The letters N E W S used to be prefixed to newspapers to show
that they obtained information from the four quarters of the world, and
the supposition that our word news is thence derived is at least
ingenious; but the old-fashioned way of spelling the word, newes, is fatal to the conceit. The French nouvelles seems to be the
real source. (See Notarica.)
News is conveyed by letter, word, or mouth,
And comes to us from North, East, West, and South.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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