When I think of this week’s Word of the Week: Myth, I instantly think of the story of Robin Hood, which is perhaps one of the most well-loved English myths.
The funny thing about myths is that quite often there is an element of truth behind them, but all-in-all, they are typically fictional. However, what does the word actually mean?
The Oxford English Dictionary describes a myth as:
A traditional story of early history or explaining a natural event
A widely held but false belief
Originally deriving from the Ancient Greek word “Mythos”, meaning “speech, thought, story, anything delivered by word of mouth”. From the Greek, came the Modern Latin word “Mythus”. It is not known when either the Greek or the Modern Latin words first appeared. However, it is known that the English word that we use today originates in around 1830, but its first definite date in etymology is 1818 with the French word “Mythe”. The English evidently removed the “e” and the meaning remains fairly unchanged, throughout history.