Talk:Fairy

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January 30, 2007 Peer review Reviewed
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Contents

Faye is a fairy[edit]

Mariah+kyle=love [IMG]http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w312/babygrl1_bucket/thththglitterhearts.gif[/IMG] I have attempted to add the 'Aziza', which Wikipedia does include in a brief passage, but it has been deleted several times, when I attempted it. I am concerned and do not understand why this would be deleted when it is in fact faerie lore. There was some mention of not adding external links, however there is an edit button that allows additions to the section that leads readers further into areas of fae listed on Wikipedia which is where I included it. Can anyone help? Is this something only an admin can add? If so can it be added for the connoseiurs of fae? Thankyou. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.234.0.143 (talk)

How is this more notable than the existing examples? And you might be taken more seriously with an account. --Damian Yerrick () 20:20, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

HI there,

i added the original entry for fairy and was just editing it to add the info regarding a midsummer nights dream - and discovered someone else was doing the same thing at that very moment... who are you? :)

Sorry about that. Saw a gap and leapt in. If you're working on something it's useful to put a to be continued marker in it! sjc

Oh No worries at all - just interesting, coz I added the original entry ages ago, and just decided to add something :) (CatS - i don't actually have an account, perhaps I should create one.)

Yeah, having an account is nice. So much more human than an IP address! It's nice to be able to put names to contributions, too. sjc
Actually, the more I think and look at this the more I think we probably need a Fairies in art and Fairies in literature spin-off from this page. sjc
Hmmm - yes, a very good idea - and also something about cross cultural fairies perhaps? and what about Elves, Gnomes, Leprechauns,

Goblins etc?

These words all mean different things to fairies, and to the best of my knowledge only Leprechauns come directly from fairies (by modern mythological theory, in fact, "Lugh chromáin" is the name of one of the Sidhe).

beliefs and ideas of different cultures[edit]

How about having divisions for different cultures' ideas of fairies? And the history of belief in them? Around the time of the Scottish Reformation Scottish fairy belief started to change quite substantially, for example. Just a thought -Egoinos

yes! why not! please add what you know - sounds interesting. CatS


Indeed. According to my mother people in India have beleived in fairies for hundreds of years (they call them 'fo-rees'with a very soft f). Fairies in India are also associated with flora, the beleif being that the prettiest of flower gardens have a presence. I know people first hand that have attributed some possessions and even deaths to malevolent fairy posessions.


I AM FROM AFGHANISTAN AND WE TOO BELIEVE IN FAIRIES.IN AFGHAN LEGEND THEY ARE CALLED 'SHU FIRAI'WHICH TRANSLATED MEANS GOOD FAIRY,THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE A VERY BEUTIFULL BUT HIDDEN PEOPLE.ONLY APPEARING WHEN THEY CHOOSE TO GUIDE LOST TRAVELLERS AND PEOPLE IN NEED.THEY CAN ALSO BE BAD,TAKING GOOD LOOKING CHILDREN IN THE NIGHT NEVER TO BE SEEN AGAIN.WHAT THEY DO WITH THE CHILDREN IS UNKNOWN.

I am an American Indian woman. Few people realize how many tribes tell tales about indigenous little people with magical attributes very much like the European fairy. Just looking at the tribes in my own family, the Yaquis (Yoeme) tell of the Surem, the Diegue~nos (Kumeyaay) tell of the Eeyaopoo, and the Muskogee tell of little people who help medicine men find herbs. I'm finding out that other tribes (including indigenous Hawaiian) have their own stories. For references, see Muriel Thayer Painter's "With Good Heart" (Surem), and David Lewis Jr. & Anne T. Jordan's "Creek Medicine ways (Muskogee little people.) I'm afraid I have only anecdotal accounts of the Eeyapoo. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dreamdeer (talkcontribs) 03:43, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

pre-Celtic little people[edit]

From the article: "This belief has prompted some historians and mythological commentators to speculate that the fairies are actually derived from a folk memory of the people that inhabited the island of Great Britain before the Celts arrived. These people would have been armed only with stone, and hence iron would have been the decisive Celtic advantage."

Does anyone know any actual scholars or historians that have ever suggested this? This seems connected with an idea that the "little people" were pre-Celtic people in the British Isles, too, or that the Picts were (and that these people were also apparently small in stature despite the fact that skeletons we have from that time don't suggest that, and we have a number of skeletons that would be freakishly large people even today). I've never seen any scholars suggest this but I seen it come out of many people with a questionable understanding of Celtic history (usually people who would also like to paint the Celts as noble matriarchal savages...). Also, if the "little people" and allied beings were just mythologised pre-Celtic people the Celtic cultures would then have been absent of "little people" type beings before then, which isn't likely as all other people related to the Celts also had them (The Germanic elves/alfar for instance). Iron is also a Pan-Indo-European counter against ill things in general so the idea would seem likely to have been around before the Celts found non-iron bearing people to conquer.

