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Jan 6th 2019 at 2:52:19 PM •••

Pulled this example:

  • Greek Mythology: The Aegean Sea was said to be named as such because King Aegeas, father of Theseus, jumped into it to commit suicide after his son slew the minotaur and his ship returned home with black sails as Theseus failed to remember to signify his return home with white sails.

I don't think a story about how something got its name should count as a "Just So" Story. Aegeas' suicide has no effect on the sea; it is exactly the same as it was before it was called Aegean Sea. Naming Story could be its own separate trope.

Edited by LordGro Hide/Show Replies
Jan 6th 2019 at 4:23:29 PM •••

I don't agree that it can't be a "just so story" simply because only the name changed. The Wikipedia article on aeteological tales seems to include myths about the origins of place names as part of this phenomenon. I concede that not every naming story is necessarily a just so story, since some of those stories are more like history or urban legend than outright myth, but the Aegean story seems to me like a classic just so story in terms of explaining something unknown or forgotten to history in terms of mythological ancestors' deeds. Are there alternative examples you can cite to argue that another trope is necessary?

Edited by TheBigBopper
Jan 7th 2019 at 1:33:36 PM •••

"Aetiological myth", or "myth of origin", in its widest sense covers a lot more ground than what is described here under the name "Just So" Story. Legends about the founding of cities, or kingdoms, or states, are origin myths, even if they contain nothing supernatural or unreal such as we normally associate with the word "mythic". But the author of this trope description was clearly not thinking of these, nor of naming myths, but of stories that seek to explain aspects of the natural world.

Naming myths (also called onomastic legends) are a common element in folklore and mythology. You could easily get enough examples for a trope page.

Jan 7th 2019 at 9:40:13 PM •••

You make an argument that a reasonable troper might accept. I'd like to see some consensus before we propose splitting off a whole new trope, however. Since you mentioned the author's intent in writing the description, I'd better go back and look at the history; I made a pretty major edit to it sometime in the last couple months, although I believe I was elaborating on the ideas of the original rather than putting a major new spin on it.

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