Legend is a loanword from Old French that entered English usage circa 1340. The Old French noun legende derives from the Medieval Latin legenda. In its early English-language usage, the word indicated a narrative of an event.
By 1613, English-speaking Protestants began to use the word when they wished to imply that an event (especially the story of any saint not acknowledged in John Foxe's Actes and Monuments) was fictitious. Thus, legend gained its modern connotations of "undocumented" and "spurious", which distinguish it from the meaning of chronicle.
In 1866, Jacob Grimm described the fairy tale as "poetic, legend historic." Early scholars such as Karl Wehrhan (de) Friedrich Ranke} and Will Erich Peuckert
followed Grimm's example in focussing solely on the literary narrative,
an approach that was enriched particularly after the 1960s,
by addressing questions of performance and the anthropological and
psychological insights provided in considering legends' social context.