furphy

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Furphy (a surname).
The firm of Furphy and Sons (still in business today[1]) manufactured and supplied water carts[2] to the Australian Imperial Force in Egypt during World War I. Soldiers stood around these and talked, exchanging rumours and news. The manufacturer's name, which was emblazoned on the carts, was soon adopted for unreliable information or speculation. [3]

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

furphy (plural furphies)

  1. (Australia, slang) a rumour, or an erroneous or improbable story.
    • 1996, Julian M. Alston, Philip G. Pardey, Making Science Pay: The Economics of Agricultural R&D Policy, page 313,
      A number of the furphies and fads in relation to public-sector agricultural R&D relate to attempts to increase demand for farm products in various ways.
    • 1997, Edward Wybergh Docker, Lynette Ramsay Silver, Fabulous Furphies: 10 Great Myths from Australia's Past.
    • 2005, Mark Latham, The Latham Diaries, page 328,
      Gartrell and Faulkner also released Maurie Daly's letter, which was sent to us on Monday, to the media, putting the Liverpool furphies to rest.

Synonyms[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Furphy Engineering: home page
  2. ^ Furphy Engineering: The Furphy Water Cart
  3. ^ The Lingo: Listening to Australian English, Graham Seal, University of New South Wales Press, 1999, ISBN 086840-680-5, page 59.