quidnunc

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n quidnunc a person who meddles in the affairs of others
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: A "quidnunc" is a person who is eager to know the latest news and gossip, otherwise, a busybody.
    • n Quidnunc One who is curious to know everything that passes; one who knows, or pretends to know, all that is going on. "The idle stories of quidnuncs ."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n quidnunc One who is curious to know everything that passes, and is continually asking “What now?” or “What news?” hence, one who knows or pretends to know all that is going on in politics, society, etc.; a newsmonger.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Quidnunc kwid′nungk one always on the lookout for news: one who pretends to know all occurrences.
    • ***

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L., what now?
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L., 'what now?'

Usage

In literature:

At 8 A.M. we start, freely distributing our farewells as the Arabs and quidnuncs wave their hands.
"How I Found Livingstone" by Henry M. Stanley
I will bet that its value has been exaggerated ten times at least amongst the quidnuncs here.
"The Virginians" by William Makepeace Thackeray
These were the rarities that filled the columns of the papers and the voices of the quidnuncs when in 1856 they came to the hammer.
"De Libris: Prose and Verse" by Austin Dobson
You can hide nothing from the quidnunc of Hanbridge.
"The Card, A Story Of Adventure In The Five Towns" by Arnold Bennett
The resuscitation of this classical metre had a queer effect upon the American quidnuncs.
"International Weekly Miscellany, Vol. I, No. 6" by Various
It engages the quidnuncs.
"New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 2, May, 1915" by Various
The year in which I first met Quidnunc, so far as my memory serves me, was 1886.
"Lore of Proserpine" by Maurice Hewlett
Quidnuncs at the clubs began to say that he would give up the legal side of politics and devote himself to statesmanship.
"The Bertrams" by Anthony Trollope
It was an exciting time, and quidnuncs of all parties were eagerly anticipating what the dark-skinned professor would say.
"From Slave to College President" by Godfrey Holden Pike
He even becomes a quidnunc, prying now and then into the personal affairs of his superiors.
"The Book of Khalid" by Ameen Rihani
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In poetry:

And your traders—Grand old Drunks—
Where are they?
I have seen some queer quidnuncs
Who go sober to their bunks,
And are temperate as monks,
Sad to say.
"Wrecked Illusions" by Victor James Daley