David MacRitchie is the only one I can find that did any serious work on it, but I know the idea came from about the Victorian age. It's relativity hard for me to find anything, sadly. Armchair scholar and Google never have sites about the truths of Fairies, only about those cute, childish, sites. Annoying, but what can I do? 23:01, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
Most of theories about the fairies as pre-Celtic people originate from Margaret Murray and her book, The God of the Witches. She also claimed that there was a universal Diana cult that lasted from the ancient Greeks into modern society. All of her theories have since been proven false, with only circumstantial, weak archaeological evidence backing her up. So the idea of fairies as fallen angels or as the dead are far more likely to be true. 67.167.26.239 15:51, 26 January 2007 (UTC) Chris G.
Nope, a number of the theories were considerably older than Murray's book. See the references provided for that section. Goldfritha 03:44, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Roman origins of Fairy myth?: I heard a completely different version of what the word Fairy originally meant and the origins of the fairy myths. I don't recall where I heard this and it was many years ago that I heard it so I'm wondering if anyone else has heard this version. From what I recall, when the Romans conquered the Celts in what is now England, it was covered with forests and a relatively wild place by Roman standards. Those Celts who did not wish to submit to Roman rule moved deep into the forests and hid themselves there, forming communities that lived in tree houses high enough to escape the notice of any Romans who might wander in searching for them and these communities lasted througout the Roman occupation. The Romans tended to be darker skinned than the Celts, with darker hair and brown eyes, while the Celts were blonde, blue eyed and very white skinned. The Romans of course were aware that these Celts were out there but they didn't put a lot of effort into going after them because they controlled the parts they wanted and they weren't that eager to go deep into the forests. The word fairy somehow evolved from the fact that the Celts were fair-skinned, blue-eyed blonde people. The myths of their powers were the result of Roman mothers warning their children not to go too deep into the woods, for fear that the Celts living there would steal them or kill them. In order to make them fearful, they would tell the children that these mysterious people had all kinds of supernatural powers. From these tales the myth of the fairy/elves evolvled over the centuries. Has anyone else ever heard this version? Does anyone know of any scholarly work that suggests this or at least has taken a look at it? 65.171.135.50 20:24, 28 March 2007 (UTC) Thomas Pendergast

It sounds like a variant of the origin listed first under "sources of belief." I don't think anyone attributed it to the Celtic people in hiding, though, because the Celtic people were not in hidding while Romans ruled; there are plenty of records of them. Goldfritha 01:43, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Thanks Goldfritha. I appreciate your input but I should point out that I didn't say all Celts were in hiding, just those that refused to submit to Roman rule (in the territory that the Romans controlled)went into the woods to hide. I've heard that part, that a significant number lived in trees, seperately from the fairy myths. So, does anyone else know if someone has done any kind of research into this or written about it? It does make sense, as it explains in a reasonable way how the fairy myths evolved, but of course that doesn't make it true.

          • I find it difficult to square this theory of a European human ethnic group folklorically transformed into fairies with accounts of similar beings occuring all over the world, and under circumstances that made diffusion of the concept from Europe difficult or impossible (The Hawaiian Menehune, for instance: http://nokamenehune.com/)03:58, 31 May 2010 (UTC)Dreamdeer —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dreamdeer (talkcontribs)

Changeling[edit]

Just noticed that changeling (perhaps symptomatic of Wikipedia's membership...) consisted entirely of text about a Star Trek character... Added a small stub about European legends, but don't know too much about it. Hope someone here can help,2toise 08:00, 6 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Re: mythical[edit]

Mythical doesn't necessarily imply false. According to dictionary.com:
"Myth n.
1.a. A traditional, typically ancient story dealing with supernatural beings, ancestors, or heroes that serves as a fundamental type in the worldview of a people, as by explaining aspects of the natural world or delineating the psychology, customs, or ideals of society."

However, not everyone thinks of that definition, so I suggest the term "chimerical" or "praeternatural." Firstly, the terms fit. Secondly, people will probably look the terms up, thus expanding their vocabularies. :) Dustin Asby 14:06, 27 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Sprite[edit]

Also, check out Sprite (creature) for a somewhat substantial list of creatures (and to help me organize and link it). Dustin Asby 14:16, 27 Aug 2004 (UTC)

fey and fay[edit]

The main article seems to be accurate on the terms fay and fey. My 1971 OED contains no examples of "fay" being used an a variant of "fey" meaning doomed. People involved with the traditions knew both these words and understood the difference - the tendency to use "fey" as a plural or collective of "fays" seems to have developed in the 1980s in fantasy novels. Any additional data on this would be appreciated. 212.159.59.41 (talk) 15:06, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

place where they were said to live[edit]

Definition of faeries Faerie : from the Latin term for "fate" (fata), faeries (or fairies) are a "host of supernatural beings and spirits who occupy a limbo between earth and heaven" (Guiley). This is in recognition of the skill faeries had in predicting and even controlling human destiny. Faeries could be either good or evil creatures, and at various points in history have been confused with witches and demons

Fay or fey is the archaic term for faerie meaning bewitched or enchanted. This word derives from 'Fays' meaning Fates, and thought to be a broken form of Fatae. 'Fay-erie' was first a state of enchantment or glamour, and was only later used for the fays who wielded those powers of illusion. The state of enchantment is fayerie, which became fairy and faerie.

Other terms :

Fair Folk is a welsh name, often used in litterature and in scandinavian myths.

Good Neighbours is from Scotland. It had its origin in a desire to give no unnecessary offense. The `folk' might be listening, and were pleased when people spoke well of them, and angry when spoken of slightingly. The same feeling made the Irish Celt call them `honest folk' (Daoine Coire) or `good people' (Daoine Matha).

The Green Children was used in medieval litterature and versions of it is often used in modern Fantasy litterature.This theme has many variations like Greenies, Greencoaties and others.

