Glossary - Urban Legends and Folklore
In art, literature, and folklore, the symbolic representation of truths or generalizations about human existence.
The belief that all creatures and all objects - even ones science regards as 'inanimate' - possess a soul or personality; the belief that all things are alive in some sense.
The scientific study of the origin and behavior of man, including the development of societies and cultures.
Of questionable authenticity; spurious.
Something believed - i.e., accepted as true.
A traditional narrative (e.g., a fable, proverb, or urban legend) with a moral message warning of the consequences of certain actions or character flaws.
A letter, fax, or email directing recipients to send out multiple copies of same so that its circulation increases exponentially.
A long-established practice common to a specific people or culture.
To expose and disprove false or exaggerated claims.
A short allegorical narrative making a moral point, traditionally by means of animal characters who speak and act like human beings.
A composer of fables.
Folklore - e.g., jokes, rumors, parodies, or urban legends - disseminated by means of a fax (facsimile) machine.
The traditional beliefs, practices, customs, stories, jokes, songs (etc.) of a people, handed down orally or behaviorally from individual to individual.
The academic study of folklore.
A traditional narrative, usually anonymous, handed down orally - e.g., fables, fairy tales, legends, etc.
In mythology, an immortal, supernatural being who is the subject of traditional sacred stories; in religion, an immortal, supernatural being who is the object of worship and prayer.
An act, document or artifact intended to deceive or defraud.
A traditional historical tale (or collection of related tales) popularly regarded as true but usually containing a mixture of fact and fiction.
A lesson of ethical or practical significance expressed or implied in a story.
A traditional sacred story, typically revolving around the activities of gods and heroes, which purports to explain a natural phenomenon or cultural practice.
The body of myths (sacred stories) of a particular culture, or of humankind as a whole; the study and interpretation of such myths.
An account of a series of events or incidents, whether true or fictitious; a story.
Folklore - e.g., urban legends, rumors, and hoaxes - transmitted by means of the Internet (i.e., via email, blogs, or Websites).
old wives' tale
A traditional belief, often founded in superstition, typically stated in the form of a maxim or proverb.
The verbal dissemination of folklore from person to person and generation to generation over time.
Instance of an urban legend being unwittingly acted out in real life. (To knowingly act out an urban legend is called 'pseudo-ostension.')
All the gods of a people.
A short, popular saying that expresses some practical truth or illuminating thought about everyday life.
A system of cultural beliefs and practices - including moral codes, rituals and devotional observances - concerning the creation, nature and purpose of the universe and the role of a god, gods or other superhuman agencies therein.
A statement or opinion widely disseminated and alleged to be true though its veracity is unconfirmed.
In Internet parlance, unsolicited commercial email sent out in bulk; the electronic equivalent of junk mail.
An irrational belief - i.e., one held in spite of evidence to the contrary - usually involving supernatural forces and associated with rituals.
A moral or cautionary restriction placed upon certain actions by authorities (kings, priests, shamans, etc.) of a people, which if ignored will result in specific negative consequences.
A belief, custom, story, or practice (etc.) handed down from generation to generation by word of mouth or demonstration.
An apocryphal, secondhand story that is told as true, plausible enough to be believed, and likely to be framed as a cautionary tale, about some horrific, embarrassing, ironic, or exasperating series of events that supposedly happened to a real person.
A deceptive alert disseminated via forwarded email warning users of a computer virus, Internet worm, or other security threat which in reality does not exist.
friggatriskaidekaphobia - A morbid, irrational fear of Friday the 13th
Definition of paraskevidekatriaphobia - A morbid, irrational fear of Friday the 13th.
Definition of triskaidekaphobia - A morbid, irrational fear of the number 13.