1620s, from Late Latin oralis , from Latin os (genitive oris ) "mouth, opening, face, entrance," from PIE *os-/*ous- "mouth" (cf. Sanskrit asan "mouth," asyam "mouth, opening," Avestan ah- , Hittite aish , Middle Irish a "mouth," Old Norse oss "mouth of a river," Old English or "beginning, origin, front"). Psychological meaning "of the mouth as the focus of infantile sexual energy" (. oral fixation ) is from 1910. The sexual sense is first recorded 1948, in Kinsey. As a noun, "oral examination," attested from 1876. Related: Orally (); orality .
Lore is seen in societies with vigorous oral conveyance practices to be a general term inclusive of both oral literature and any written literature, including sophisticated writings, as well, potentially, as visual and performance arts which may interact with these forms, extend their expression, or offer additional expressive media. Thus even where no phrase in local language which exactly translates "oral literature" is used, what constitutes "oral literature" as understood today is already understood to be part or all of the lore media with which a society conducts profound and common cultural affairs among its members, orally. In this sense, oral lore is an ancient practice and concept natural to the earliest storied communications and transmissions of bodies of knowledge and culture in verbal form near the dawn of language-based human societies, and 'oral literature' thus understood was putatively recognized in times prior to recordings of history in non-oral media including painting and writing.