The Museum of Hoaxes
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Female thieves hide money in their bras, 1950
Taco Bells buys the Liberty Bell, 1996
Jernegan's Gold Accumulator Scam, 1898
The Nobody For President Campaign, 1940 to Present
Brief History of Triple-Decker Buses
Actress who claimed she was kidnapped by puritans, 1950
Dog wins art contest, 1974
Baby Yoga, aka Swinging Your Kid Around Your Head
The Case of the Vanishing Belly Button, 1964
Jennifer Love Hewitt's Disappearing Breasts
Truthiness
Status: New word
The American Dialect Society has announced its words of the year for 2005 (links to a pdf file). A number of them are relevant to the study of hoaxes. For instance, the word of the year is Truthiness:

truthiness: the quality of stating concepts or facts one wishes or believes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true.

I suppose the opposite of truthiness would be hoaxiness. A few of the other words of the year include:

flee-ancée: runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks.
Whizzinator: a trademarked urinating device using a realistic prosthetic penis and synthetic urine in order to pass a drug test.
Bumper Nutz: fake testicles hung from the rear end of a vehicle.


In Hippo Eats Dwarf I have a lot of word definitions like this. I included Whizzinator, but truthiness and flee-ancée are new to me, so they didn't make it in. Nor did bumper nutz, even though I knew what these are. (Prankplace, that company I have affiliate links to, actually sells them.) If there's ever a second edition of the book, I'll put them in. (via The Presurfer)

Update: As quite a few people have now pointed out, Stephen Colbert coined the meaning for "truthiness" used in the ADS's definition.
Categories: Literature/Language
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jan 09, 2006
Comments (8)
Remember, folks, the man who brought you truthiness, or at least brought truthiness out into the light, returns tonight: Stephen "The Truth" Colbert.

Colbert Nation...Hoooooooooooooooo!
Posted by TheMatt  on  Mon Jan 09, 2006  at  11:54 AM
"...Bumper Nutz: fake testicles hung from the rear end of a vehicle."

Something else I didn't know I needed.
I've seen bras for cars at the auto parts store (I don't get that one, either); now I guess they also need jock straps.
Posted by Big Gary in the northern hemisphere  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Mon Jan 09, 2006  at  01:45 PM
Blah, those prankplace ones are junk; too brightly colored. The best ones are the old socks with marbles in them.
Posted by Citizen Premier  in  spite of public outcry  on  Mon Jan 09, 2006  at  03:57 PM
Bumper nutz = pathetic loser
Posted by NeoCleo  on  Mon Jan 09, 2006  at  07:28 PM
I believe that "truthiness" comes from The Colbert Report on Comedy Central.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Tue Jan 10, 2006  at  04:57 AM
Dear Mr. Man-who-runs-this-website,

I am the unofficial, o.k. well I'm just a guy. But the Colbert Nation is offended by this posting for it was not approved by Mr. Stephen Colbert. Yes he may have invented a word that is now in the dictionary, but that doesn't mean you can use it without his permission. You have been warned.

Signed,
Phil McBaggypants
Posted by phil mcbaggypants  in  middle o' nowhere  on  Mon Jan 16, 2006  at  10:01 PM
LOL
Yes, it's awfully important to get permission to use words that are in the dictionary.
Posted by Boo  in  The Land of the Haggii...  on  Tue Jan 17, 2006  at  04:18 AM
Getting permission to use words in the dictionary is overly important yes. It's Colbert Nation code of conduct. I've had to get permission for 29 words in this entry.

Signed,
Phil McBaggypants
Posted by Phil McBaggypants  in  Wonderopolis  on  Wed Jan 25, 2006  at  08:03 PM
Commenting is no longer available for this post.
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