The Old People refers as Faerie lived on earthlong before Mankind.

The Silent People (the people of peace, the still folk, or silently-moving people) comes from the Irish and Scottish Gaelic, the sith people. The name sith refers to `peace' or silence of Airy motion, as contrasted with the stir and noise accompanying the movements and actions of men. The Fairies come and go with noiseless steps, and their thefts or abductions are done silently and unawares to men.

Elf (ves) means also faerie and derived from the word alfarfrom the Nordic and Teutonic languages which is associated with mountains and water. This clearly illustrates the close relationship between faeries and the earth.

More generally, Faerie applies to four kind of entities : Enchanters and enchantresses with supernatural powers. Certain monsters and demons having a connection with fairies and/or having some of the characteristics of fairies. See the origin of Fairies Nature fairies: Faeries were believed to be some of the spirits which populate all places and objects on Earth. The nature fairies are mermaids, water-spirits, tree-spirits and such.· Faerie people (mainly the subject of this section) or the true Fairy, or Elfin race. The Fairies, according to the Scoto-Celtic belief, are a race of beings, the counterparts of mankind in person, occupations, and pleasures, but unsubstantial and unreal, ordinarily invisible, noiseless in their motions, and having their dwellings underground, in hills and green mounds of rock or earth. They are addicted to visiting the haunts of men, sometimes to give assistance, but more frequently to take away the benefit of their goods and labours, and sometimes even their persons. They may not be present in any company, though mortals do not see them. Their interference is never productive of good in the end, and may prove destructive. Men cannot therefore be sufficiently on their guard against them.

Trooping and solitary faeries In order to classify the faerie characters in the stories, the race is divided up into two groups: the peasantry and the aristocracy; trooping and solitary. It is a distinction that hold good throughout the British Isles, and is indeed valid wherever fairy beliefs are held. The peasantry is made up of the solitary faeries that are believed to have descended from spirits who made up all of nature. Although they had some of the same powers as their more prestigious relatives, i.e. the ability to become invisible and shape-change, they were known to be more wild and capricious. Fortunately, true encounters with mortals were relatively rare, instead their presence were most often announced by evidence of the creatures’ activity. It was believed the bending of the grass, the rustling sounds of tree branches, and the glittering patterns of frost on windows could be attributed to their nearness.

The Faerie aristocracy was very different from their isolated cousins. They were known as trooping faeries because they travelled in long processions. These faeries are believed to be descendents of ancient, vanquished gods. They dwell in underground kingdoms or across the deepest seas.The trooping faycan be large or small, friendly or sinister. They tend to wear green jackets, while the Solitary Faery wear red jackets. They can range from the Heroic Faery to the dangerous and malevolent Sluagh.

In many cultures like those in Scandinavia and Scotland, they subdivided the aristocracy into good and evil. However, there is no distinction between the good and evil faeries in Wales and Ireland. They were called the Tylwyth Teg (Fair Family) and the Daine Side (Dwellers of the Faerie Mounds) respectively. The Irish have the most complete accounts of the trooping faeries hidden within their many songs and folktales.

Faeries across history and cultures The antiquity of the belief is shown by its being found among all branches of the Celtic and Teutonic families, and in countries which haven’t had, within historical times, any communication with each other. If it be no entirely of Celtic origin, there can be no doubt that among the Celtic races it acquired an importance and influence accorded to it nowhere else. Of all the beings, with which fear or fancy peopled the supernatural, the Fairies were the most intimately associated with men's daily life.

Throughout most of these former celtic nations : Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany and Germany, the Fairies have become things of the past. A common belief is that they existed once, though they are not now seen. There are others to whom the elves have still a real existence, and who are careful to take precautions against them. It would be difficult to find a person who knows the whole Fairy creed, but the tales of one district are never contradictory of those of another and are still present even if they sometimes remain as a confused jumbling of all superstitions.

The dismiss of Fairies From the XVIII century onwards, the fairies have been said to have departured or to be in decline. People do not see them any more and some argue that the Faeries will eventually disappear as men have stopped believing in them. Other put forward pollution, urbanization, science as the main causes for their disparition. Yet, however often they may be reported as gone, the fairies still linger. In Ireland the fairy beliefs are still part of the normal texture of life; in the Highlands, Islands or Brittany the traditions continue.

Somewhere at the beginning of the 19th century, Hugh Miller recorded what was supposed to be the final departure of the fairies from Scotland at Burn of Eathie.

On a Sabbath morning... the inmates of this little hamlet had all gone to church, all except a herd-boy, and a little girl, his sister, who were lounging beside one of the cottages; when, just as the shadow of the garden-dial had fallen on the line of noon, they saw a long cavalcade ascending out of the ravine through the wooded hollow. It winded among the knolls and bushes; and, turning round the northern gable of the cottage beside which the sole spectators of the scene were stationed, began to ascend the eminence toward the south. The horses were shaggy, diminutive things, speckled dun and grey; the riders, stunted, misgrown, ugly creatures, attired in antique jerkins of plaid, long grey cloaks, and little red caps, from under which their wild uncombed locks shot out over their cheeks and foreheads. The boy and his sister stood gazing in utter dismay and astonishment, as rider after rider, each one more uncouth and dwarfish than the one that had preceded it, passed the cottage, and disappeared among the brushwood which at that period covered the hill, until at length the entire rout, except the last rider, who lingered a few yards behind the others, had gone by. 'What are ye, little mannie? and where are ye going?' inquired the boy, his curiosity getting the better of his fears and his prudence. 'Not of the race of Adam,' said the creature, turning for a moment in his saddle: 'the People of Peace shall never more be seen in Scotland.'

