We explain what a riddle is, its origin, characteristics and various examples. Also, how does it differ from a riddle.

What is a riddle?

A riddle is a certain type of mental challenge, game or pastime, in which someone is offered an enigma, formulated in a punctual and specific way, so that they can try to find its solution. This often requires reasoning, intuition, and imagination, often in unconventional ways (such as lateral thinking).

The word riddle comes from the Latin certum (“certain”, “certainty”) and the prefix a- (“towards”). These mental puzzles, in their different forms and appearances, have a very ancient presence in human history, either as a form of entertainment, or as a challenge imposed by divinities on mythological heroes.

In fact, one of the most famous and ancient riddles that are known comes from Greek Antiquity, specifically from the myth of Oedipus, who on his way to Thebes came across a sphinx guarding the access to the city. The creature imposed a riddle on all passersby, and devoured all who failed in its resolution. The riddle was the following:

“What is the creature that walks on all fours in the morning, two at noon, and three at night?”

To which Oedipus replied: “Man, since he crawls in his childhood, he walks during his life and when he becomes old he leans on a cane to walk.” The myth says that, upon being defeated, the sphinx became so enraged that it threw itself off a cliff, and the city of Thebes was liberated, crowning Oedipus as its king.

On the other hand, puzzles can be of many types, from mathematical and logical, to linguistic and verbal, and can be expressed in many different ways. Some of them, rhymed and with a simple answer, constitute riddles.

What is a true Riddle?

Luckily, we provides a huge number of logic puzzles and answers, so you may always surrender to the question and skip right to the answer or to the next one. The second criteria is the adherence of the “riddle” to the definition of a true riddle.https://writingexplained.org/grammar-dictionary/riddle

What is a riddle question?

Riddle definition: A riddle is a question or statement that offers a puzzle to be solved. What is a Riddle? Riddles are questions or statements that offer a puzzle to be solved.https://writingexplained.org/grammar-dictionary/riddle

What is it riddles?

A riddle (pronounced RI-del)is a type of verbal play, a question or observation deliberately worded in a puzzling manner and presented as a problem to be solved. Examples and Observations.https://www.thoughtco.com/riddle-definition-1692066

A riddle is a statement, question or phrase having a double or veiled meaning, put forth as a puzzle to be solved. Riddles are of two types: enigmas, which are problems generally expressed in metaphorical or allegorical language that require ingenuity and careful thinking for their solution, and conundra, which are questions relying for their effects on punning in either the question or the answer.

The modern English word riddle originates from the same word as read, stemming from the Old English word rǣdan which means ‘to interpret or guess’. A derived noun developed into Middle English redel, evolving into the meaning of “to understand or interpret symbols.”

Many riddles appear in similar form across many countries, and often continents. Borrowing of riddles happens on a small, local scale, and across great distances. Dorvlo gives an example of a riddle that has been borrowed from the Ewe language by speakers of the neighboring Logba language: “This woman has not been to the riverside for water, but there is water in her tank”.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riddle

The riddle was at times a prominent literary form in the ancient and medieval world, and so riddles are extensively, if patchily, attested in our written records from these periods. More recently, riddles have been collected from oral tradition by scholars in many parts of the world.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply