The more sifted, the finer the flour; the more often repeated, the rougher the gossip.

—Korean proverb

A private sin is not so prejudicial in this world as a public indecency.

—Miguel de Cervantes, 1615

One of the things men should most strive to do is win a good reputation and see that no one questions it.

—Juan Manuel, 1335

Journalists belong in the gutter, because that is where the ruling classes throw their guilty secrets.

—Gerald Priestland, 1988

Gossip isn’t scandal and it’s not merely malicious. It’s chatter about the human race by lovers of the same.

—Phyllis McGinley, 1957

Attacks on me will do no harm, and silent contempt is the best answer to them.

—James Monroe, 1808

Ridicule often checks what is absurd, and fully as often smothers that which is noble.

—Walter Scott, 1823

I find the pain of a little censure, even when it is unfounded, is more acute than the pleasure of much praise.

—Thomas Jefferson, 1789

The world is for thousands a freak show; the images flicker past and vanish.

—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1776

The one thing the world will never have enough of is the outrageous.

—Salvador Dalí, 1953

Shamelessness is the shame of being without shame.

—Mencius, c. 290 BC

The slander of some people is as great a recommendation as the praise of others.

—Henry Fielding, 1730

There are many civil questions that arise between individuals in which it is not so important the controversy be settled one way or another as that it be settled.

—William Howard Taft, 1921

There is a demon who puts wings on certain tales and launches them like eagles out into space.

—Alexandre Dumas, 1846

A false report rides post.

—English proverb

Never make a defense or apology before you be accused.

—Charles I, 1636

Scandal begins where the police leave off.

—Karl Kraus, 1909

Everyone knows about everybody in Hollywood—who sleeps with whom, who doesn’t sleep, who does it standing on his head or in the dentist’s chair.

—Rock Hudson, 1982

It is one thing to slander, another to accuse.

—Marcus Tullius Cicero, 56 BC

The purest joy is to live without disguise, unconstrained by the ties of a grave reputation.

—Al-Hariri, c. 1108

Gossip is a sort of smoke that comes from the dirty tobacco pipes of those who diffuse it; it proves nothing but the bad taste of the smoker.

—George Eliot, 1876

Everybody says it; and what everybody says must be true.

—James Fenimore Cooper, 1844

The older one grows, the more one likes indecency.

—Virginia Woolf, 1921

Keep no company with those whose position is high but whose morals are low.

—Ge Hong, c. 320

There is a vital force in rumor. Though crushed to earth, to all intents and purposes buried, it can rise again without apparent effort.

—Eleanor Robson Belmont, 1957

Until you’ve lost your reputation, you never realize what a burden it was or what freedom really is.

—Margaret Mitchell, 1936

Gossip is the opiate of the oppressed.

—Erica Jong, 1973

Speak without regard for the consequences, and it is too late for silence when disaster strikes.

—Huan Kuan, 81 BC

In the country gossip is a pastime; in the city it is a warfare.

—W.M.L. Jay, 1870

The history of the world is the record of the weakness, frailty, and death of public opinion.

—Samuel Butler, c. 1902

A bad reputation is easy to come by, painful to bear, and difficult to clear.

—Hesiod, c. 700 BC

While gossip among women is universally ridiculed as low and trivial, gossip among men, especially if it is about women, is called theory, or idea, or fact.

—Andrea Dworkin, 1983

A cruel story runs on wheels, and every hand oils the wheels as they run.

—Ouida, 1880

Humiliation is the beginning of sanctification.

—John Donne, c. 1629

Don’t ever wear artistic jewelry; it wrecks a woman’s reputation.

—Colette, 1944

Show me someone who never gossips, and I’ll show you someone who isn’t interested in people.

—Barbara Walters, 1975

Reputation, like beavers and cloaks, shall last some people twice the time of others.

—Douglas Jerrold, 1840