- an open cask of drinking water.
- a drinking fountain for use by the crew of a vessel.
Examples from the Web for scuttlebutt
That brought a response from John Rutledge, who ran a Florida-based newsletter, The Scuttlebutt.
Rutledge ran a story in The Scuttlebutt, and Patsy got a phone call from man saying he was her sailor.
"Just understand that I don't give a hoot in a scuttlebutt if you do turn me over to the police," pursued the man.Blow The Man Down|Holman Day
What was the scuttlebutt about that particular incident, if any?
I was about to lead him aft, but his eye caught sight of a scuttlebutt, and the tin-pot on its head.Afloat And Ashore|James Fenimore Cooper
Every now and again one or another of them, choked with the dust, went to get a draft of lukewarm water from the scuttlebutt.A Master of Fortune|Cutcliffe Hyne
Was there any scuttlebutt or rumor that he shot himself to get out of the service?
British Dictionary definitions for scuttlebutt
Word Origin for scuttlebutt
Word Origin and History for scuttlebutt
1805, "cask of drinking water kept on a ship's deck, having a hole (scuttle) cut in it for a cup or dipper," from scuttle "opening in a ship's deck" (see scuttle (v.2)) + butt (n.2) "barrel." Earlier scuttle cask (1777). Meaning "rumor, gossip" first recorded 1901, originally nautical slang, traditionally said to be from the sailors' custom of gathering around the scuttlebutt to gossip. Cf. water-cooler, figurative for "workplace gossip" mid-20c.