The term "folklore" was first coined by William J. Thoms in 1846. Thoms was a Britist antiquarian who wanted a simple term to replace various awkward phrases floating around at the time to discuss the same concept; phrases such as "popular antiquities", "the lore of the people", and "the manners, customs, observances, supersitions, ballads, proverbs etc, of the olden times".
Looking for more Folklore definitions? Want to know what the difference is between a myth and a legend? Check out our Folklore definitions page.