Talk:Paul Bunyan

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Original conversation[edit]

I don't see how the story extract informs the reader about Paul Bunyan. I think it should be removed or replaced with a more relevant extract. pomegranate 19:16, Nov 27, 2004 (UTC)

Paul Bunyan's historical mythological roots[edit]

I have performed a specific study of european myth and folklore in North America and found that many ties to New France can be linked to the development of the myth of Paul Bunyan. Does anyone else have information to contribute ?

Benjamin Britten and W H Auden made an opera about Paul. It included the couplet "when you looked at her bosom, you couldn't fail/ to see it was built on a generous scale"

-You can look at the Canadian Encyclopedia

There is also an article published in The Journal of American Folklore Society vol. 62, no 246, pp 416-422. Gartenberg, Max (1949). Paul Bunyan and Little John (talk) 19:53, 28 June 2010 (UTC) socrabe

Redirects and disambiguation[edit]

Current situation:

Paul Bunyan redirects to Paul Bunyan (disambiguation), which includes a link to Paul Bunyan (lumberjack) and other references.


Move content of Paul Bunyan (lumberjack) BACK to Paul Bunyan and include link to the disambiguation page at the top. I think this is the standard way to do it when there's little doubt what someone is searching for.

Powers 12:31, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

  • Agree, and I have no idea why someone moved this article last night without bringing up a proposal on the talk page first. ~CS 14:45, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Agree - Move Paul Bunyan (lumberjack) back and link to disambig from there. Sulfur 17:45, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Agree. Don't be so hard on the creator of the disambiguation page. This is a trivial matter, and it is often very difficult to guage the relative notability of articles linked from disambiguation pages. --TantalumTelluride 00:17, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Oh yes, I agree. Just to be clear -- no one disagrees with the creation of Paul Bunyan (disambiguation), just the move of the main article. Usually such drastic moves are discussed a little before the actual move takes place. But as you say, it's trivial. ~CS 03:10, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Concur. That's why I contacted him first and then put this up for a consensus before just reverting his change. =) Powers 01:56, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
  • That's what I meant. I was referring to the page move from Paul Bunyan to Paul Bunyan (lumberjack). The creator of the disambig page happens to be the same user who performed the move. I meant to defend his actions rather than question yours. Forgive me if my comment was out of line. Thank you all for not yelling at me like everyone else has lately. --TantalumTelluride 03:23, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
Err... sorry everyone. :-( My mistake. I now agree it should be moved. Maybe I can make it better by redirecting Paul Bunyan to Paul Bunyan (lumberjack) and adding a disambiguation message. Tell me how it is after I make the changes. Moe ε 22:26, 21 March 2006 (UTC)


Like I stated above, I decided to make a change and would like to get input what you all think. Since the main conflict was Paul Bunyan redirecting to Paul Bunyan (disambiguation). I redirected Paul Bunyan to Paul Bunyan (lumberjack). At the top of Paul Bunyan (lumberjack), I added a message stating that Paul Bunyan redirected there and for other uses to see the disambiguation page. Thoughts? Moe ε 22:32, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

Excellent. I wouldn't have done it that way, but that works fine. My way would have required an admin. --TantalumTelluride 22:37, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
We could still discuss your proposal if you want. Moe ε 22:44, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
I was thinking that we would have to delete the history of Paul Bunyan to make room for the move of Paul Bunyan (disambiguation) back to Paul Bunyan. It's hard to explain now that you've already fixed everything. My method would have required sysop rights for the deletion, but yours is perfectly fine because I've seen it many times in other articles. --TantalumTelluride 22:50, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
Sounds complicated :-D Seriously, whatever you feel it best, thats what should be done. Glad I could help fix my already stupid mistake. Moe ε 23:18, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
I moved Paul Bunyan (lumberjack) back to Paul Bunyan and am working on the links now. NoSeptember talk 00:48, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
That's what I was talking about. Well, that's what I was trying to talk about. Thanks. --TantalumTelluride 00:56, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

It's my understanding that Paul Bonyan dragged his axe to create the Grand Canyon in Pennsylvania, and not the Grand Canyon in Colorado... where the link goes to. It should probably be, But I see nothing there about it as well. I have been to the Grand Canyon of PA and there is an historical marker there mentioning this legend.

