Difference Between Gossip and Rumor

People talk differently, and there are many forms of communication, and we all know that. However, it is not only face-to-face communication that happens all the time. Some things happen secretly too.


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Things like gossiping and rumours are considered to be interactions, but they are informal ones. These things happen mainly because an individual wants to share a piece of personal information with the other person.

Gossip and rumours can occur anywhere, and you might have been a part of a gossip or a rumour.

Key Takeaways

  1. A gossip is a form of informal communication that involves sharing information about someone that may or may not be true. At the same time, a rumor is a story or information widely circulated but may need to be verified.
  2. Gossip is usually more personal and may involve sharing information about someone’s life, while rumors may involve information about events, organizations, or institutions.
  3. Gossip can harm someone’s reputation and relationships, while rumors can cause confusion, anxiety, and speculation.

Gossip vs Rumor

Gossip are defined as informal or casual transmission of evaluative information, verified or unverified, about a person who is absent during the conversation.  A rumor is a story which may not be true. Everyone may be talking about the rap superstar who stopped for ice cream in your town, but until there’s proof that it really happened, the whole thing is just a rumor.

Gossip vs Rumor

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Gossip can happen between two people or even among groups of people. Gossips mainly happen when a person trusts someone or a group of individuals.

Trust is the key factor why gossips take place in the first place because gossips contain personal information in most cases.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonGossipRumour
BasisUnsubstantiated informationPresumptions of factuality
CharacteristicCulture of PrivacyMore public, universal interest
Primary motiveTo achieve status and ego needs in the societyTo cope with uncertainty
DefinitionGossip means transferring a message or information that is not verified and deals with personal subjects.A rumour, on the other hand, is the spreading of unverified information and is passed verbally among groups or people.
People RequiredGossip takes place; it can take place between two people.Rumours usually start with one person spreading the information to others in an organisation or a group.

What is Gossip?

Gossips are a form of communication that is considered an informal method because it usually happens between family and friends.

The information conveyed in gossip is usually a personal or private message. This is what makes a huge difference between gossip and rumours.

Gossip happens when a person trusts the other person or a group of persons because the conversations are private and happen to keep messages a secret.

You gossip when you are unsure of something, or you want a piece of personal advice for something.

However, the information shared in gossip is not verified, and the message can be either true or false.

Gossip is something that can be information that can have negative thoughts and is considered to be harmful.

Harmful gossip happens when people get together and someone has a negative view of something and shares it with another person. Then the other person might take the gossip seriously; thus, gossip like that becomes harmful.

Gossiping with your friends and families can be harmless, too, because gossips usually consist of jokes and making fun of others.

Suppose you have a best friend with whom you share all your thoughts and feelings; then it is harmless if you share messages about making fun of the other person or a separate person.


 What is a Rumour?

On the other hand, rumour is spreading a message starting from one person to the whole organisation or within an institute.

Rumours can be harmful as the information conveyed or passed through may or may not be true at all, and this might lead to confusion too.

Suppose you have an important meeting in an organisation, but you hear several rumours that the meeting will not happen for some reason, and then you do not prepare yourself.

But, later, you see that the meeting has occurred, and you are in deep trouble.

Similarly, one must not believe in all kinds of rumours because it will lead to confusion until and unless the rumour becomes a formal notice or a message from a higher authority.

This is the reason why rumours are not encouraged at all.

Rumours might spread fake messages about a person, leading to the downfall of someone’s dignity.

It is suggested by most large organisations and institutions that there should be no spreading of fake messages in the organisations as it will affect the motivation and morale of the employees.


Main Differences Between Gossip and Rumor

  1. Gossip is encouraged in most organisations as it can lead to better relationships among people, whereas a rumor is not encouraged by people.
  2. Gossip is considered to be less harmful than rumors.
  3. Rumors can lead to confusion because it is dangerous if a message is fake.
  4. Rumors include unethical, unverified information, whereas gossip can have verified information.
  5. Gossips happen mostly among friends and families and are informal verbal communication.
Difference Between Gossip and Rumor
  1. https://guilfordjournals.com/doi/abs/10.1521/aeap.15.5.357.23823
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J075v23n02_07
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