folklore (n.) Look up folklore at
"traditional beliefs and customs of the common people," 1846, coined by antiquarian William J. Thoms (1803-1885) as an Anglo-Saxonism (replacing popular antiquities) in imitation of German compounds in Volk- and first published in the "Athenaeum" of Aug. 22, 1846; see folk + lore. Old English folclar meant "homily."

This word revived folk in a modern sense of "of the common people, whose culture is handed down orally," and opened up a flood of compound formations: Folk art (1892), folk-hero (1874), folk-medicine (1877), folk-tale (1850; Old English folctalu meant "genealogy"), folk-song (1847, "a song of the people," translating German Volkslied), folk-singer (1876), folk-dance (1877).