Word: AnecdataFact, meet fiction.

Word: AnecdataFact, meet fiction.

Issue 44


Arts & Culture

  • Words Sala Elise Patterson
  • Artwork Mary Ellen Bartley

Etymology: The word anecdata is used to describe information that is presented as a substantiated truth (i.e., data), when it is in fact based on personal experience, speculation or opinion (i.e., anecdote). Or, as the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English briefly defines it, “information based on what someone thinks but cannot prove.” It is interesting to note that the designation neither confirms nor denies the accuracy of a piece of evidence; it only speaks to the process that informed its coming into being. 

Meaning: The earliest references to anecdata appear in technical and legal documents. The Oxford English Dictionary catalogs the first citation in 1989 in the Michigan Law Review. The term is thought to have come into more mainstream use a few years later. Economics jo...

The full version of this story is only available for subscribers

Want to enjoy full access? Subscribe Now

Subscribe Discover unlimited access to Kinfolk

  • Four print issues of Kinfolk magazine per year, delivered to your door, with twelve-months’ access to the entire Kinfolk.com archive and all web exclusives.

  • Receive twelve-months of all access to the entire Kinfolk.com archive and all web exclusives.

Learn More

Already a Subscriber? Login

Your cart is empty

Your Cart (0)