The Bunyans[edit]

Good idea, but I really feel this has no place in an article for an encyclopedia. Dangermouse29 15:14 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Babe vs. Blue[edit]

Is there some controversy over Babe's name of which I'm unaware? Powers T 15:03, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Being a folktale, it's certainly conceivable that there are versions of the story out there where the ox is named "Blue" -- however every version I'm aware of the name is "Babe." ~CS 17:17, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

i dont think that is controversy because im doing a study over this story and i understant how in every vision there is always BABE and i guess he was trying to stay away with that to get oyu thinking about BABE THE BLUE OX

Everyone knows Babe was 47 axe-handles between the eyes . . . and how Shorty, the cook, strapped cakes of butter on his feet and skated across the largest griddle every seen. Everybody knows that. DOR (HK) (talk) 05:40, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

Link to "Iron John"[edit]

This link says it is to "Iron John of Michigan" but the link actually goes to the Grimm's tale. Is there a separate legend from Michigan? If so, we should correct the link. --Cromwellt|talk|contribs 21:47, 8 October 2006 (UTC)


Under "recent fiction" it could be added that he's featured in the animated film "Hoodwinked". One of the four main characters is auditioning for a role in an adverticement for "Paul Bunyan's footcream" and so he has to act like a wood cutter (which spawns a number of problems). The slogan for the ad is: "Paul Bunyan's footcream has the soothing formula to make the bunions head for the hills (or heels)". Dec 1, 2006 —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

That's a passing reference at best. Powers T 15:30, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
Indeed. The actual name of the mythical product is "Paul's Bunion Cream", which makes it even more passing. Merenta 14:45, 29 June 2007 (UTC)


I'm thinking of changing "In recent fiction" to "In Popular Fiction" since there are also non-recent references to Paul Bunyan. Afterwards, I'll add about the Breath of Fire III character of the same name. Any objections? Nightmare77 (talk) 00:56, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

I think the entire thing should be changed to a more generic 'Modern' group, although I have no idea what to call it. Beyond the book and video game refs, there's been at least one animated short by Disney on him, and I'd be surprised if there arent other versions running around. Dshaffer111 (talk) 11:58, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Earlier mention[edit]

The American Dialect Society e-mail list produced the following: 4 August 1904 Duluth (MN) News Tribune, pg. 4: His pet joke and the one with which the green horn at the camp is sure to be tried, consists of a series of imaginative tales about the year Paul Bunyan lumbered in North Dakota. The great Paul is represented as getting out countless millions of timber in the year of the "blue snow." DCDuring (talk) 11:53, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

akls67.183.254.140 (talk) 03:21, 23 April 2008 (UTC) jmau

he is not the best woodsman alive —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:39, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with File:Enchanted Forest 01.jpg[edit]

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This is an automated notice by FairuseBot. For assistance on the image use policy, see Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. --15:11, 7 February 2009 (UTC) he is and hgjfbg

Featured in a The Simpsons episode[edit]

I don't write English. So can someone else add the interesting fact that Paul Bunyan is featured in an episode of The Simpsons. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:57, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Oh yes, I noticed the surprising omission of that fact while watching the episode today. I've already gone about editing the page. Thanks for mentioning it. -- (talk) 18:16, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Fakelore article[edit]

The article fakelore has some very good (and referenced) material that should be incorporated here. ike9898 (talk) 14:58, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Bears climb trees[edit]

This entire clause should probably be deleted:

"(despite the fact that bears do not need ladders to climb trees[citation needed])"

Generally speaking, black bears climb trees and brown (grizzly) bears don't.

Paul Bunyan would most likely have encountered a brown bear (note historical range below, which has been decimated by human development in the modern era), but since I'm not sure of that I did not edit the page.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:55, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

paul bunyan was a great lumberjacker —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:25, 4 June 2009 (UTC)


This article as I found it contained almost nothing to suggest that the character of "Paul Bunyan" as currently understood is a 20th century invention for an advertising campaign. Reworking article to reflect such. Vidor (talk) 15:33, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Sawing legs off of his parents bed vs. sawing legs off of his parents[edit]

I changed the article from the latter to the former, after I was shown in a book where this was written correctly. Inarchus (talk) 05:34, 18 March 2010 (UTC)


