scuttlebutt \SKUHT-l-buht\ (noun) - 1 : A drinking fountain on a ship. 2 : A cask on a ship that contains the day's supply of drinking water. 3 : Gossip; rumor.
"I'd never been there, of course, so my information was only scuttlebut." -- Stephen Greenleaf, 'Blood Type'
Scuttlebutt comes from scuttle, "a small opening" + butt, "a large cask" -- that is, a small hole cut into a cask or barrel to allow individual cups of water to be drawn out. The modern equivalent is the office water cooler, also a source of refreshment and gossip.