Gossip tends to have a negative association, but it didn't start out that way. The word gossip is rooted in the Old English term, godsibb, recorded sometime around 1014, meaning "a child’s godparent or sponsor at a baptism." Over time, and after a number of spelling changes, gossip came to mean "a good friend, usually a woman." By the 1500s, the word was mostly used for "idle chatter and rumor," as well as to describe the women who gathered to help in the birth of a baby. This use continued into the 1700s, and then waned. By the mid-1800s, gossip was used as both noun and verb, again meaning "idle chatter and rumor," and continues to be used that way today.
However, gossip isn't the only word used for this kind of banter. Before gossip was used (and when it fell out of favor) for "idle chatter and rumor," people needed some way to describe this age-old activity. Let's take a look at some lesser-known gossip synonyms to expand your vocabulary for when you dish out that next juicy secret.