Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A nosy person; a busybody.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person eager to learn news and scandal

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who is curious to know everything that passes; one who knows, or pretends to know, all that is going on.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. 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.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a person who meddles in the affairs of others

Etymologies

Latin quid nunc?, what now? : quid, what; see kwo- in Indo-European roots + nunc, now; see nu- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin "quid nunc?", What now?. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I love the word quidnunc, which means one who gossips because it is a word I could use to describe a lot of people who fit the definition and they wouldn't know what I was saying.

    Original Signal - Transmitting Buzz

  • Boy, what we are willing to subject ourselves to for our local raconteur (I almost said quidnunc).

    Is That Legal?: A Quick Game of Twenty(-five) Questions

  • Via MeFi, where the quidnunc kid gets the prize for best answer.

    myfavoriteword.com « Gerry Canavan

  • Attar's work has been an inspiration for artists both classic and modern, not to mention a great jazz record by Dave Holland, and the simurgh inspired a great MonkeyFilter post by the quidnunc kid, which I urge you to visit for many more links, including some gorgeous illustrations and a long and involving Mandean tale about the bird's visit to the noble king Hirmiz Shah.

    languagehat.com: SIMURGH.

  • Not long after those days, it so happening that some considerable amount of youthful energy and quidnunc ability were required to set litigation afloat at Hong Kong, Mr Romer was sent thither as the fittest man for such work, with rich assurance of future guerdon.

    Doctor Thorne

  • Isaac Asimov is the original quidnunc, your guide as you probe space against Reagan's Star Wars, though Isaac Asimov is not actually there.

    Archive 2004-07-01

  • Here was that quintessence of Dublin, the epitome of the quidnunc, that quarter-moon, man-in-the-moon face, with the chin jutting to meet the nose and the mouth slanting some neat aperçu to its neighbor, cheekiest face in Europe, and the nosiest.

    At Swim, Two Boys

  • The insignificancy of my manners to the rest of the world makes the laughers call me a _quidnunc_, a phrase I shall never inquire what they mean by it.

    The Tatler, Volume 1, 1899

  • The rumour-monger and the quidnunc -- to whom only brief allusion has so far been made -- had come to be regarded as distinct public nuisances.

    The Siege of Kimberley

  • He would have been amazed by a display of intimate knowledge such as no British quidnunc could have mustered if he had happened to stumble across these intricacies of international competition, and the conversation would always have terminated in the same unanswered but inconscionable challenge to the future: 'When will the oppressed majority of our race escape the Turkish yoke?

    The Balkans A History of Bulgaria—Serbia—Greece—Rumania—Turkey

Comments

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  • JM, as a certified quidnunc, is constantly asking 'what now?'.

    February 1, 2009

  • It’s a fine example of an obscure (and presumably somewhat patronising) scholarly in-joke, formed from the two Latin words quid, "what", and nunc, "now". It was said to describe a person who was forever asking "What now?" or "What’s the news?", hence a gossip-monger; it first appeared about 1710. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s use of it in The House of the Seven Gables in 1851 is typical: "What a treasure-trove to these venerable quidnuncs, could they have guessed the secret which Hepzibah and Clifford were carrying along with them!".
    (from World Wide Words)

    May 21, 2008

  • Someone who attempts to know all that happens, but who is not careful of the facts.

    April 20, 2008

  • person who seeks to know all the latest news, information, and/or gossip.

    October 2, 2007