Urban legends — stories about phantom hitchhikers, deep-fried rats, and spider eggs in bubblegum — are classic examples of apocryphal tales. They're told as if they're true, but no one can ever verify their origins or authenticity.

Today, any dubious or unverifiable story may be dismissed as apocryphal. Originally, however, apocryphal was reserved for religious writings that were not included in the Torah or the New Testament of the Bible because the divinity of the texts was not certain. These texts are known as the Apocrypha and are included in the Septuagint (a Greek version of the Hebrew Bible) and the Vulgate (a Latin Bible edited in the 4th century).

Definitions of apocryphal

adj being of questionable authenticity

subject to question

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