Sunday, 16 June 2013

A bit of a furphy.

When you move between countries - or even regions of a country - the slang or vernacular can change markedly.  I love the phrase that England and America are two countries separated by a common language!

One of the terms I encountered rather quickly in Australia was the "furphy" (or the furfie).  It would be used in conversation like this.  "Thats a bit of a furphy"  - it means a rumour, untruth or something improbable or irrelevant.

One theory about the origin of this phrase is that soldiers would gather around mobile water tanks on the battle field and swap rumours and gossip - and the manufacturer of the water tanks was J. Furphy and Sons of Shepparton, Victoria.  Its a good story.

And this is a real Furphy!




Have a look at the slogan above the tap. I'm not sure companies do this kind of thing any more!

I'm linking this to Macro Monday 2 and to I love Macro.


23 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

well, thanks for that bit of slang! very cool! we use 'water cooler talk' as a slang for gossip here. i like 'furphy' though!

Arija said...

You had me fairly giggling. Now I want one of those historical water tanks for my cattle trough, after all, we have an ancient Ferguson tractor and a Southern Cross windmill.

Carole M. said...

interesting post Stewart, and I shared a similar one last year
http://dragonfly47.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/its-furphy.html

Timur said...

Well, i love this black and White effect !!

Nice captures !

Greetings

Margaret Adamson said...

Hi Stewart Liked the black and white effect. Might have been slightly better if you had removed the dead plant in front of it! Never heard that saying when i have been to Australia. I wonder is it used locally or is it in general use? Looked what it said on the bottom of the tank. Hope you are having a great weekend. Margaret

Fun60 said...

i like the term 'furphy'. I am surprised it hasn't caught on over here. An interesting saying on the tank - would have been useful in the classroom.

Robin Robinson said...

I, too enjoy the origins of words and phrases. This was great!

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

I love this kind of stuff. How different words came to be, and phrases we use commonly without knowing where they really came from.
Like your black & whites.

Andrea said...

My father made a hobby of learning the derivation of words ... and some of that has rubbed off on me. So this a a particularly interesting post for me ... it tweaked my interest and my funny bone. Furphy is just a fun word to say and it certainly has opportunity for use. I, also, wonder why it hasn't caught on over here. We are big on cute expressions. However, over here, we don't speak in words anymore ... we use abbreviations and or symbols for everything. I guess that is an offshoot of texting ...quicker, simpler, easier, Ha! Easier, that is, if you aren't an old poop who can't remember everything you see or hear. Now I miss half the message because I don't have a clue about what they are saying. But, that is a subject for another day. Back to Furphy and the wonderful advise on the bottom of the water barrel. Wouldn't it be a better world if everyone followed it ... Happy Father's Day Stewart. You certainly are deserving of a day in your celebration.

Andrea @ From The Sol

Karen said...

That's really cool Stewart!

eileeninmd said...

Thanks for sharing and I like the phrase and meaning. Have a happy week ahead!

DIMI said...

I realy enjoyed your post!!!Thats true!!!I saw Vic.in front of the 'water tank'!!!Thank you for sharing!!Have a lovely week Stewart!!
Dimi..

Lea said...

What an interesting word!
Really like your photos, too!
Have a wonderful week!
Lea
Lea's Menagerie

Gunilla Bäck said...

That's an interesting story. Have a great week!

Rebecca Wallace said...

What a great story! Love the quote on the tank too.

chai-and-chardonnay.blogspot.com said...

That is a word I am going to adopt!

pattisjarrett said...

Interesting bit of linguistic history. Interesting old tank, I'd venture to say one would be hard pressed to find something like that today.

Terri said...

I like that word...I think I will use it. That's a very cool water tank...I want to find one!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

My grandmother was a great person for adages like that slogan...I think she may have had that exact one in her repertoire. Very old school, probably not on any of today's products.

Love the word furphy. And after we stayed a while in London, we definitely understood the language difference!

TheChieftess said...

I love furphy!!! What a great word!!! Maybe I can get California to adopt it!!! Check out my post for Wed...I think I'm going to use it!!!

Pat Tillett said...

Craftsmanship in everything! That is how it used to be...
Nice find and photo!

Linda said...

Good word, Furphy!

Laura said...

Excellent detail! I can't wait to see what you have to share with I Heart Macro this week! Sorry I'm slow getting around to visit, I've been out of town.