jungle telegraph

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jungle telegraph (plural jungle telegraphs)

  1. (idiomatic) A system used by primitive cultures in remote tropical regions for communication over long distances, such as drum sounds or a relay of runners.
    • 1958, "Live Virus in the Jungle," Times, 11 Aug.:
      Working both sides of the stream, they got native chieftains to pass the word by jungle telegraph.
  2. (idiomatic) A gossip network; an informal communication system within a group or organization.
    • 2008, Lisa Marsh "‘Hills’ Under Tents," New York Post, 5 Feb. (retrieved 19 Sep. 2008):
      And the jungle telegraph at Bryant Park is alive with rumors that the show's biggest name, Lauren Conrad, will be here any day.