What is grapevine communication? I don't know whether it has positive or negative connotations. Can anyone tell me the details of it?

Thanks in advance

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    This does not seem to be a question about learning English as outlined in our help center: Help Center > Asking.
    – Em.
    Oct 12, 2016 at 6:58
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    I think that this is a reasonable question if you remove the "useful" bit, which I have done. @user97750, I hope that the question still matches what you want to know.
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    Oct 12, 2016 at 8:05

1 Answer 1


I think you're referring to the idiom 'through the grapevine' which means

Through or via an informal means of communication or information, especially gossip

Whether it is useful or not depends on the culture of your workplace/surroundings, and not something we at ELL can answer.

'Heard it through the grapevine' is a well-known pop song.

  • Well-known pop song it may be, but I would hesitate to recommend it on a site for English language learners! "I heard it through the grapevine / Not much longer would you be mine" : this is Yoda-speak, not English.
    – TonyK
    Oct 12, 2016 at 17:07
  • @TonyK - I wouldn't call it Yoda-speak, I'd call it rephrasing to fit the meter and rhyming scheme of the song. (Any resemblance to Yoda-speak at the end of such wordsmithing would be coincidental.)
    – J.R.
    Oct 12, 2016 at 18:46
  • Now that useful has been edited to positive or negative, I think we can answer that: it's situationally dependent. If we are talking about backbiting and gossip, then "grapevine" communication can be destructive. However, not all of it needs to be. "I heard through the grapevine that they might reopen the café across the street" is likely just fine.
    – J.R.
    Oct 12, 2016 at 18:50
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    @J.R.: I was trying to be polite. To this day I can't understand how professional song-writers (Whitfield and Strong) could come up with such a clunky line. It ruins the song for me.
    – TonyK
    Oct 12, 2016 at 19:10

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