I was jamming to NPR in the car this week and learned the etymology of "gossip". (see image)
Back in the day of kings and queens and lords and ladies, mothers and fathers would choose godparents for their children. Godparents (Godsibbs) were close friends or family, thus parents felt comfortable enough to talk about all sorts of topics- particularly, other people. Knowledge was currency. The more intimate details of the lives of others one knew, the more power one had. In fact, knowledge was so powerful that the king or queen would send their lords and ladies into town to gather information to return back to the palace. Gossip, as we know now, is a natural form of communication. We seek knowledge of others so we can compare and contrast what we know with what "they" know. Morals, traditions, and values are formed based on the gathering and "higher-level" discussions of new knowledge. We spread news through gossip; this was essential back when we didn't have print media, telephones, and social media. Even with modern technologies, gossipping is essential now as well, because it brings close friends and family even more in-tough with each other. We bond over gossip. Unfortunately, people can lack tact, thus gossip can ruin relationships. So if you want to bask in the power of gossip- it's best to keep it close to one's heart, or you may end up breaking the heart of another.
Removing the stigma 1 MB at a time. 12/2014