I found the following on today's Wired edition:

Apple’s Software Boss Reveals the Origin Story of iOS

Can origin be used as an adjective or some sort of modifier for other words? I couldn't find any source that defines it as an adjective.

Am I am being thick or is there something wrong with the title above?

  • Is it any different from creation myth? – TimLymington Aug 4 '12 at 9:59
  • @TimLymington- I dont know. Could you probably elaborate on that a little bit? – Noah Aug 4 '12 at 11:37
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    Why would you have origin be an adjective? School is not an adjective in school book – Born2Smile Aug 4 '12 at 11:47
  • @Born2Smile- In school book it acts like one. – Noah Aug 4 '12 at 12:59
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    This is an origin story, that is, a story about origins, and not an original story. You can have war stories, college stories, football stories, and so on. None of these words are grammatically classified as adjectives, although they all act like them here. – Peter Shor Aug 5 '12 at 13:15

Origin in this case is not an adjective, but a noun used as an attributive, i.e. a noun being used as a modifier for another noun. This sort of construction is extremely common in English:

  • origin story
  • creation story
  • love story
  • horror story

None of the words modifying story in the preceding examples are adjectives. They are rather nouns that define the type of the story.


It's a tag* rather than an adjective. Rather like someone would say "Tell the blonde joke" - i.e. a joke involving a blonde rather than a joke which is blonde. "Indolently elliptical" as my English teacher used to write on my papers.

*right word?


It seems to be an innovation. Normally I'd expect to see Apple’s Software Boss Reveals the Story of the Origin of iOS. The OED has origin as an adjective only as an obsolete form of original.

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    "Origin story" is not really an innovation, and "origin" is not being used as an adjective. – JSBձոգչ Aug 4 '12 at 23:30
  • @JSBձոգչ Right, it’s just the regular noun being used attributively. – tchrist Aug 4 '12 at 23:35
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    Not an innovation. Anthropology has a whole field of "origin stories". – GEdgar Aug 5 '12 at 1:28
  • "Origin story" seems to have been used since the 1920s at least. A quick glance at some of the earlier examples in Google Books supports GEdgar's comment mentioning its use as a anthropological term – sumelic Oct 9 '17 at 14:32

i think origin can be use as adjective because it gives us more details about noun and pronoun we write about. Origin is the begining or creation Eg ''paper'' is created or originated from wood The origin of ''cloth'' is cotton..and many more If we talk about man,man has his own origin,if we talk about places eg Nigeria it also has its own origin,how it got her name,how it gain independence,how democracy came to Nigeria,her first head of state,prime minister,president and lot more. Origin tell us more about anything we are writing about. Adjective also has its own origin

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