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"THE history of the tale of terror is as old as the history of man. Myths were created in the early days of the race to account for sunrise and sunset, storm-winds and thunder, the origin of the earth and of mankind. The tales men told in the face of these mysteries were naturally inspired by awe and fear."--The Tale of Terror (1921) by Edith Birkhead

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Tale may refer to:

  • Cautionary tale, a traditional story told in folklore, to warn its hearer of a danger
  • Fable, a brief story, which illustrates a moral lesson and which features animals, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature which are anthropomorphised
  • Fairy tale, a fictional story that usually features folkloric characters (such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, witches, giants, and talking animals) and enchantments
  • Folk tale, a story passed-down within a particular population, which comprises the traditions of that culture or group.
  • Frame tale, whereby the main story is composed, at least in part, for the purpose of organizing a set of shorter stories.
  • Old wives' tale, a wisdom much like an urban legend, supposedly passed down by old wives to a younger generation
  • Tall tale, a story that tries to explain the reason for some natural phenomenon
  • Urban legend, a modern folk tale consisting of stories often thought to be factual by those circulating them


From Middle English, from Old English talu (“tale, series, calculation, list, statement, deposition, relation, communication, narrative, fable, story, accusation, action at law”), from Proto-Germanic *talō (“calculation, number”), from Proto-Indo-European *del- (“to reckon, count”). Cognate with Dutch taal (“language, speech”), German Zahl (“number, figure”), Danish tale (“speech”), Icelandic tala (“speech, talk, discourse, number, figure”), Latin dolus (“guile, deceit, fraud”), Ancient Greek (dólos, “wile, bait”), Albanian dalloj (“to distinguish, tell”), Kurdish til (“finger”), Old Armenian տող (toł, “row”). Related to tell, talk.

See also

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

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