Entry: scuttlebutt (n.)
In context: "...they wouldn't exactly mind, is the general scuttlebutt, if a half dozen or so of the better girls left before graduation and tried for the Show..."
Definition: slang (orig. U.S. Naut.). Rumour, idle gossip, unfounded report.
Where did it come from? Here is an earlier usage of the word:
a. Naut. A cask of drinking-water on board ship; a drinking-fountain. Also fig.
SNOOT score: 1
Source: Oxford English Dictionary