Once upon a time  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Once Upon a Time

"Once upon a time" is a stock phrase that has been used in some form since at least 1380 (according to the OED) in storytelling in the English language, and seems to have become a widely accepted convention for opening oral narratives by around 1600. These stories often then end with "... and they all lived happily ever after". These are examples of the narrative form, and occur most frequently in the narratives produced by children aged between 6 and 8.

It is particularly apparent in fairytales for younger children, where it is almost always the opening line of a tale. It was commonly used in the original translations of the stories of Hans Christian Andersen, or the Brothers Grimm as a translation for the German es war einmal (literally "it was once").

The phrase is also frequently used in oral storytelling, such as retellings of myths, fables, and folklore.

Modern variants




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Once upon a time" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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