May 26th, 2019

words 6

Sunday Word: Furphy

furphy [fur-fee]

1 Australian informal: a rumour or story, especially one that is untrue or absurd


Whether that talk is pro-fusionist or anti-fusionist, it is misleading and a distraction from the real issues – in short, a furphy! (Tilbury, Michael, Fallacy or Furphy?: Fusion in a Judicature World, UNSW Law Journal)

However, Clinton Kitt, who regularly uses the park with his two sons, said perceived congestion at the station was a furphy. "It is not a busy, busy thoroughfare that for hours on end has people going both ways and if it was, the council would be looking at fixing the underpass," Mr Kitt said. (Toby Prime, Fitzroy North residents oppose Yarra Council’s draft plan for $600k pathway through Rushall Reserve, Herald Sun)

It has been argued that if we continue to have a forestry industry, we will not have a tourism industry. That is just a furphy, because the tourism industry has developed very well side by side with the forestry industry. The suggestion that we can put all the timber workers out of work and suddenly employ them in the tourism industry is another furphy. (Old Hansard - Parliament of Western Australia)


First World War: from the name painted on water and sanitary carts manufactured by the Furphy family of Shepparton, Victoria; during the war they became popular as a place where soldiers exchanged gossip, often when visiting the latrines. (Oxford English Dictionary)

(ps – yes, I know as an Australian this is a bit indulgent, but I used the word on an international online forum this week, and got a chorus if "what's that??" I hadn't even realised it was a regionalism!! so had to get it in, folks, had to get it in)