hillhouse

Idle rumors were also added to well-founded apprehensions.
  [Lat., Vana quoque ad veros accessit fama timores.]
      - Lucanus (Marcus Annaeus Lucan), Pharsalia
         (I, 469)

The art of spreading rumors may be compared to the art of pin-making. There is usually some truth, which I call the wire; as this passes from hand to hand, one gives it a polish, another a point, others make and put on the head, and at last the pin is completed.
      - John Newton (1)

Some report elsewhere whatever is told them; the measure of fiction always increases, and each fresh narrator adds something to what he has heard.
  [Lat., Hi narrata ferunt alio; mensuraque ficti
    Crescit et auditus aliquid novus adjicit auctor.]
      - Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso), Metamorphoses
         (XII, 57)

Enemies carry a report in form different from the original.
  [Lat., Nam inimici famam non ita ut nata est ferunt.]
      - Plautus (Titus Maccius Plautus), Persa
         (III, 1, 23)

Rumour was the messenger
  Of defamation, and so swift, that none
    Could be the first to tell an evil tale.
      - Robert Pollok

In every ear it spread, on every tongue it grew.
      - Alexander Pope

The flying rumours gather'd as the roll'd,
  Scarce any tale was sooner heard than told;
    And all who told it added something new.
      And all who heard it made enlargements too.
      - Alexander Pope, Temple of Fame (l. 468)

He that easily believes rumors has the principle within him to augment rumors. It is strange to see the ravenous appetite with which some devourers of character and happiness fix upon the sides of the innocent and unfortunate.
      - Jane Porter

Rumor, once started, rushes on like a river, until it mingles with, and is lost in the sea.
      - Antoine de Rivarol, Comte de Rivarol

Rumor travels faster, but it don't stay put as long as truth.
      - Will Rogers

I cannot tell how the truth may be;
  I say the tale as 'twas said to me.
      - Sir Walter Scott,
        The Lay of the Last Minstrel
         (canto II, st. 22)

Rumour doth double, like the voice and echo,
  The numbers of the fear'd.
      - William Shakespeare

Stuffing the ears of men with false reports.
      - William Shakespeare

I will be gone,
  That pitiful rumor may report my flight
    To consolate thine ear.
      - William Shakespeare,
        All's Well That Ends Well
         (Helena at III, ii)

Rumor doth double, like the voice and echo,
  The numbers of the feared.
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Fourth, Part II
         (Warwick at III, i)

Rumor is a pipe
  Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures,
    And of so easy and so plain a stop
      That the blunt monster with uncounted heads,
        The still-discordant wavering multitude,
          Can play upon it.
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Fourth, Part II
         (Rumor at induction)

Rumor is a vagrant without a home, and lives upon what it can pick up.
      - Henry Wheeler Shaw (used pseudonyms Josh Billings and Uncle Esek)

Rumor is like bees; the more you fight them the more you don't get rid of them.
      - Henry Wheeler Shaw (used pseudonyms Josh Billings and Uncle Esek)

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