Ben trovato is a common abbreviation of the Italian phrase Se non e vero, e ben trovato; 'If it is not true, it is well invented'. In this case invented means 'made up'. And so ben trovato refers to something that is worth having heard even if it's not true.

It can also mean a story or anecdote that sounds like it should be true even through its not. "The tale of George Washington and the cherry tree is ben trovato, but apocryphal."

Ben trovato is often used to mean the authority to which false stories can be attributed to, and so is both an idea and a person.

Poem by Edwin Arlington Robinson. Robinson bravely attempts to look into another person's marriage and understand it. The result is a short but powerful poem.


The deacon thought. "I know them," he began,
"And they are all you ever heard of them -
Allurable to no sure theorem,
The scorn or the humility of man.
You say 'Can I believe it? - and I can;
And I'm unwilling even to condemn
The benefaction of a strategem
Like hers - and I'm a Presbyterian.

"Though blind, with but a wandering hour to live,
He felt the other woman in the fur
That now the wife had on. Could she forgive
All that? Apparently. Her rings were gone,
Of course; and when he found that she had none,
He smiled - as he had never smiler at her."

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