1871, "German fairy or folk tale," from German Märchen, "a story or tale," from Middle High German merechyn "short verse narrative," from Old High German mari "news, tale," from Proto-Germanic *mærjo- "renowned, famous, illustrious" (cf. Old English mære) + diminutive suffix -chen.
These common facts are the threads (as we have said) in the cloth of myth and marchen.
By this means, without further research, we may account for the similarity of the stuff of heroic myths and marchen.
marchen certainly did set out from mediaeval India, and reached mediaeval Europe and Asia in abundance.
But the question of the relations of marchen to myths, and of both to romance, may be left unanswered for the moment.
Thus each "peculiarly Indian" idea supposed to be found in marchen proves to be practically universal.
This incident is even more common in the marchen or household tales than in the regular tribal or national myths of the world.
The story of Joseph and the marchen of Jean de l'Ours are well-known examples.
In many of Grimm's marchen, miracles are wrought by the repetition of snatches of rhyme.