Pronounced: ah(n)-bo(n)-PWAH(n), noun
Notes: The parentheses above mean that the ‘n’ sound is very lightly pronounced. I find this a hard word to guess; one either knows it or doesn’t know it. Before I knew the word, it looked like it might be related to embroidery (’emb-‘) or needlepoint (-‘point’).
The word euhemerism is “the idea that gods are based on historical heroes whose stories became exaggerated in retelling”.
The word came into English in the mid-1800s
Background / Comments
This word is named after Euhemerus, a Greek writer who lived around 340-260 BC. He proposed the theory that the gods of mythology were based on real heroes whose deeds became exaggerated over time (and the meaning hasn’t changed much from when he proposed it).