Where does the phrase “The man, the myth, the legend” come from?

Where does the phrase “The man, the myth, the legend” come from?

The phrase “the man, the myth, the legend” was coined by legendary race car driver Mario Andretti. And he said this when referriang to his rival, Ayrton Senna.

It was used as a synonym for a highly regarded person and often thought of as larger than life. It was also used to describe Charles Lindberg and John Glenn. It is important to note that the phrase may have been used before its use by Andretti.

However, it is widely believed to have become a part of pop culture because of the racing legend. It is also worth noting that Andretti refers to Senna as “mythical.” This is a fitting description because Senna was well known for his aggressive driving style. His moves were not seen as graceful but rather as aggressive and precise.

Where does the phrase “The man, the myth, the legend” come from?

Once again, stories could be more sketchy at best in solidly attributing the etymology of this phrase to any single source.

Most sites that I turned to attribute the phrase, “The man, the myth, the legend,” as used to introduce P.T. Barnum during his The Greatest Show on Earth tours in the 1870s-1880s.

Although there is no written evidence of this, only hearsay and a few unaccounted-for “diary entries,” it seems that Barnum began to be introduced in this manner by his anonymous emcees near 1880.

The good news for you is that since no one knows, you have the makings of a good book or short story centered on P.T. Barnum.

What’s the difference between legend and myth?

Fun question. A myth is a story based on a concept, an idea, or an answer. It’s an effort to explain something, but when the hard research is done, it’s clear there is no historical basis for the story.

A legend, however, is a story based on historical events. A legend is commonly embellished or murky, owing to distance in time or lack of documentation created especially near the actual event.

An observation. Whether one regards a story as myth, legend, or history commonly depends on influences outside of a rigorous examination of historical evidence. The biggest influences? Relationships.

What’s the meaning of the saying the man, the myth, the legend, and where did it come from?

It seems like a gradual evolution. From what I can tell, the phrases “the man behind the myth” and “the man and the myth” are both fairly old (the latter seemingly going back to at least the 40s, the former even earlier).

From my search, in the 70s, we started seeing things like Eugene Field: The Myth, the Man, and the Popular Imagination (1972), Frank Sinatra: The Man, the Myth, and the Music (1973), and Jesse Jackson: The Man, the Movement, the Myth (1975).

The earliest I could find from the exact phrase (the man, the Myth, the legend) is what appears to be a partially digitized 1986 College of dentistry yearbook (but with so little to view, it’s also possible that the uploader put in the wrong date).

Where does the phrase “The man, the myth, the legend” come from?

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What myths and legends exist in Indonesia?

A Bali native told me this. There is a persistent superstition in Indonesia that political upheaval will follow when any of its seven great volcanos erupt.

They correlated eruptions with the downfall of politicians and massive economic/political upheavals.

Mt Agung is the biggest volcano in Bali; the locals believe the gods live there, not unlike Mt Olympus. Now, Mt Agung has erupted again. While not the full might, people believe a corrupt and demagogic king in modern Indonesia will fall from power. Yes, there are special regions in Indonesia with Kings.

Is the Anzac legend a myth?

The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. Were they a novice, under-resourced, badly led group who displayed supernatural courage and ability?? NO! The ANZACs continued doing what Aussies do best – giving everything a go (including winning a war). 

The ANZAC spirit wasn’t born on the shores of Gallipoli; it was cultivated in backyards and the bush of Australia. The only Australian values brought to the world’s attention during WW1 were the ANZAC spirit- pride, bravery, and loyalty. 

Australian military officials quickly perpetuated the myth when it captured the world’s eye. Like all propaganda, it was used to bolster the Australian army’s reputation, make enemies fear contact with us, and create patriotic spirit in young men (Australia continued to avoid conscription and relied on men volunteering to serve their nation).

Where does the phrase "The man, the myth, the legend" come from?

Where does the phrase “The man, the myth, the legend” come from?

So, ANZAC spirit? NO! Australian spirit and inherent values?? YES!! The ANZACs were an example of Australian courage, bravery, and loyalty, but only one of many throughout Australia’s history.

In answer to your question, the ANZAC force as a courageous army may or may not be true (still being discussed by historians). Some believe Charles Bean was correct in his report that Australians were basically gods of war and single-handedly won WW1 for the British despite horrendous conditions due to their undying courage and loyalty (certainly makes for a better story). 

However, many records show that officers had to hold guns to soldiers’ heads to force them to charge machine guns, and there was a standing order to shoot any men who refused to charge entrenched positions. The ANZACs may or may not have been perfect, but their spirit wasn’t made in the war – it started long before.

What does “When the legend becomes the fact print the legend” mean?

It means that when the story of what happened is a better tale than what happened, publish it.

Of course, there will always be people like me who would prefer the unvarnished truth. The true story of Jesus’ or Mohammed’s life would still be interesting.