Hugh Miller, The Old Red Sandstone

Description of Fairies Faeries are often portrayed in Western children’s stories as tiny, winged, and good hearted. However, this description varies widely from worldwide folk traditions in which beliefs concerning hidden races sharing the earth with us have resided for most of human history.

Within different regions different descriptions of faeries grew, all were more or less human in form although sometimes taller or shorter, but never bearing wings. Much of their behaviour was much like humans as well; they had governments, societies, marriages, children, and war. They were often mortal and therefore, could be killed. However, unlike humanity, they had supernatural powers, which made them, at best, unpredictable and at worst, dangerous. Few people sought out the company of faeries and most went out of the way to avoid it.

The size of faeries The difference in size ascribed to the race has strangely greatly varied according to time and local customs. At one time the elves are small enough to creep through keyholes, and a single potato is as much as one of them can carry; at another they resemble mankind, with whom they form alliances, and to whom they hire themselves as servants; while some are even said to be above the size of mortals, giants, in whose lap mortal women are mere infants. The same peculiarity exists in Teutonic belief. At times the elf is a dwarfish being that enters through key-holes and window-slits; at other times a great tall man. In Scandinavia, the Troll may appear in one tale as a Giant greater than two men and in another as a small dwarf..

'''''Organization of fairies''''' There are many different fairie organizations. Each has its own hierarchy and local legends. [[Scotland]] Fairies can also be divided into the Seelie court and the Unseelie court.

The Seelie court, or the blessed court, a group of rather beneficial spirits, is friendly towards humans. The Selie Court are some of the more aristrocratic fairies, and are known as tropping, or heroic fairies. Scottish folklore presents them as a huge host of light and benevolence riding on the night air.

The Unseelie Court or Unblessed Court contains the most malicious, malevolent and evil of the fairies, and a number of monsters of horrible appearance and fearsome abilities as well. They comprise the Slaugh, or The Host, the band of the unsanctified dead who fly above the earth, stealing mortals and take great pleasure in harming humans. Some Scottish legends say they were all once members of the Seelie Court who fell from grace. The Court travels on the night winds from where their unnerving cackles and howls can be heard. They have no method of reproduction, so they enslave mortals whom they think would never be missed and carry them along to become one of them.

The Seelie Court and its counterpart, the Unseelie Court are often at war,and humans may get caught in the middle of such battles. They acquired the title "Court" because they also act as arbiters and judges in fairy disputes.


[[Ireland]] The great Tuatha de Danann of Ireland flead to Tir Nan Og after their defeat by the Milesians, however those who remained in Ireland became the Daoine Sidhe. Side (Shee) is gaelic for 'people of the hills'. Orriginally it referred to the mounds in which faeries lived, though it has now come to refer to the inhabitants as well. Their king is Finvarra, who like all of his clan is a skilled warrior. He is also fond of chess playing and women. Despite the fact that his wife, Donagh, is one of the most beautiful women above or below the ground, he is known to abduct brides-to-be. Like the Seelie Court, the Daoine Sidhe, enjoy riding and are famous for their fairie steeds, which can carry a rider faster than the wind over land or water.

Another group of fairies in Ireland inhabit the Lough Lean. their ruler is O'Donoghue who rides forth from the lake every May Day on a war steed to ride into the surrounding mist.


[[Wales]] Whales has perhaps more clans of fairies than any other area. In Glastonburry Tor, famous from Arturian legends, Gwyn ap Nudd rules over the Plant Annwn (roughly- family of hades). Long ago, on every New Year's Day, a door would appear in the side of a great rock next to a certain lake. Those who entered found that it lead to a passage that ended on the island in the middle of the lake. This island was a beatiful garden kept by the Gwrgedd Annwn, who would serve wonderful food to the travelers and treat them as honored guests. They warned the fortunate mortals that the doorway was a secret and that nothing could be taken from the garden. One mortal took a single flower from the garden and as soon as he touched the soil of earth, all of the other other travelers were expelled and the doorway was closed, never to reopen again.


[['''''Brittany''''']] Brittany has several classes of Fairies, the most popular being the Korrigans who have been counted to be more than 10,000 in the past.

Types of fairies[edit]

Made redirect of Types of fairies—if anyone wants to recreate it and expand, total content was: "there are many diffrent types of fairies. including the sand man, the tooth fairy, pixies, sprites, water fairies, brownies,etc. the sand man puts kids to sleep. the tooth fairy takes kid's teeth and gives them money." -DialUp 05:28, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

About "Faery" as the place where fairies live: Tolkien talks about this a little in an essay somewhere; I think it's called "On Fairy Tales." Sorry I don't have access to the book where I read this at the moment.

