Monday, October 11, 2004

Etymology Today from M-W: saga \SAH-guh\
1 : a prose narrative recorded in Iceland in the 12th and 13th centuries of historic or legendary figures and events of the heroic age of Norway and Iceland
2 : a modern heroic narrative resembling the Icelandic saga
3 : a long detailed account

The original sagas were prose narratives that were roughly analogous to modern historical novels. They were penned in Iceland in the 12th and 13th centuries and blended fact and fiction to tell the tales of famous rulers, legendary heroes, or even plain folks. And they were aptly named; "saga" traces back to an Old Norse root that means "what is said or told." When English speakers borrowed the term back in the early 1700s, they used it to describe those first Icelandic stories. Later, "saga" was broadened to cover anything that resembled such a story, and eventually it was further generalized to cover any long, complicated scenario.

Previous E.T.

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