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    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 27

    reading comprehension

    Hello everyone!
    I am not sure IF i have understand well this passage:
    The word "gossip" originates from god-sib, the godparent of one's child or parent of one's godchildren , referring to a relationship of close friendship. The Oxford English Dictionary traces the usage of godsib back as far as 1014.
    The Oxford English Dictionary records the use of gossip in the meaning of "idle talk; trifling or groundless rumour; tittle-tattle ... [e]asy, unrestrained talk or writing, esp. about persons or social incidents" back as far as 1811. This became a primary meaning of the word, although literary as well as everyday English can continue to use gossip in the sense of "talkative woman" (apparently a near-synonym with "godparent" in Early Modern English, the first attestation of the extended meaning of "anyone engaging in familiar or idle talk" dating from 1566). The verb to gossip dates to the early 17th century.

    Does it mean that :
    -since 1014 the word gossip is used to reffering to godparents and at the same time it refers to a relationship of close friendship
    -since 1811 it has another meaning: idle talk, that is to say, its modern meaning?the reporting of sensational or intimate information?

    Thank you so much!

    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434

    Re: reading comprehension

    What is being said is that the use of the word has been first identified in documents that can be confirmed as coming from those dates - "gossip" meaning godparent is first found in a document dated to 1014; and the use of the term "gossip" to mean [tittle-tattle] has been found in a document dating to 1811.

    In both cases the word must have been in common spoken use with those meanings before that.

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