17th July 2024


The word ‘quidnunc’ first appeared around the year 1710, in Irish writer and politician Sir Richard Steele’s journal The Tatler:

‘The infignificancy of my manners to the reft of the world, makes the laughers call me a quid-nunc, a phrafe which I neither underftand, nor fhall ever enquire what they mean by it.’

 Since then, several writers have made use of the word in their works. It also appears in The House of the Seven Gables (1851), a Gothic novel by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Quidnunc has its roots in the Latin word quid nunc, which means ‘what now’. It refers to a person who indulges in gossiping or someone who attempts to know all. Other words that mean the same as quidnunc are gossipmonger, newsmonger, tattletale, yenta, etc.

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