~source, www.fictoids.comA fictoid is a bit of fictional history, making a statement or telling a story in one sentence. A typical fictoid tells who did what, when and where. A fictoid may even be partially true, but is never entirely true, or it would be a factoid. In fact, a fictoid is just a fictional factoid.
Example: (from the above source)
Example (by me, slightly more serious):The periodic table and the occasional chair are usually credited to 14th century Italian designer Leonardo di Vani, an elementary scientist and part time furniture designer, while his laid-back lover Sophia Lorenzi is said to have inspired the sometimes sofa, now and then known as the day bed.
"The derivation of the English word posh is from the acronym P.O.S.H. [Port Out, Starboard Home]."
A huge number of people have heard this a huge number of times and believe it to be true ... but in fact it isn't.
Which leads me on to the (ahem) Urban Dictionary () definition which is, for once, remarkably good:
¹ In a way (if you're a bit of a cynic) this could be said to be the basis of the entire internet ... and much of what passes for Wikipedia-based modern 'journalism'.A factoid that is false or unsupported by evidence, but gets into public circulation anyway. Once it is repeated and quoted enough times, it gains a life of its own, and people assume it is true because they get it from multiple sources, even though the original source is flawed or unverified, or the information turns out to be false¹.