I always wondered why the term “scuttlebutt” was used for both a water cooler and for “rumor control”. (Or maybe it was explained in boot camp and I was “skylarking”, another odd term) Recently, my wife and I visited Boston for the first time and toured the U.S.S. Constitution. During the tour, we were shown the object in the attached photo which was located on the gun deck. It was explained that sailors and marines were given their daily water ration scooped out of this cask which was called the scuttlebutt. Since they had nothing to do while waiting in line, they traded rumors. A great tour of a the oldest commissioned ship in the Navy.
(’67 – ’71)