Why do we call riddles riddles?

Words don’t just pop out of thin air. They all come from previous language and builds up. 

The word riddle can be traced to all the way back to its PIE root “krei-” which means to sieve. In Old English the word “hriddel” is the direct root of riddle. This word meant “Coarse sieve.” Riddles can be related to sieves in that you start with all possibilities but you use the clues in the riddle to slowly sieve away all of the incorrect answers until you arrive upon the correct one.

For some great hriddels visit Good Riddles Now’s good riddles section.

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Facebook and Giraffes

It’s 3 a.m., the doorbell rings and you wake up. Unexpected visitors! It’s your parents and they are here for breakfast. You have strawberry jam, honey, wine, bread and cheese. What is the first thing you open?

This riddle has been going around Facebook for a bit and has become really popular. It works by having somebody post this riddle as their status and you message them what you think the answer is. If you’re right you get the satisfaction, if you’re wrong you have to make a giraffe your profile photo. The answer to this riddle is the door. Many people try to say it is “your eyes,” but it is generally accepted that the answer is the door like it was generally meant to be. If you want to be as tedious to say the answer is your eyes than really you could also say your air passage or a number of other answers.

For more riddles visit Good Riddles Now’s best riddles and answers section.

Why authors use riddles

Riddles are okay, but not that great. So why do we see them so much in popular culture. We see them so much in pop culture because all of the people who make and influence pop culture loves them. Some of the people that had a love for riddles are Stephen King, Dan Brown, Aristotle, Jane Austen, Edgar Allan Poe, and many more. A great example of one of these riddles written by Edgar Allan Poe:

The noblest name in Allegory’s page,
The hand that traced inexorable rage; 
A pleasing moralist whose page refined, 
Displays the deepest knowledge of the mind; 
A tender poet of a foreign tongue, 
(Indited in the language that he sung.) 
A bard of brilliant but unlicensed page 
At once the shame and glory of our age, 
The prince of harmony and stirling sense, 
The ancient dramatist of eminence, 
The bard that paints imagination’s powers, 
And him whose song revives departed hours, 
Once more an ancient tragic bard recall, 
In boldness of design surpassing all. 
These names when rightly read, a name [[make]] known 
Which gathers all their glories in its own.

The answer is actually 11 separate authors:

Line(s) – Author
1 – Spenser 
2 – Homer 
3-4 – Aristotle 
5-6 – Kallimachos 
7-8 – Shelley 
9 – Alexander Pope. 
10 – Euripides 
11 – Mark Akenside 
12 – Samuel Rogers 
13-14 – Euripidies 
15-16 – William Shakespeare

For more riddles from great people visit Great Authors That Riddle

For some more riddles to solve on your own visit Good Riddle Now’s funny riddle section.

Riddles by Neil Gaiman’s

Neil Gaiman is not the most well-known author, but he is very popular and has received more awards for writing than most authors. He has an affinity for riddles, including them in many of his works. One of the riddles from his works:

When there is a fire inside you i am still cold.

The answer to this riddle is a mirror.

For more riddles from this man visit Riddles of Gaiman

For some riddles for yourself visit Good Riddles Now’s kids riddles and answers section.

The Greeks and Their Riddles

Ancient Greece was a civilization that lasted from around 700 BC to about 600 AD. It spread across Europe and beyond to become one of the most powerful civilizations to ever exist. This civilization was home to many of the greatest men of history including Homer, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. A less known fact about these great men of academia is that they loved riddles. Here is a riddle in Homer’s life:

We have what we did not find; what we did find we left behind.

The answer to this riddle is lice. Homer supposedly journeyed to an island called Ios and was posed this riddle by some boys who were just fishing. He then dies while pondering the answer.

For more riddles from Homer and other great Greeks visit Riddles of the Greeks.

For some riddles of your own visit Good Riddles Now’s hard riddle section.

Riddles from Socrates

The father of philosophy, Socrates, was also a man of riddles. The most popular one comes from the Oracle of Delphi. The Oracle is asked by a man:

Is anyone wiser than Socrates?

The Oracle answers simply with “no!” This becomes a riddle for Socrates and he must find out why this Oracle said he is the wisest person since he knows that he is not. Eventually he comes to the conclusion that his wisdom comes from the fact that he can admit that he does not always know the answer, unlike other wise men.

For more about Socrates and his riddles visit Riddle of Socrates.

For a few great riddles of your own visit Good Riddles Now’s hard riddles section.

Riddles and Aristotle

Aristotle is probably the best Philosopher of the Greek empire with many of his original writings are still very relevant, even today. He thought that they were very useful in creating metaphors and explaining things that would be very hard to explain otherwise (through the use of straightforward text). Here is what he said about riddles:

Well-constructed riddles are attractive [because] a new idea is conveyed, … The thought is startled, and … does not fit in with the ideas you already have… The effect produced … is a surprise.

For a riddle from his actual works and more about Aristotle visit the Riddles of Aristotle.

For some great riddles of your own visit Good Riddles Now’s funny riddles and answers section.