People love to read or listen to stories. When we were kids, we would listen to every story that our parents would read or tell us. These stories could be legends or myths.
A myth is a traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of people or explaining some natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events. These stories are untrue and imaginary that are passed on for generations.
They were created to explain the origins of the world or of belief systems, practices, or natural occurrences in the location of that culture. Myths do not necessarily contain any truth but they often display the biases and values of the culture from which they came from. The word myth is derived from the Greek word ‘mythos’, which means ‘story’.
Examples of Myth Stories:
- Egyptian Mythology: Ra
- Japanese Mythology: Izanagi and Izanami
- Roman Mythology: Cupid
- Norse Mythology: Thor
- Mayan Mythology: Huracán
A myth can also be a widely held but false idea or belief. Some examples of these myths are:
- A black cat crossing the road in front of you when you just left home brings bad luck.
- Counting your money at night is bad luck.
- All windows inside a house should be opened to let good fortune come in.
- If a fishbone gets stuck in your throat, don’t tell anyone. Instead, spin your plate three times to make it disappear.
- When you dream about a friend wearing white, it means she/he is getting married.
Legends can be confused with myths, but they are not the same. A legend is partly true. It has evidence that the events occurred and the people existed, but the evidence may be insubstantial. Although it has some truth, facts are distorted or exaggerated.
However, a myth doesn’t have evidence that the events and characters in the story existed. Myths are fictional stories that were created to teach a lesson, to explain one of the many mysteries of life as well as phenomenon of nature, and to describe the customs, institutions, or religious rites of a group of people.
Examples of myth used in a sentence:
- I just found out that Icarus flying too close to the sun until his wax wings melted and he crashed into the sea is a myth.
- I have heard lots of myths in my life
Oscar: I just learned that people speak different languages because they created The Tower of Babel and God didn’t want people to unite, so He destroyed the tower and made everyone speak in different languages.
Nestor: Gosh! Do you really believe that? It is just a myth.
Oscar: No, it’s true! It is written in the Bible, so it must be true.
Nestor: Well, I don’t want to argue with you, but please don’t believe everything you read and hear.
Oscar: I believe that the Bible is infallible, and this story is in the Bible. I hope you find the truth soon.
Nestor: Thanks, but I am not fan of reading myth stories.
Words that are derived from myth include:
Mythology: is a noun and refers to the science of study of myths. It can also be described as a set of myth stories.
Mythos: a theme or a plot of a fictional story. It can also refer to the pattern of basic values and attitudes of a certain group of people that are transmitted through myths and the arts.
Synonyms of MYTH
Folktale- is a popular story was passed on by word of mouth. Folktales consist fables, fairy tales, old legends and urban legends. Some tales can be based on partial truth, so folktales can fall into myths or legends category.
Legend- is a semi-true story, which means that its characters may have existed but some parts of the story are untrue.
Fable- is a fictional story that use animals as characters and teaches a moral lesson.
Folklore- is any traditional customs and arts such as tales, sayings, dances, etc. that are formed and preserved by a group of people.
Saga- is a long or series of incidents that involve heroic acts or achievements.
Lore- is a traditional belief or knowledge held by a group of people that are usually passed by word of mouth.
A myth should not be confused with mystery since they are not similar.
A mystery is defined as follows:
- fiction story about the solution of a mysterious crime.
- something that is beyond our understanding.
- a religious truth that is hard to understand.
Myth and Snob
In these days, women may wear snob or myth lipsticks. A pale nude shade of lipstick is called myth, while snob is a light to pink shade lipstick.