How to get your fix of gossip during lockdown

BORED out of your mind? Starved of tittle-tattle? Here’s how to experience the incredible high of hearing gossip while you’re shut indoors.

Talk to friends and family

Everyone’s putting on a brave face right now, but if you scratch the surface there’s a treasure trove of spite waiting to be unearthed. A simple ‘So how are things?’ said with the right intonation will get loved ones bitching about their partner or ripping into their housemate in no time.

Watch old Jeremy Kyle clips on YouTube

This one’s a bit of a trade-off. You won’t get the kick that only comes from hearing scandalous stories about people you know, however the numerous sleazy sexploits of a stranger called Jim from Manchester back in 2006 will be vastly more exciting than anything your social circle is capable of. Plus you won’t have to sit through the ads.

Join a WhatsApp Group

These are the information superhighways of gossip. Connect with your street’s WhatsApp Group and watch as curtain twitching rumours about suspected raves and the atrocious bin situation at number 23 come pouring in. There will be such a flurry of messages that you’re likely to become addicted, so this is strictly for the hardcore gossip.

Carry an ear trumpet

Lugging around a large metal funnel might make you look like a hard-of-hearing Victorian, but it’s the best way to eavesdrop on other people while you’re out and about. Press it against your ear while nervously queuing at the Co-Op, and not even a distance of several metres can prevent you from listening in on a squabbling couple.

Make up your own

Still can’t get your hands on gossip? Give back to the community by sharing your own that you’ve made up. As well as being a good deed, this might nudge people into revealing a similar thing that happened to them. Your made-up friend may not really be into ‘furry’ porn, but now you know Jeff down the road is.

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'Doomscrolling' and other terms we'd pay good money never to hear again

THE rich and beautiful English language of Shakespeare, Donne and E L James is increasingly a thing of the past. Here are yet more words that should be fired directly into the sun.

Doomscrolling

Refers to the endless bad news you wallow in on social medial. And it’s spreading faster than ‘the Rona’, which is also annoying. So here’s a tip: put the phone down. Go for a walk. Enjoy the fresh air and listen to the birds. Come home and start angrily tweeting about how no one was wearing a mask.

Stan

People don’t just like things anymore, they ‘Stan’ them. Yes, what better way to show your approval than referencing a fictional crazed fan who killed his wife and unborn child? Also every time you say it, it reminds someone of that awful Dido song Eminem sampled on the track.

FOMO

Slightly obscure, forcing many of us to stop reading and go ‘Uh, what does that mean?’ while feeling old and out-of-touch. It does of course mean ‘fear of missing out’. Considering we’re all missing out on most things right now, it’s a bit redundant. And using abbreviations as normal words makes you look like a wanker. You’d have thought people would have learned from OMG and ROTFL.

Hangry

A combination of ‘hungry’ and ‘angry’, it’s the kind of word you’d expect a toddler to use by mistake. Instead actual adults do. Usually ones with a ‘Don’t Talk To Me Until I’ve Had My Coffee’ novelty mug. And if you can’t control your emotions because you’re peckish, what are you going to do when something actually quite bad happens, like your car failing its MOT? Get a gun and start taking hostages? 

That’s a bit of me

As with so many cultural touchstones, this one shot to prominence on Love Island. Where instead of liking someone or something, he, she or it became ‘a bit of me’. Sounds faintly sinister, like the Borg assimilating people in Star Trek: The Next Generation, which the Love Islanders probably don’t watch because it makes their brains hurt.