Breadcrumbs are little navigation aids that show your users their location and how they got there.
The elements generally appear near the top of a web page, showing you the pages and subpages that appear before the page you’re on.
For example, on a blog, the breadcrumbs might look something like: Home>Category>Year>Month>Post.
And yes, the term comes from the (terrifying!) Hansel and Gretel fairy tale…