About furphies | furphy


About furphies | furphy

You've might have heard someone say telling furphies or that was a bit of a furphy and wondered what they meant or where the expression came from.

FURPHY | FURPHIES | FURFY


The word furphy is a uniquely Australian idiom, a way of saying that something is an exaggerated story, a false report or a rumour.

The Furphy family has a long history in central Victoria; John Furphy moved from Kyneton to Shepparton in 1873 and that's where the story began. John Furphy set up a smithy in the then-tiny town of Shepparton and, within a few years, he'd become well known as a blacksmith, a wheelwright, and also as an agricultural machinery supplier.

A decade after setting up his business in Shepparton, John Furphy and his long-time employee Uriah 'Cocky' Robinson, came up with the idea of a mobile water tank, and within a few years, Furphy water carts were familiar sights.

The carts had Furphy painted on the sides in vivid, dark red paint which led to 'furphy' becoming a byword for rumour around the time of World War One.

Furphy water tanks were selected to supply water to the Broadmeadows camp just out of Melbourne in 1914, when the troops were embarking to the First World War. These tanks were used for hygienic water supplies at the latrines.

This was one place where the troops could gather and in their anxious state, they were very, very keen to find out what was happening. The officers didn't disseminate much information, so obviously, it was an ideal spot for rumours to become rife. With the tank there, with the large lettering on the side, they associated the rumours with the word 'furphy'.

That went overseas then to Gallipoli in the First World War, and has become a word that's still used today."

At first, it was an exclusively Victorian word - then more and more Australians from other states began to pick it up. The earliest example of 'furphy' in writing was in April, 1915, in a diary entry written by Staff Sergeant John Treloar, when he was camped near Cairo:

"Today's 'furphy', for never a day goes by without at least one being created, was about lights being prohibited in camp on account of the possibility of a German airship raid. Some of the troops do not suffer from lack of imagination."

Diggerspeak: The Language of Australians in War

Dr Laugesen published a dictionary called ‘Diggerspeak: The Language of Australians in War,’ in which she outlines the ‘slanguage’ used by Australians at war.

In her dictionary Dr Laugesen defines furphy as a rumour or false report; an absurd story and states that the word furphy “originated from the name of the firm J. Furphy and Sons who manufactured water carts in Shepperton, Victoria which delivered water.

Troops who gathered around the water carts would swap stories, many of which had no basis in fact, hence the name furphy.

J. Furphy & Sons


J. Furphy & Sons is an Australian engineering icon, established in 1864 and is still family owned (5th generation) operating from its base in Shepparton, Victoria. The company is renowned for its historical links to rural Australia and in particular its most famous product - the Furphy Water Cart.

With over 140 years in the business, J Furphy & Sons is your first choice for reliable manufacture and supply of a range of metal services.



Melbourne Link About furphies | furphy Link opens in new browser window

Opens in New Window The Famous Furphy's Water Cart Link opens in new browser window

Opens in New Window Why are furphies? :: ABC Link opens in new browser window

Opens in New Window Furphy Foundry Link opens in new browser window

Opens in New Window J. Furphy and Sons Link opens in new browser window

Opens in New Window Telling furphies - Diggerspeak: The Language of Australians in War Link opens in new browser window

Opens in New Window furphies | furphy | furfy | Link opens in new browser window


Also See...


Book Online Urban Legend | Melbourne



0  LOVE IT    Do You Like This Page? Click here to LIKE..


Access > Update | Edit Details | Mobile Friendly | View Category | Melbourne



Click here to edit / update this page





What's On Apr 2015 >
 Click on a date | Opens new page..
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30


Featured
The Hamper Emporium
View The Hamper Emporium
Gourmet Christmas Hampers from The Hamper Emporium Why choose Us? 1. 100% Australian owned and operated 2. Free Delivery Australia-wide 3. We use only the finest gourmet produce - no ...

Melbourne Dentistry
View Melbourne Dentistry
Melbourne Dentistry is a general dental practice located on Collins Street in the Melbourne CBD providing high quality comprehensive dental care, focusing on prevention. Our practice principal, ...

Guitar Virtuoso - Minh Le Hoang
View Guitar Virtuoso - Minh Le Hoang
Minh Le Hoang - Winner of the 50th Tokyo International Guitar Competition Featuring a thrilling program of music from Spain, Latin America and J.S. Bach Free wine and biscuits provided during ...

A Grade Photography Workshops
View A Grade Photography Workshops
We run workshops about lighting, camera basics, Photoshop, light painting, and portrait / model shoots. It's free to join our Meetup group called Creative Photography, you will get emails about ...

Squizzy Taylor's Ball
View Squizzy Taylor's Ball
Fitzroy 1920...Gunmen, Sly Grog, Prostitution, Extortion, Cocaine, Gang Wars and Vice...but most of all, Fun. Squizzy Taylor's Ball returns in May for an amazing evening of stage shows and ...

Hopscotch | Kids Party Toy Hire
View Hopscotch | Kids Party Toy Hire
We are based in the Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne and deliver fun to children’s parties anywhere in the Greater Melbourne area! We understand that when someone looks for party hire, they are ...

Melbourne's Exclusive Magic Show
View Melbourne's Exclusive Magic Show
WITNESS IMPOSSIBLE OCCURRENCES, ONE OF MELBOURNE’S MOST EXCLUSIVE ATTRACTIONS. Award winning magician Luke Hocking intrigues and amazes with astounding displays of magic, illusion and mind ...

Check Out
Top Removals
View Top Removals
Moving in/out of Melbourne? Need Packing/storage? With Top Removals you don't need to worry about nothing! just ring us for a quick quote and booking. | More..

What's Hot

Our Pick
Melbourne Monopoly
View Melbourne Monopoly
Melbourne is set to be immortalised with its very own official MONOPOLY board! The Lord Mayor Robert Doyle and the manufacturer of Monopoly announced the launch of a Melbourne edition in March ...

Home Lottery | Royal Melbourne Hospital
View Home Lottery | Royal Melbourne Hospital
The Royal Melbourne Hospital Home Lottery is inviting you to go BIG and win BIG! that moment you win... could change your life! Win the Grand Prize Showhome and live mortgage free. Drive an Aston ...


What's On Newsletter
Receive our free weekly newsletter every Tuesday and stay up to date with what's on in Melbourne. More..
Email Address

Read This Week's Newsletter
This Week's Newsletter covers everything happening in Melbourne.
--> View Newsletter Here