What’s your favorite British myth or legend?

A village called Beddgelert is near where I live, in the Welsh hills of Snowdonia. (Translated from Welsh: Gelert’s grave.)

The story: In the 13th century lived Llewellyn, Prince of Gwynedd, the most powerful man in Wales. One day, he and a party of friends decide to go out hunting. They sounded a horn to call his dogs, and they all came bounding up except his favorite dog, Gelert, so they decided to go without him.

When the hunting party arrived home, the child’s nurse greeted them, grief-stricken. “Please forgive me,” she sobbed. “I only left the child for a moment… and then the dog…”

Gelert ran up to them as she spoke, frothing at the mouth. He was panting loudly, and patches of fresh blood smeared his coat.

They were dumbstruck when Prince Llewellyn and his wife rushed into the child’s chamber. 

The furniture was turned over, tapestries had been ripped from the walls, and blood was everywhere. In the center of the room, the child’s crib stood upside down, and the baby’s blankets were torn.

“Where is my baby?” screamed Prince Llewellyn’s wife. “What has happened to our baby son?”

Prince Llewellyn looked at the damaged bedclothes and the blood-stained dog. He flew into a rage.

“You evil dog,” he shouted at Gelert. “You have killed my son.”

Where does the phrase “The man, the myth, the legend” come from?

He drew his sword and plunged it deep into the animal. Gelert slumped to the floor next to the crib and, after one last look at his master, died.

For a while, all was silent. Then, the couple heard the soft whimper of a small child. Prince Llewellyn’s wife rushed over to the crib and, turning it the right way up, saw her baby son, completely unharmed, lying on the floor. 

She, close by and covered by blankets and tapestry, found the body of a huge wolf – the wolf Gelert had fought and beaten. Too late, Prince Llewellyn realized what he had done. Gelert was not a dangerous killer dog but a hero.

“Brave Gelert, you did not deserve this,” said the Prince.

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He turned to his men. “Take my loyal and faithful friend. We shall give him a burial fitting for such a courageous dog.”

The men carried Gelert away and buried him in a green field close to the castle. 

A stone was placed at the spot so everyone who passed knew of Gelert’s story. Visitors to the village can still see the slab of stone that marks Gelert’s final resting place.

There are different versions of the same tale, but they are the same.


What urban legend do too many people believe as truth?

Oh, man. Only one?

  • There are “red rooms” on the dark web where you can pay to watch live murders.
  • We only use 10% of our brains.
  • Napoleon was short.
  • Criminals invented the dark web.
  • Porn sites give your computer viruses.
  • AIDS is caused by anal sex or sex with multiple people.
  • Women date jerks because they’re genetically programmed to want alpha males.
  • A giant bipedal heretofore-undiscovered primate called “Bigfoot” lives in the forest in Oregon.
  • Vaccines cause autism.
Where does the phrase "The man, the myth, the legend" come from?

What is your favorite Indian myth/legend?

You can call Puranas mythology, but certainly not Mahabharat and Ramayan.

My favorite legend is Arjuna from Mahabharata.

  1. The guy had the best focus.
  2. He was so committed that he used to practice archery even at night when other students used to sleep.
  3. Others take education from one or two Gurus, but Arjuna had multiple Gurus. He was a great Lerner and learned all his life.
  4. He was the greatest archer yet so humble and without ego. He never used to say that he was the greatest.
  5. Always respected elders.
  6. He could finish the great war with just one celestial arrow, but he didn’t. He told Lord Krishna that he would fight opponents with ordinary arrows and still defeat them.

He was the greatest human, just second to Shri Rama.

Where does the phrase “The man, the myth, the legend” come from?

Do you believe in God? Why or why not?

I don’t believe in God, but I do believe in a place. I am a Hindu but studied in a Christian school for ten years, so I have been to churches more than temples. 

My parents count me out of all the religious trips by default, and they give some random reason to my relatives when they ask why I am not joining them. But there’s a place that they always count me in, and I never say no. It’s our ancestral temple.

I’m not sure about other states in India, but South India has an ancestral God for every family that roots back to the place where the father’s ancestors lived. Ours is in a village near Mysore, Karnataka, and the first time I visited the place was when I was in my 10th standard. It’s a very small and old temple on top of a hill, in the middle of nowhere. This is the hill –

You can call me an idiot, but every time I enter the temple and see the deity, tears automatically start flowing from my eyes. This happened to me the very first time I was young and has happened to me all the five times I have been there, including my latest trip last weekend. 

I don’t know if it’s the small trek to the top of the hill or the atmosphere on top of the hill, but I feel something strange. I close my eyes and ask for things genuinely. And somehow, whatever I ask for always happens after the visit. It could be a coincidence, but good things always happen after visiting there. This is on top of the hill –

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Where does the phrase “The man, the myth, the legend” come from?