Intro[edit]

The introduction should be both expanded and split, as the first sentence is aspecific enough to merit placing fairy as a redirect for Mythologic Creatures, while the rest of the intro talks about etymology (which deserves a special section, as it's long and has many good points) and glamour (an entire article on its own). -Iro

  • Follow up.* I did everything but touch on the specific nature of fey and their powers, which I (or someone else) will have to do later. I recommend turning this into a category and placing such entities as angels (and fallen angels), elves, nymphs, youkai, and so forth into it. -Iro

Removal of Irish Fairies[edit]

I have temporarily removed the Irish Fairy section, as it was out of place. I think that this should be the central article for a faerie category, as the Irish are not the only culture with fairies. Further, discussion of Irish Fairies should go in its own article (on the sidhe) unless we are going to include short pieces on every culture's version of fairies. That, of course, is a large and tedious task, especially considering that there are already articles for the various other ethnocentric fairy mythologies. I'll put this section back in if a reason arises for Irish Fairies to be covered here.

Fey vs. Fae[edit]

Having looked at some parts of the OED, the Fey vs. Fae argument should be amended somewhat. The spelling proper of Fae (and Faerie) are only roughly standardized through history, even during the reformatory parts. Fey is listed as doomed to die, though some other sources of variable repute make other claims on the subject. I think we should divide the etymology and spelling sections, citing many sources on the subject.

Having found that "fey" can also mean "enchanted," "clairvoyant," or "marked by a magical or otherworldly quality" and that the "doomed to die" meaning is mainly Scottish, I move that this section be revised.

The American Heritage Dictionary mentions the magical quality and gives a word history.(http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=fey)

-Also there is an issue that Fay points here, and seems to lack a page for itself. This is an issue, as Fay and Fey are also last names, and names of corporations and towns.

Problem paragraphs in the article?[edit]

Can someone explain what these 4 paragraphs are doing?

A common misconception is that faires are mammals. In fact, faries belong to the insect group Maschitics Fairus, where it is believed the modern day corruption 'fairy' originated. Fairies procreate only on a full moon. The male fairy secretes a sticky pus like substance over an organic receptor, a tree log or other such appropriate natural object. Female fairies are attracted by the scent and can detect the male secreation from a radius of 20 miles using thier powerful, magical, sense of smell. Afer a gestation period of several weeks, the female must retreat to a safe area to lay her eggs. Often a hollowed out tree bark is padded with leaves and twigs, carefully sewed using a miniture rowenta machine. The female remains with the eggs until hatched.

Females may occassionally kill and eat a male after mating but this is more the exception than the rule. The young fairies are colored orange and white when they emerge 1 to 4 weeks later. The female faries may live for more than a year and a half. Growth requires 2 to 4 months, depending on availability of prey during which the females molt 6 to 8 times and the males 3 to 6 times.

Newly hatched fairies are predominately white or yellowish-white, gradually acquiring more black and varying amounts of red and white with each molt. Juveniles of both sexes resemble the male and are harmless.

Faries were worshipped heavily during the latter 16th to early 17th century, however, wizards discoverd in 1623 that fairies could be used in various creams as an active ingredient to stimulate growth. Subsequent popularity of these over the counter creams led to them being hunted to extinction. Generations later, the only evidence we have that the ever existed is in rare fossil stones.

It looks like someone tried to put some "realistic biological information" into this, but I don't suspect it can be back up with any actual research :-).

  • These paras look all wrong to me. I'm removing them "until someone can provide verification that it is correct"! -- SGBailey 12:25, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
    • It's entirely fictional, written by J.K. Rowling in her companion book for The Harry Potter books. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Iclavdivs (talkcontribs) 02:17, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

Too many laundry lists![edit]

The "Fairies in..." sections of this article are out of control. I intend to be doing some judicious pruning and rewriting of them shortly. If anyone has any suggestions, please make them here. Nandesuka 13:56, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

You've done a great job, it was getting out of hand indeed. But still some nitpicking :), I wonder why you removed Holly Short (who has her own Wikipedia article) and who is an excellent example of a fairy in modern popular culture. All Artemis Fowl books concentrate on an underground world of fairies, so in my opinion Holly Short deserves to be on the fairy shortlist, while The Legend of Zelda seems less important to me. PrinceCharming 18:28, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, individual calls are hard to make. My logic was to try to only include depictions that have stood the test of time (Shakespeare being the canonical example). I don't know if Artemis Fowl will be talked about in 100 years. And somewhere, someone who edits mostly the Zelda articles is making the exact opposite argument :-). I won't necessarily complain if Holly goes back in, but we should try to hold the line, on general principles. Nandesuka 18:43, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

What is the name for a male fairy?[edit]

Are there male fairies? Are they called fairies or something else? Does anyone know? Thanx!

Heck yes. They're called fairies, unless they're called elves, nomenclature being what it is. Sir Orfeo's wife is carried off by the king of Faerie, and Fair Janet has to ask to find out that Tam Lin is a human. Goldfritha 00:52, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Ambiguity of Fairy, Faerie etc[edit]

Should this page be split on a cultural basis? Some cultures e.g. Celtic use the word Faerie to describe a type of Tolkienesque Elf while others (English) use Fairy to describe a tiny winged woman e.g. Tinkerbell. Much confusion. Needs to be sorted out, I'm not enough of an authority... Megamanic 03:15, 16 February 2006 (UTC)


I'd be happier seeing it separated into the distinct styles of what is called "fairy" (or "faerie"), yes. Certainly the current illustrations don't give the impression of faeries that I tend to draw, which is the "tiny winged woman" type and a common understanding of the term. There are faeries in stories who are about the size and appearance of humans, which is different. And in at least one role-playing game that I'm familiar with, it describes faeries as little winged people (6 inches high) and sprites as littler winged people (4 inches high) with less intellectual development (sorta)...so the distinction isn't between, say, "faeries" as human-size and "sprites" as tiny size. And, especially, most of the things I've read that have tiny winged people in them call them "faeries" (with a few calling them "elves"), e.g. Thumbelina.
I don't think the spelling difference (fairy/faerie) necessarily means they're separate words...but if someone knows the standard terminology, by all means indicate it in the article. (I use "faerie" for tiny winged people, because I prefer the spelling...seems more dignified, less commercial, I guess. Which also means that, since I use it as a spelling variation of "fairy," I don't pay much attention to which stories use which spelling.) Kilyle 20:43, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Read Katherine Briggs - 'The Fairies in Tradition & Literature' if you want to sort this messy page out.

