On The Grapevine

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On The Grapevine : Phrases


Suggestion that a rumour or gossip has been heard through unofficial channels.



In the early days of U.S. telegraphy, companies rushed to put up telegraph poles, some made none too well and some actually using trees rather than poles. To some, the tangled wires resembled the wild vines found in California, hence a Grapevine. During the U.S. Civil War the telegraph was used extensively, but the messages were sometime unreliable, hence the association of rumour on the grapevine. The phrase first appeared in print in 1852.
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