I looked up the term “gossip” recently, and I was surprised at the definition.
- casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true.”he became the subject of much local gossip”
verbverb: gossip; 3rd person present: gossips; past tense: gossiped; past participle: gossiped; gerund or present participle: gossiping
- engage in gossip.
ate Old English godsibb, ‘godfather, godmother, baptismal sponsor’, literally ‘a person related to one in God’, from god ‘God’ + sibb ‘a relative’ (see sib). In Middle English the sense was ‘a close friend, a person with whom one gossips’, hence ‘a person who gossips’, later (early 19th century) ‘idle talk’ (from the verb, which dates from the early 17th century
I’ve been researching this this and I could be wrong
The fairy tale, “Briar Rose” also called “Sleeping Beauty” might give us some clues as to where the term “gossip” went sour. A king and queen were promised a child by a frog, and a little girl is born. A child in fairy tales represents a new energy, often times this new energy is despised by the by old order. Think of Herod and Pharaoh slaughtering children in order to destroy the impulse toward change and renewal.
The child is blessed by a number of mother figures and is cursed by one of them. One of the godmothers was not invited to the baptismal, the versions of the story differ in their explanation as to why she wasn’t invited (some say she was ignored, others say she was forgotten because she was a recluse or a “spinster,” some say she was a trouble maker and intentionally not invited, and some say that she just wanted to start trouble). Whatever the reason she appears as a personification of her hurt feelings, her vanity, and her resentment. Hidden beneath her rage is hurt, and she curses the child. The curse declared that on the child’s 16th Birthday, she would prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die. The last godmother was next to give her gift, and although she could not remove the curse, but softens it by saying that she would not die, but that a sleep would fall over the kingdom for 100 years, unless some hero’s could get through the thorns protecting the castle and wake her up with a kiss.
Gossip and Sewing
The fairy tale revolves around a spindle on a spinning wheel… and seems to be a result of what took place at sewing circles. Historically, sewing circles were the “gossip” circles where women bonded over talk about their families, they sewed up wounds, “pinned down the patterns created by the old wise women, connection. The spider is associated with the feminine spinning her intricate web, her web serves both the purpose of death and renewal of life. What she creates is made from her own substance. We hear the cliches, “spinning a web,” or “spinning the truth,” “a thread of truth,” “zip or button your lip,” “To pin a crime on someone,” “stomach in knots,” “patch up relationship,” “sitting on pins and needles.” Women in sewing circles were said to get together and knit open wounds, and keep the fabric of their communities and families from falling apart.
In folklore, sticking a pin in the back of the neck that put victims to sleep. So there might be a connection to that and the spinning wheel. So, what does it mean to sleep? To be unconscious? To not be awake? To live but not be alive? Stagnation? It appears that some natural impulse has been stopped, maybe due to a “pointed remark” or a “stinging comment” natural impulse has bee stopped. It doesn’t appear that getting rid of all the spindles or sewing circles prevented the problem from occurring. A ban of spinning wheels is not a cure according to the fairy tale.
It’s interesting that thorns are keep out the men (another poker). Maybe some protective aspect that keeps closeness away from the receptive vulnerable aspect.