Article Cleanup[edit]

Okay, I've been noticing a lot of edits recently (a gradually increasing number since the article was first cleaned up from its original run-on junkiness) with very little consensus on edits. So, for our editting pleasure, I'm going to compose a list of things that need to be taken care of:

Introductory Definition: This has been editted a great deal with little citation and lots of minor details. This definition, given the faerie nature of vagueness, should give a brief summary of the article with a *brief* explanation of what fae were originally (see elf, nymph, angel, etc.), then go on about modern conceptions (small, insect-winged yada yada) and associations (trolls).

Etymology: I will admit that when I entered this section, it was too long for the scope of this article, though the word history reflects several key aspects of fairy character. While the Farsi "Pari" comment keeps coming back, I think it and "fey" should be put into subsections of the etymology concerning controversy.

Fairies in Literature, etc.: I'm glad that we've editted this section down quite a bit, though I'm not happy with how sloppily short it is. Fairy is, after all, the category article and, while it should give plenty of links to its respective articles, should give the most information on the basics of the subject. I move that we have a decent paragraph (at the least) on the topics of "Fairies in Literature," "Fairies in Art," etc. I also think we should try to take from the Elves page the idea of detailed accounts of the history of this folklore (and, since this is the category article, not limit ourselves to, say, Anglo-Celtic fay). That means laying out key points that are common in faerie mythology, from magic to depictions to whatever else is necessary.

Pictures: I'm glad that we're trying to pull pictures into this article. However, the pictures don't seem to work well with each other. -->"Take the Fair Face of a Woman" has been the article's key picture for who knows how long, yet this is about the only place I have ever seen it. -->Digital Art: Who found this? Is this public domain? Should we be using something more "historic" (say, 10 years+ in age) to show this? -->Angsalvor: This picture can be found on the Elves page and, while I like it and think it has plenty of merit for the subject at hand, I wonder if it's a good idea to recycle it.

--Iro 19:50, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

Someone keeps reverting to uncited statements, such as "Although in modern culture they are often depicted as beautiful young females, they originally had quite a different image as haggard old women or mischievous old men." That statement as a whole demands extensive citation, as a.) that's talking about many, many cultures and b.) from what I've found is discussing multiple types of things that are equally labeled "fairy." Please, if you're going to revise and you add something as extreme as that, cite your sources. A good book to look into: The Great Encyclopedia of Faeries by Pierre Dubois. Though he devotes a major portion of the book to French fae, he actually tries to discuss fae (and other spirits, if you wish to not class them as fae) from other cultures. Guess what: most of them are beautiful females! Hags exist as an archetype within or connected to that of faerie, but don't say that all fae were originally hags and old men, as that's simply not true. Iro 17:43, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm one of the people who has been reverting. My main objection to your recent changes is not in the description, but in some of the odder additions (such as the connections to "spiritual beings" and "angels." Can you explain the basis of those additions? Nandesuka 19:54, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
You mean as additional links? If you don't want those, you can remove them, my connection is that both faeries and angels are spirits in human form that exercise magical powers and share the similar traits of usually being depicted as radiant and beautiful. Think of the Seelie Court of Scottish folklore and the Ljosalfar (or simply Alfar), the Elves of Norse Mythology - these are classed beneath the overarching concept of "fairy" quite readily, yet they are have the "good" and "celestial" qualities (respectively) associated with angels. Same thing goes for demons and the Unseelie Court. I'm happy with revisions and I'd be perfectly fine with you removing "angels" and "demons" from the links, but that's an easy thing to do. Reverting to your version with its description, though, is entirely too much, though.
Fairy is a broad term and so it is used for many, many mythological creatures, allowing for big discrepencies in different people's placement of beings under that name. Some beings bear closer resemblence to each other than others (nymphs to alfar to angels is closer than alfar [elves] to dwarves to goblins, if you go by the original word; if you go by the later usage, elf to goblin is easy, but elf to giant is completely out of the question). Still, distinctions can be extremely difficult if not completely useless given the morphic nature of folklore.
Finally, if that's not a convincing argument, why don't we simply take away the links, placing them into a "for later edits" part of the discussion (or else masking them from the main article) if you think some of them are more of a stretch than others? In the meantime, we can put a "don't edit" sticker on the page and discuss this without a revision war (though I'm not going to put the sticker on just yet, as I want your response).

