Word if the Day



noun: a person who seeks to know all the latest news or gossip : busybody 

We were naturally curious when the moving van appeared in the Michaelsons‘ driveway, but the neighborhood quidnunc, Mrs. Dyer, had already heard that Mr. Michaelson was being transferred to a new job out of town

“To spend time with a book in orderto read scandalous revelations aboutreal-life people is not an elevated or honourable thing to do, but it appealsto the gossip-sharing quidnunc in all of us.” — John WalshThe Independent (London), July 22, 2003

Did you know?
What‘s new?” That‘s a questionevery busybody wants answeredLatin-speaking Nosey Parkers mighthave used some version of the expression quid nuncliterally “whatnow,” to ask the same questionAppropriately, the earliestdocumented English use of quidnuncto refer to a gossiper appeared in 1709 in Sir Richard Steele‘s famousperiodicalThe TatlerSteele is far from the only writer to ply quidnunc in his prosehowever. You can also findthe word among the pages of worksby such writers as Washington Irvingand Nathaniel Hawthorne. But don’t think the term is old news—it seessome use in current publications, too.


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