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16

Since this is more a philological question, I'm going with this somewhat different take on the matter from noted philologist J.R.R. Tolkien: Fairy, as a noun more or less equivalent to elf, is a relatively modern word, hardly used until the Tudor period. The first quotation in the Oxford Dictionary (the only one before A.D. 1450) is significant. It is ...


13

The Old English word for fairies is elf (Online Etymology Dictionary): “one of a race of powerful supernatural beings in Germanic folklore,” Old English elf (Mercian, Kentish), ælf (Northumbrian), ylfe (plural, West Saxon) “sprite, fairy, goblin, incubus,” from Proto-Germanic *albiz (cognates: Old Saxon alf, Old Norse alfr, German alp “evil spirit, goblin,...


10

I haven't been able to find any reference for fairy men marrying human women, or the existence of full-sized fairy men at all. Note that the Tylwyth Teg only ever kidnapped human boys, not girls. This seems to support this (emphasis mine): Mr. John Jones speaks very little English, and Mr. John Rees, of the Council School, acted as our interpreter. This is ...


10

Turn your cloaks / For fairy folks / Are in old oaks - Old English saying I couldn't find a definitive explanation of why this legend happens. What I have ascertained is that it turns up absolutely everywhere, not just in Irish stories. I have found a few quotes that begin to offer a reason (although, I have to say, not a hugely satisfying one). The main ...


10

Yes, both in characteristics and history. Starting from here, Another writer, Wirt Sikes wrote in the British Goblins (1880), comparing the Welsh fairies with that of Norse/Teutonic fairies. Sikes says that there are four types in the Norse tradition: elves, dwarves and troll, nisses and necks, mermen, and mermaids. While in the Welsh traditions there are:...


7

What appears to have happened is a 20th Century conflation of two different legends, one involving leprechauns and gold and another involving rainbows and gold. There is really no evidence associating leprechauns with rainbows before the 20th century. (A different answer quotes a Time magazine article from 1952). The sole folklore-related Google Books ...


7

Check out: Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland by Thomas Crofton Croker http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/39752 The Brothers Grimm translated Crokers Fairy Legends and provided a summary in the beginning of their translation. Below is what they said, loosely translated and paraphrased: Fairies always live in large groups, never alone or in ...


6

David is correct. In English winged fairies are sylphs or sylphids. sylph (n.) 1650s, "air-spirit," from Modern Latin sylphes (plural), coined 16c. by Paracelsus (1493-1541), originally referring to any race of spirits inhabiting the air, described as being mortal but lacking a soul. Paracelsus' word seems to be an arbitrary coinage, but perhaps it ...


5

The tale of the Erlking follows a common motif in Germanic folklore; a forest-dwelling evil creature, ensnaring human victims. Unfortunately, neither Johann Gottfried Herder's Erl King's Daughter nor Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Erlkönig includes details on the Erlking's realm or attempt to explore the motivations or purpose of the creature. What both poems ...


5

I am no expert but I think that while some are geographical, most are based on pre-existing myths. Most Celtic faeries are linked to Greco-roman nature spirits and gods. For instance La Dame du Lac is probably a type of Naiad or Limnade. The Lares gave all domestic fae and other faeries. Local legends, like La Bête de Gèvaudan, one of a kind monster in ...


4

Tolkien apparently drew much of his inspiration for his elves from the Welsh supernatural owners of nature, the Tylwyth Teg: these are remarkable for the degree that the Welsh assigned their brand of elves a royal attribute. And this apparently suited Tolkien. There is a remarkable, broad swath of shared belief systems in Northern Europe that extends from ...


4

I certainly hope you weren't looking for Tolkien Elves or Santa's Helpers. "Elves" appear to be a part of the pagan Anglo-Saxon belief system; the word is Germanic in origin. However, it's hard to tell the nature of ancient Germanic elves because all of the written references were produced later, by Christians. Literacy in Britain at that time was mostly ...


4

I suspect that these things become confused over time, as they often do. If I had to guess however, I suggest that a reasonable explanation if you wanted to make the distinction, the 'Winged Fairies' could be called Sylphs http://central.gutenberg.org/articles/sylph They are spirits of air (although this may not have been the original conception) and as ...


4

The above answers concentrate on "species" of fairies, but it is also worth noting that different regions tend to have different ways of understanding Faery & fairy folk in general. For instance, in Brittany they are strongly associated with the Dead; in Ireland, with races of previous inhabitants. In Ireland they are likely to wear green; in Wales the ...