As for the use of the word "spirit," in anthropology the word "spirit" simply means "a supernatural being," just as it can in normal usage -- it doesn't necessarily reflect a corporeal or incorporeal essence in any usage. For example, the words "kami" and "youkai" in Japanese are both translated as "spirit" (the former is often translated as "god," though it could also be interpreted as "genius," especially "genius loci;" the latter is also given as "demon," "apparition," or the like). Really, I don't see what's so outlandish about labeling fairies as spirits. Iro 20:21, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

Where we need to be cautious is that this is English Wikipedia, and in English, "fairy" has a very specific connotation, connected to folklore and tales, and is not generally used in the same sense as other terms people throw around (such as "ghost", "spirit", etc. The relevant definition from the OED, for example, says:
4. a. One of a class of supernatural beings of diminutive size, in popular belief
supposed to possess magical powers and to have great influence for good or evil
over the affairs of man. See ELF and FAY n.2
I think the observation in this definition that the word "fairy" implies definite corporeal attributes should suggest that broadening the term to something as vague as, say, the Japanese kami or the Roman lares is a mistake. Nandesuka 22:12, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
The main problem with that is that the word is, in fact, used to refer to creatures not of the English tradition. Saying that "since this is the English wikipedia, we should only talk about things within the English tradition" is also a bad idea, given the numerous subjects that need to be discussed for English speakers that are not in the English tradition. Case in point, read the link "Slavic Fairies" - it has nothing to do with English tradition at all. Further, the OED happens to be a source for current usage and etymology, which is only a small aspect of this article. On top of that, many parts of the category to which this article belongs are not English at all. Thus, it is a mistake to simply discuss only the diminutive, insect-winged fairies (though I will say that a subsection of this article on that topic is, indeed, an order). Iro 23:50, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
Also, there is the problem of historical versions of the word in the English tradition itself. Take Spencer's Faerie Queene, in which fairies are neither small nor hideous crones, but tall and beautiful. Point being, if you limit the article to a very minute and historically limited perspective, you're doing an injustice to the topic and entry. Iro 23:52, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
Something else I've noticed: no where in your quoted OED snippet does it mention anything about corporeality, only size. I remind you that "spirit" is used quite regularly to refer to beings considered corporeal, as was my point with kami and youkai. As I mentioned, fairy is used to connote quite a few different things: "fairy" leprechaun, "fairy" nymph, "fairy" troll, "fairy" pillywiggin (the diminutive, floral, insect-winged fairies). While I happen to think that it is quite often used more morphically than a primary ethos of faerie would permit, the fact that fairies are themselves described as "resisting definition" and the tendency in folklore to use the term in such a way makes it still necessary to mention these extra parts of the tradition, if they are indeed extra. Iro 03:25, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

I have waited for a few weeks and you have yet to reply, so I am reverting the article as promised. Iro 07:03, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

Ah, I see there have been contributions. I shall then not revert the article, instead just editing as per usual.

Cottingley Fairies[edit]

Should there be a mention of this famous Hoax? For info, see http://www.randi.org/library/cottingley/ 203.45.15.218 05:25, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

The "mention" of this hoax is now the exact same, fairly long text as in the article itself. Switch it to a simple mention, with perhaps a quick summary, and a link to the article. Kilyle 20:33, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Um, I've just seen that someone's gone and written nonsense all over the page. I'm not sure what was there in the first place, and also I'm not exactly sure which parts are made up and which aren't. Some are pretty obvious, though. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 122.107.175.39 (talk) 06:51, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

Standardization of Spelling[edit]

There are about a million different ways we are spelling "fairy" in this article. Can we vote to spell it one way consistently throughout the article? Otherwise it looks kind of shoddy.--TurabianNights 23:46, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Dazjae[edit]

Can we get consensus here that "Dazjae" is not notable enough to warrant inclusion in this article? A myspace page does not a music career make. Nandesuka 03:11, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

I personally feel that until she's got a good WP page, she's probably not important enough to include. Notwithstanding the fact that her addition seemed like a promotional spiel until it was edited down. --TurabianNights 03:20, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Modern Culture and Film[edit]

I have rewritten the "modern culture and film" laundry list as a paragraph, and culled it to only the most notable examples. If anyone feels I culled too much, feel free to add notable examples back in, but I urge you to not revert to the "laundry list" format. Nandesuka 12:41, 9 August 2006 (UTC)


I think that if someone wants to include another example in this section, perhaps he or she should prove its notability here.

For instance, can we discuss why these works might be considered important or vastly different from what has already been mentioned? What does mentioning these works add to the article?

  • Holly Black's Tithe
  • Datlow & Windlings Fairy Reel Tales
  • Dazjae
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (my own addition, and one I am happy to vote about)

--TurabianNights 18:00, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Deragatory slang[edit]

A discussion in the WikiFairy talk page inadvertantly brought up an interesting point... why is there no mention in this article of the fact that the word "fairy" has been used as a derogatory term for homosexual men? I don't condone the use of insults and such, but since Wikipedia is concerned with reporting facts and cultural situations, it would seem to make sense to include a bit of background information, specifically when the slang term first came into common use and possible explanations of the origin. - Ugliness Man 11:10, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

Cite some reliable sources and we will. --Damian Yerrick () 05:48, 17 November 2006 (UTC)


Etymology[edit]

I got my BA in Classics (Reed College, '96) and, while I've seen dictionaries with the Etymology from Latin as being from "fata" (Fates), I've never heard any convincing explanation for this. I consulted with another Classist who is a Latin expert, and she can't see any way that "fairy" could come from "fata". Not only can neither one of us find any morphology that would transmute "fata" to "fairy" (I mean how does the "t" become an "r"?), but it doesn't really make any sense that stories about what seem to be spirits would have anything to do with the 3 Fates of Greco-Roman mythology. Moreover, since as far as I know Fairy folklore comes from the British Isles, I don't know of any reason that the word would come from Latin in particular, as opposed to from German or Celtic. The stories seem similar to Elf stories from Germanic cultures, and there were numerous Germans on the British Isles ever since Roman hegemony lapsed -- not only Anglo-Saxons, but numerous Vikings as well as Jutes and others. So why not see the word as coming directly from "fair", which is a good German word? "Fairy" would then mean one who is fair.