I have been to many other temples, and all I do is wander around and look at the architecture, paintings, and sculptures. Also, I’m a bit claustrophobic, so I often wait outside the temples because I feel suffocated when it’s crowded. I don’t even go to temples on my birthday, even if my mom requests me to. People who know me well know that I am highly incapable of being religious and spiritual.

But this place and my feeling about it is something that I can neither explain nor understand!

Finally, this is me, all traditional, a look that impresses my mom –

Maybe it’s no superpower, and it’s just me asking for something genuinely from the bottom of my heart. But, somehow, it works, so this place will always be close to my heart!

Sun Tzu said, ‘When you surround an army, leave an outlet free. Do not press a desperate foe too hard. What are the examples in military history that support his claim?

The same can also be found in Vegetius’s De re military.

Both the Chinese and the Romans discovered that if an enemy is surrounded and has no way out, the desperation will multiply its forces tenfold – this is the meaning of the English expression “burning the bridges behind.” 

But if the enemy is left a way out – no matter how small – he will grab it in desperation and rout through that channel. He can be slain then at will when routing.

This happened in the battle of Tagliacozzo 1266 when Charles of Anjou had surrounded the Ghibelline army of Konradin. He deliberately left a hole in the encircling ring, and when the Ghibelline army was routed, it routed through that hole, and the casualties were devastating.

Do more myths and legends appear?

Yes. Many moons ago, a young maiden frolicked in pastures of flowers in a land that may or may not be far away. This young girl happened to be a divine being. She also happened to be the daughter of the goddess of harvest, Demeter. 

Her name was Persephone. From his shadowy domain down below, Hades, the underworld god, watched her and fell in love. He knew he had no chance through traditional means, So he resorted to kidnapping. It was half successful.

Meanwhile, Demeter looked for her daughter. When she couldn’t find her, Demeter starved the earth, making it unable to bear fruit. Finally, Zeus, the king of the gods, intervened. He sent his messenger, Hermès, to look for Persephone. 

Eventually, she was found to be in the underworld. Persephone was smart and had mostly refrained from eating; however, hunger got the best of her at the end, and she ate three pomegranate seeds. By eating the fruit of the underworld, Persephone was therefore bound there. 

Where does the phrase “The man, the myth, the legend” come from?

However, Demeter would also kill everything on the planet if Persephone was not returned. Thus, a compromise was worked out. Persephone would stay with Hades as his wife for three months, representing the seeds. All the rest of the year, Persephone would stay in the world.

The story was about how Greeks explained seasons. Demeter would mourn for three months, and everything would begin to die: Autumn. Persephone would leave, and Demeter would become cold and hard so that nothing would grow: Winter. 

When Romans came around, they adopted this and changed it. Mythologies follow religion and culture. Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Mormonism. All these could one day be called mythology and legend, just some old folktale.

In short, to answer the question, yes. More myths and legends can and likely will explain some other unknown phenomena.

What does the phrase “breaking the fifth wall” imply?

I don’t know if there is a strong consensus about this phrase, but I use it often and describe my personal use of it.

“Breaking the fifth wall” extends the phrase “Breaking the fourth wall.”

Breaking the fourth wall occurs when actors/narrators reference the audience or the fact that they are in a performance.

Breaking the fifth wall is similar, but it occurs when the actors/narrators reference their previous works or their lives outside of the performance.


  1. In season 1 of Castle, Nathan Fillion’s character dresses up for Halloween as a Space Cowboy, referencing his previous role in Firefly.
  2. Deadpool and Deadpool 2 are nonstop Fourth and Fifth Wall references. During the closing credits of Deadpool 2, Deadpool travels back in time to kill Ryan Reynolds before he can accept the lead role in Green Lantern.
  3. Homer Simpson sends a meme GIF of himself walking backward into a hedge.

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What words or phrases drive people crazy?

Suspect. The term is often used in the newspapers and on TV to refer to the criminal who committed the crime. “The suspect shot four people at the meeting and then ran outside and into a subway to avoid capture …”

The police originally used “suspect” to avoid impugning guilt to a person they had in custody. It meant a person suspected of committing the crime but might be innocent. But the meaning has degraded with time. It has become synonymous with “the guilty but unnamed perpetrator of the crime.”

Where does the phrase “The man, the myth, the legend” come from?

At some point, I expect a defendant to claim that his trial is prejudiced because he was referred to as a suspect. It is easy to gather numerous quotes from news reports that illustrate that the word typically refers to the guilty person, not someone whose guilt has yet been established. 

Take the example I gave above: Can we substitute “The person who may not be guilty shot four people at the meeting, and then ran outside and into a subway to avoid capture …”

In their next edition, I expect that the Oxford English Dictionary will include “the person who committed the crime” as one of their definitions for the word “suspect” since they deduce their entries by looking at large numbers of publications to see how educated people use a word.

Where does the phrase “The man, the myth, the legend” come from?

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