Word Origin & History
in allusion to unbelievable stories (1850) is in reference to Baron Karl Friedrich Hieronymus von Münchhausen (1720-1797), Ger. adventurer who served in the Russian army against the Turks; wildly exaggerated exploits attributed to him are told in the 1785 English book "Baron Munchausen, Narrative
of his Marvellous Travels," written by Rudolph Erich Raspe (1734-1794). As a syndrome involving feigned dramatic illness, it is attested from 1951.