Monday, April 27, 2009


1. story: "account of some happening," c.1225, "narrative of important events or celebrated persons of the past,"As a euphemism for "a lie" it dates from 1697. Story-teller is from 1709. Story-line first attested 1941.

History is full of his stories. There are many different types of stories.

2. myth: 1830, from Gk. mythos "speech, thought, story, myth," of unknown origin.
Myths are "stories about divine beings, generally arranged in a coherent system; they are revered as true and sacred; they are endorsed by rulers and priests; and closely linked to religion. Once this link is broken, and the actors in the story are not regarded as gods but as human heroes, giants or fairies, it is no longer a myth but a folktale. Where the central actor is divine but the story is trivial ... the result is religious legend, not myth." [J. Simpson & S. Roud, "Dictionary of English Folklore," Oxford, 2000, p.254]

There are many gods in Greek myth. I can never figure them out.

3. Folktale: I did not find this in the dictionary but I found folk. I guess folktale is the story about common people, men and tribe.

Folk: O.E. folc "common people, men, tribe, multitude," from P.Gmc. *folkom (cf. O.Fris. folk, M.Du. volc, Ger. Volk "people"), from P.Gmc. *fulka-, perhaps originally "host of warriors;" cf. O.N. folk "people," also "army, detachment;" and Lith. pulkas "crowd," O.C.S. pluku "division of an army," both believed to have been borrowed from P.Gmc. Some have attempted, without success, to link the word to Gk. plethos "multitude;" L. plebs "people, mob," populus "people" or vulgus. Superseded in most senses by people. Colloquial folks "people of one's family" first recorded 1715. Folksy "sociable, unpretentious" is 1852, U.S. colloquial, from folks + -y.

4. tale: O.E. talu "story, tale, the action of telling," from P.Gmc. *talo (cf. Du. taal "speech, language"), from PIE base *del- "to recount, count." The secondary Eng. sense of "number, numerical reckoning" (c.1200) probably was the primary one in Gmc., cf. teller (see tell) and O.Fris. tale, M.Du. tal "number," O.S. tala "number," O.H.G. zala, Ger. Zahl "number." The ground sense of the Mod.Eng. word in its main meaning, then, might have been "an account of things in their due order." Related to talk and tell. Meaning "things divulged that were given secretly, gossip" is from c.1350; first record of talebearer "tattletale" is 1478.

Tales are for telling. Gossip may come from telling tales.

5. Olio: modification of Spanish olla, a miscellaneous collection (as of literary or musical selections), a variety show
Olla Podrida is a rich highly seasoned stew of meat and vegetables usually including sausage and chick-peas that is slowly simmered and is a traditional Spanish and Latin-American dish

There are several storytellers telling stories in the olio show.

6. audience: from L. audentia"a hearing, listening" from audientum "to perceive" "hearing formal hearing or reception"

Storytellers need to involve the audience's attention.

6. legend: c.1340, from O.Fr. legende (12c.), from M.L. legenda "legend, story," lit. "(things) to be read," on certain days in church, etc., from neuter plural gerundive of L. legere "to read, gather, select" (see lecture). Used originally of saints' lives; extended sense of "nonhistorical or mythical story" first recorded 1613. Meaning "writing or inscription" (especially on a coin or medal) is from 1611; on a map, illustration, etc., from 1903.

A legend is a story coming down from the past ; especially : one popularly regarded as historical although not verifiable.

7. epic: 1589, from L. epicus, from Gk. epikos, from epos "word, story, poem." Extended sense of "grand, heroic" first recorded in Eng. 1731. The noun meaning "an epic poem" is first recorded 1706.

Epic is the historical story about a hero in the poetic form.

8. journey: c.1225, "a defined course of traveling," from O.Fr. journée "day's work or travel," from V.L. diurnum "day," noun use of neut. of L. diurnus "of one day" (see diurnal). As recently as Johnson (1755) the primary sense was still "the travel of a day." The verb is from c.1330. Journeyman (1424), "one who works by day," preserves the etymological sense. Its Amer.Eng. colloquial shortening jour (adj.) is attested from 1835.

Campbell discussed hero's journey in his book"The hero with a thousand faces." We are the heros on our own journeys. Different people responded to their calls differently.

9. shadow: O.E. sceadwe, sceaduwe, oblique cases of sceadu (see shade). As a designation of members of an opposition party chosen as counterparts of the government in power, it is recorded from 1906. Shadow of Death (Ps. xxiii:4, etc.) is Gk. skia thanatou, perhaps a mistranslation of a Heb. word for "intense darkness." Shadow-boxing is from 1924 (shadow-fight is attested from 1768; cf. also sciamachy). Shadowland "abode of ghosts and spirits" is attested from 1821. Shadowy "transitory, fleeting, unreal" is recorded from

10. tent: 1297, "portable shelter of skins or cloths stretched over poles," from O.Fr. tente (12c.), from M.L. tenta "a tent," noun use of fem. sing. of L. tentus "stretched," variant pp. of tendere "to stretch" (see tenet). The notion is of "stretching" hides over a framework. The verb meaning "to camp in a tent" is recorded from 1856. Tent caterpillar first recorded 1854.

11. symbol: c.1434, "creed, summary, religious belief," from L.L. symbolum "creed, token, mark," from Gk. symbolon "token, watchword" (applied c.250 by Cyprian of Carthage to the Apostles' Creed, on the notion of the "mark" that distinguishes Christians from pagans), from syn- "together" + stem of ballein "to throw." The sense evolution is from "throwing things together" to "contrasting" to "comparing" to "token used in comparisons to determine if something is genuine." Hence, "outward sign" of something. The meaning "something which stands for something else" first recorded 1590 (in "Faerie Queene"). Symbolic is attested from 1680.
There are many symbols used in the stories. The symbol of bird in the story could mean free.

To be continued...

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