Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Z is for Zaddy (Romance Tropes in Folklore)

This year, my A to Z Blogging Challenge theme is Romance Tropes in Folklore! For each letter, I will pick a popular trope from romcom movies and romance novels, and see if I can find the same trope in folktales and legends. Because it's fun. Here we go.


That's it, I'm officially done :D I managed to get through April, and I scheduled all these posts by March 31st! I might be scraping a little here, but Z was not very easy, in folklore terms. Thank Merriam-Webster for defining this term for me so I can use it.

(As for the image, Google has spoken.)


So, by the definition, a zaddy is a man who is stylish, attractive, and charming. The term is usually applied to older men (or at least men who are not in the "young adult" category). Since all this seems very subjective, I'm just going to list some of my favorite folklore characters who fit the bill.


Zal (Persian Book of Kings)

Always my favorite folklore crush, the white-haired prince from the Shahnameh. Abandoned at birth in the mountains, raised by the legendary Simurgh bird, returned to his father's court as an adult to take his rightful place. Hero of an epic romance, father to the great warrior Rustam, loving husband, caring father, damn clever and honorable man through and through.

Fionn Mac Cumhaill (Ireland)

Leader of the Fianna, legendary warrior band of Ireland. Raised in the wilderness (alright I have a type sue me), blessed with wisdom, single father raising one of the most famous bards in tradition. Golden-haired, fearsome, clever. Raised by a female couple and he turned out mightly fine.

Sir Kay (Arthurian legends)

Generally known as she sharp-tongued and grumpy senechal of Camelot, he is Arthur's foster-brother and the reason all those knights have food on the table. I always liked this character because he is fundamentally flawed yet extremely interesting. Also, there is a romance (Girar D'Amiens' Escanor) that features him in falling for an equally sharp-tongued lady. SOMEONE PLEASE TRANSLATE IT.

The wild man (Austrian folktale)

This is an obscure one, but one of my favorite folktales. It features a poor charcoal burner trying to find a godfather for his newborn son. In a thunderstorm he finds a hut in the forest, and in it encounters a great strong man. The man agrees to be the godfather. He rides a giant black cat, knows the secrets of wild herbs and plants, and is inexplicably rich. He gives the boy the name Wood-Cat, and helps raise him when he enters his rebellious teenage years.

That's it, everyone! Thank you for sticking with me for another year of A to Z!

I don't think my blog search hits will ever recover. :D

If you were participating, congratulations on finishing the challenge! Pat yourself in the back! 

See you next week for Reflections!


  1. Congratulations on another superb A to Z!

  2. Congratulations on finishing this once again!

  3. That wild man sounds pretty "zaddy"! A word I never hear of before. Thank you for all the wonderful folktales you shared with us!

  4. Congratulations on completing the challenge. You were my second most commented upon blog. I loved all the folk stories. Thanks for sharing them. As for Zaddies...I'm wondering if I qualify as one base don your description. ha ha

  5. Well done on getting to the end, I've loved your blogs and the stories.

  6. Jamie (jannghi.blogspot.com):
    I did not know this term. Thanks for sharing. Your A to Z this year was a fun topic.

  7. You made it! I didn't comment a lot, but enjoyed all your posts.


  8. Hello! I found your blog through another blogger and I am not folloing you. I did the challenge as well but have not wrote my summary. I will write it today! Looking forward to reading more from you.

  9. Interesting selection. And I learned a new word. LOL.

    Ronel visiting for Z: My Languishing TBR: Z
    Zombies in Folklore and Fiction