3

Alaric Hall wrote his thesis on elves in Anglo-Saxon belief. His website also has a lot of his papers on elf-lore.


3

According to Ancient Origins Leprechauns are now understood to be the fairy tales of the past and fanciful stories to tell when one sees a rainbow. I'm afraid I can't find anything else either. It may have been associated after Christianity came to Ireland, the rainbow being associated with the end of the great flood as told in the Genesis, and ...


3

A number of reasons: mermaids are part of nature, not culture, Classical depictions of marine deities and other spirits show them naked, and because mermaids are supposed to be sexy.


3

"Is there some sort of consensus as to what fairies actually do with them?" No. Because there is no consistent Hiberno-British folk mythology. Any apparent or alleged consistent anything about that was made up (or, let's be generous, synthesised) later. You can look at any attempt to record folk traditions from various places and periods, and they will be ...


3

You can find a lot of sources on Internet Sacred Text Archive ... You have to scroll down to approximately 7/8 and you can find all the fairy texts you need. Or ctrl-f fairies.


2

There is the Lore of the Yaksha & Yakshini. As well as Kinnara & Kinnari. Also Refer to a Tangential Piece of mine if you so feel. The Mythos of 'Yakshi'


2

Katherine Mary Brigg's The Vanishing People: Fairy Lore and Legends, is a good source, as well as Evan-Wentz's The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries and Robert Kirk's The Secret Commonwealth. They're all out of copyright, so at least some of them are in the Sacred Texts. I'd also recommend Diane Purkiss' At the Bottom of the Garden as a more modern look at ...


2

The Encyclopedia Mythica at http://www.pantheon.org/ has geographical sections. The Celtic section is probably a good place to start. It's the reverse of your original question, in that it lists many fairies and you have to click to see where each one might be associated with, but that might give you some general ideas and you can spread out your research ...


2

This got too long for a comment, so I hope it's all right to post here. The Writing in Margins blog is mine, so I'd like to offer a few addendums. It's always hard to disprove something rather than prove it, but I really haven't found any books of Welsh folklore that mention corgis as fairy steeds. There's Giraldus Cambrensis' Itinerary of Archbishop Baldwin ...


2

This is most likely a recent invention by Corgi breeders & enthusiasts. From "Did fairies really ride corgis?": The earliest source I can find is the poem "Corgi Fantasy" by Anne G. Biddlecombe of Dorset, England. She was one of the top Pembroke breeders of the 1940s and 1950s, and a founding member of the Welsh Corgi League in ...


2

Great question. The short answer is that the development of faeries being literally unable to lie is a more modern take1. There's no question faeries could be deceptive in earlier traditions, but outright lying is atypical. Additionally, your question raises interesting related points about the relevant folklore. Insofar as faeries and lying goes, there's ...


2

Fairies were not traditionally winged in folklore, and it seems unlikely that Michael Drayton imagined Nymphidia with wings; the first mention of winged fairies is usually dated to 1712. Fairies were widely believed to have the capability of flight or high-speed travel. See, for instance, Robert Kirk’s Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies (1691) ...


1

From "How Did Fairies Get Their Wings?": Search Google images for “fairies” and you find pages of diminutive human-like magical creatures with insect wings, often with pointed or animal ears and occasionally with antennae. Too often, this stereotypical fairy is at odds with the literature that produced her. No mention of such features appears in ...


1

Is there any surviving older source that records fairies or other beings as unable to lie, or even just keeping to a strict code of honesty? Yes! there's a lot of research in this field. You would be surprise with how much information and seriou research has been done in the matter. I would like to suggest 2 in specifics. Tree and Leaf by Tolkien. Thies is ...


1

I think the answer is that they hide their gold where no one can find it - as an article in Time magazine puts it: Irish folklore described leprechauns as crotchety, solitary, yet mischievous creatures. They were said to be shoemakers who socked away their profits in pots at the end of rainbows, or scattered them around in mountains, forests, or ...


1

In Irish mythology, the fairies called the Aos Si (the People of the Mound), fairies would protect their homes in fairy rings, hawthorn trees, and the woods. They would also spend their time kidnapping trespassers or replacing children with changelings if they break fairy law. These fairies mainly came to the Mortal World between dusk and dawn. Some fairies ...


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