Discovering a new word is not unusual, rarely exciting. A furphy, also commonly spelt furfie, n. slang (Aus) for a rumour, or an erroneous or improbable story has a remarkable origin but evidently is a neologism used to describe a common human activity.
The word is derived from water carts made by a company established by John Furphy: J. Furphy & Sons of Shepparton, Victoria. Many Furphy water carts were used to take water to Australian Army personnel during World War I. The carts, with "J. Furphy & Sons" written on their tanks, became popular as gathering places where soldiers could exchange gossip, rumours and fanciful tales.
Originally it was synonymous with "rumour" and "scuttlebutt", but the modern meaning (especially in Australian politics) is "an irrelevant or minor issue raised to specifically divert attention away from the real issue".
"Scuttlebutt" has a similar etymology, a scuttlebutt originally being a cask of drinking water on a ship.
Also what now we call "water cooler" stories.
Nothing new under the sun and J. Furphy & Sons established in 1864, is still a family owned metal bashing business (5th generation) and still operated from Shepparton, Victoria.
Three synonyms and all based on the human need for water, companionship and gossip.