Faerie Friday: Know Your Faerie Lore!

February 20, 2015 in announcements, blog posts, faerie fridays

It’s Faerie Friday, which means it’s time for a faerie history lesson!

The name “fairy” encompasses all types of enchanted folk. It comes from the Latin “Fatare” and the old French “Feer,” meaning “to enchant”. While “fairy” and “fae” are often used to refer to the enchanted realm as a whole and its many races, the Victorians redefined our modern pop culture idea of fairies as female cherubs with wings.

Here are some different terms for fairies, with their pronunciations and native area. Click on the names for more information.

Sidhe, Sith, Shee, Si, Side

(Shee)

Gaelic

Piskies

Cornwall

Ouph

Elizabethan England

Elves

England

Tuatha de Danaan

(tootha day danan)

Ireland

Daoine Side

(theena shee )

Ireland

Fir Bholg

(fir vulag)

Ireland

Greenies, Greencoats

Lancashire

Feeorin

Lancashire

Sleigh Beggey

(sleigh beargar)

Manx

Ferrishyn

(ferrishin)

Manx

Fary

(farrrrry)

Northumberland

Ferries

Orkney, Shetland

Fir Chlis – aurora borealis

Scotland

Seelie Court

Scotland

Pechs, pehts, Picts

Scottish Lowlands

Feriers, Ferishers, Frairies

Suffolk

Trow

Shetland

Gwargedd Annwn

(gwrageth anoon)

Wales

Gwyllion

(gwithlion)

Wales

Tylwyth Teg (terlooeth teig)

The Fair Family

Wales

Pixies, Pigsies

Yorkshire

The term fairy is peculiar to the English language and to English folklore, reflecting the conflation of Germanic, Celtic and Romance folklore and legend since the Middle English period. However, many other magical races in the enchanted realm from folklore around the world are classed under the name “fairy” today. Here are some of the most well-known:

Nymphs and Satyrs (Greek)

Aos Sí (Irish)

Feufollet (Cajun)

Zână (Romanian)

Duende (Spanish and Latin American)

Encantado (Brazilian)

Mogwai (Chinese)

Pari-pari (Malaysian)

Peris (Persian)

Tien (Vietnamese)

Yaksha (Hindu and Buddhist)

Aziza (African)

Alux (Mayan)

Curupira (Tupi)

Jogah (Iroquois)

Menehune (Hawaiian)

According to superstition, using a true name implies a threat, so faeries have also been referred to using other terms, such as: The Gentry, Themselves, They, Grey Neighbors, Merry Dancers, The Mother’s Blessing, Wee folk, Li’l fellas, Them that’s in, The Small People, White ladies, and Hillmans.