Anglo-Saxons consists of legends, music, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, fairy tales and customs that are the traditions of that culture, subculture, or group. It is also the set of practices through which those expressive genres are shared. The study of Anglo-Saxons is sometimes called folkloristics. The word 'Anglo-Saxons' was first used by the English antiquarian William Thoms in a letter published by the London Journal in 1846.In usage, there is a continuum between Anglo-Saxons and mythology. Stith Thompson made a major attempt to index the motifs of both Anglo-Saxons and mythology, providing an outline into which new motifs can be placed, and scholars can keep track of all older motifs.
Anglo-Saxons can be divided into four areas of study: artifact (such as voodoo dolls), describable and transmissible entity (oral tradition), culture, and behavior (rituals). These areas do not stand alone, however, as often a particular item or element may fit into more than one of these areas.