"Historian Carleton C. Ames (whose son Aldrich Ames would later become a notorious spy)[4] claimed in a 1940 article[2] that Paul Bunyan was a 20th century invention rather than a 19th century lumber camp folk hero." Why is the fact that Aldrich Ames would later become a spy relevant to this article?Bobafett356 (talk) 00:44, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

Marvel comics apperance[edit]

I just thought I'd mention here that Immortus once summoned Paul Bunyan to fight The Executioner in one of the early Avengers stories, Avengers#10.--Auric (talk) 04:07, 21 March 2010 (UTC)


This section reads as follows:

Ojibwe myth has it that Nanabozho saved the forests from Paul Bunyan. They fought for forty days and nights, and Nanabozho killed him with a big fish[1]. It is said that upon Bunyan's death Babe the Blue Ox was so distraught that he went on a muderous rampage through northern Minnesota and southern Ontario, eventually killing Nanabozho, goring him and draging his body across the state finally depositing his body on the site that became Red Lake; which took its name from the torrents of blood that spilled from Nanahbozho's wounds.

This seems unlikely to me. We have more or less established that Paul Bunyan was a 20th Century literary creation; so how could he be part of Ojibwe mythology? The citation given is just a brief throwaway mention with no explanation of hos this apparent paradox can be resolved. I propose that this section is fishy and should be deleted. Herostratus (talk) 12:30, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

No objections having been offered, I have gone ahead and done this. Herostratus (talk) 05:24, 11 April 2010 (UTC)


Much of how this article is structured, I feel, has a direct correlation to many of the errors the article has garnered. Here is a brief summary of my concerns:

  • The article's sources are drawn heavily from popular works rather than scholarly ones.
  • Information regarding tourist attractions and popular culture are erroneous at best and should be move to a separate article.
  • While "authenticity" is an interesting topic for debate, it should come after the sections that lay its groundwork not before.
  • The heading "myth" is in itself dubious and hence the whole section just invites inconsistencies into the article.

Additionally, the quality of any article's intellectual composition greatly determines its contributors; accordingly, this article has already set the tone for its downfall. In reasoning that such an article of "high importance" merits a greater attention to quality I have ventured to 'rehabilitate' the entire piece. The end result of a few years of on-again and (mostly) off-again work have resulted in the following draft User:Tripodero/Paul Bunyan. Additionally, I have piece together a companion article, User:Tripodero/Paul Bunyan in promotion and popular culture, in order to keep erroneous and trivial information off the main work. Naturally, neither of these pieces are perfect, but, as far as I'm concerned, constitute a better article overall. While I could simply add the "face-lift" now I have elected instead to submit the draft for review; and to allot time for comments or suggestions, if any, others may have.

- Tripodero (talk) 18:10, 05 May 2014 (UTC)

The Paul Bunyan article is a huge improvement, and I think it's pretty much ready for prime time. It needs a few minor text edits (e.g., "principal" rather than "principle"), but these could be made after your revision goes live. John M Baker (talk) 19:51, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the input, figured I give it until Friday than go ahead with it. Tripodero (talk) 00:54, 08 May 2014 (UTC)

Banyan Tree connection ?[edit]

I cant help but see a connection between the words Bunyan, and the Banyan Tree that is popular in Asia. Has anyone explored the possibility that there is a connection between the two considering their relevance ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gizziiusa (talkcontribs) 14:22, 23 October 2015 (UTC)

Bear in mind that the stories of Paul Bunyan were told by American lumberjacks in the early 20th century (and, likely, the late 19th century), with most stories coming from the north-central United States (i.e., far inland). It's hard to see an easy mode of transmission from Asia to that area. In addition, Bunyan is a well-established American surname. It may have been, as some early scholars suggested, that Paul Bunyan was called that because it was his name. John M Baker (talk) 14:40, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the prompt reply Mr. Baker. Im on skype with my filapina girlfriend, and she states that the banyon tree is known among them to "have a scary big man inside it, and that it tries to give people red and black food".   Obviously, there are now more coincidences here. Please note that I am only trying to possibly connect folklore here, nothing more nor less. I find it remarkable of all of the coincidences now brought to light. I have asked her to contact an expert folkloreist in the Phillipines to look into it. Please advise if you wish. Gizziiusa (talk) 15:10, 23 October 2015 (UTC)gizziiusa


  1. ^ Charles Brill. Red Lake Nation: portraits of Ojibway life. p. 151.