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March 31, 2018 Tweet Word of the Week Like Word of the Week on Facebook
Word of the Week--"mythological"
Definition-- Mythological: pertaining to a thought or work of mythology.
Etymology - Dated at 1614, mythological was coined by adding the English suffix al, meaning "related to" to the commonly used word mythology.

The term mythology evolved first and reflects the same origins across many languages. Circa 1450 the English word mythologie was based on the Middle French term mythologie, which reflects the Latin mythologia and the Greek mythologia, otherwise known as legendary lore.

The term mythos (Greek for speech, thought, story, and myth) never became a popular English term but the shortened version myth became a permanent part of the language around 1830.

Commentary-- Myths have the power to entertain and educate people of all ages. These glorious stories were created and perpetuated by the oral tradition of storytelling, which is practiced in most human cultures. Mythology is used to relate history, illustrate moral lessons, and help humans make sense of their world. Myths can be both beautiful and horrible, much like life and nature. The Greek myth of Persephone and her destiny to spend half the year in darkness and half the year in Demeter's blooming world.

Scholars, writers, and artists have studies and derived meaning from the Greek myths for centuries. Greek mythology has been popular reading material for children in the United States since the nineteenth century. Early American writers, such as Henry David Thoreau and Herman Melville, read and admired the Greek myths. Thoreau translated Greek myths at one point in his career, and there are numerous references to mythology in the great American books Walden and Moby Dick.

An excellent source of mythology translated by an American is BullFinch's Mythology, which consists of three volumes titled the Age of Fable (Greek/Roman myths), the Age of Chivalry (King Arthur and the Legends of Charlemagne. Thomas Bullfinch, a banker from Boston, became wealthy thanks to the gold rush of 1848 and this income allowed him to write the three volumes. Bullfinch's works are still in print and widely read today. Further American mythologies can be seen in the development of the "tall tale" story and the urban legend (typically a horrific story of modern life that may or may not be true.)  

Alternates-- legendary, folkloric, fictional, heroic 

   Foreign Translations
Spanish:  mitológico
French:  mythologique
Dutch:  mythologisch
German:  mythologisch
Italian:  mitologico

Jane Ellis      Tweet Word of the Week Like Word of the Week on Facebook

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