Could "fairy" be a similar formation to "browny", interpretting "browny" to mean literally one who is brown? ("Brown" also comes from German.) Also, in the South (of the USA), there is folklore about "blackies". These are NOT African Americans. They're spirits, sort of like elves, fairies, brownies and the like. If "blacky" stories came from the British Isles as well, is it possible that we have spirits in three colors: fair (taken as meaning "white"), brown and black? Is it then possible that these three types of spirits are the three types of elves: light, dark and black? In other words, is it possible that the folkloric tradition of fairies actually came from the folklore of elves from the Teutonic peoples who settled the British Isles during the Dark Ages?

- Ivan Richmond

The article explains that "fate" became "fae" through Old French, and the suffix -ery was added later. As for brownies, I always thought they looked like Jawas. --Damian Yerrick () 00:59, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Wording[edit]

In the Cottingley Fairies section, the article reads: "Griffiths and Wright were then given 24 photographic plates and took three more photos in August 1920. They blamed constant rainfall, but..." There is no explanation of what was being blamed on rainfall. The same can be said of the (better referenced) source article, Cottingley Fairies. Both articles need to be changed in this paragraph (and this one shortened significantly in this section, as suggested above by another user). - dcljr (talk) 17:36, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

I would imagine that the inability to use the other 21 plates was blamed on rain. --Damian Yerrick () 00:01, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Cottingley Fairies[edit]

This section is inordinately long for what, after all, was only a minor incident in the history of fairy lore. Especially as we have another article to refer them to. Is there any reason why a "See also" link is not enough? Goldfritha 15:51, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

Humm. I notice that someone already asked, and no one's said it's needed. I shall make a link. Goldfritha 17:48, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Subject of the article[edit]

Is this article about the beings historically known as fairies, in the folklore of France, Great Britain, etc., or about beings of that nature world-wide? If the first, I think it needs to be made clear in the lede, and cleaned up. And the second -- actually, I think we would need a separate article for that specific folklore, and the second is really more suitable for a list than an article like this. Goldfritha 20:45, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

Ok, I'll be bold and split it up myself. Goldfritha 19:21, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Distinctions[edit]

Strictly, there should be distinctions between the usage of the two words "fae" and "faerie."

Sez who? This needs at the very least a citation, and probably an attribution in the text. Goldfritha 03:19, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Out it goes, then. Goldfritha 18:42, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Non-fairy beings[edit]

Any comment of the type "In Xyz culture, fairies are known as abcs" does not belong in this article. If they are noteworthy, create an "abc" article about them. Otherwise, there will be confusion, because the parallels to fairies in other cultures are not exact; many parallel folkloric beings are not afraid of iron, or do not leave changelings for human babies, and to put them into this article as "fairies" asserts that they do. Goldfritha 23:10, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

See also[edit]

I am probably going to purge the "See also" sections to limit it to those links that actually illuminate this article -- and do it soon. Goldfritha 23:25, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Sourcing[edit]

Hi, Goldfritha (et al) - When adding in sources I'd appreciate it if you could also include the year and publisher of the book, and the publisher location. Also, the list of sources is incredibly long, and full of repeat cites. I've made a start on compressing them, but I'd really appreciate it if you could look at the format I've used of naming the citations. That way, when one is a repeat, you can just include the abbreviated form. Thanks! ~ Kathryn NicDhàna 05:05, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Nils Blommér Painting[edit]

The corrrect name of this painting is "Meadow elves" not "Faries of the Meadow" BigEyedFish 02:22, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Cajun Fairies[edit]

Does anyone know if these beings are called fairies, or a term related to it in etymology? Goldfritha 22:54, 18 March 2007 (UTC)



REV ROBERT KIRK?[edit]

Why has no one mentioned Rev Robert Kirk's The Secret Commonwealth? This is Kirk's account of his time amongst the Elfane/faery at Aberfolye Stirling in 18th century Scotland.

Given that neither he nor the book are noteworthy enough to have an entry of their own -- are they noteworthy enough to include here? Given that this article is covering over a thousand years and large portions of Europe, selectivity is necessary. Goldfritha 02:51, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Well, I rather think that Rev. Kirk and his book are quite worthy of mention here. At the very least, even if we regard fairies as a curiosity or as a literary and legendary invention, Rev. Kirk's book established the groundwork for a lot of fairy literature and fiction. No less a writer than Andrew Lang used it as source material, and Lang was a direct influence on many modern fantasy authors. And personally, if Wikipedia can treat Jenna Jameson seriously then certainly poor old Rev. Robert deserves an entry!Happydog 04:45, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Origins?[edit]

The section on Origins is vague on two key issues: Which cultures and peoples have long standing belief in faeries, and when these beliefs were held. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Ve2jgs (talkcontribs) 11:37, 21 April 2007 (UTC).

Western Europe.
This was put into the lede because otherwise it would have to repeated over and over and over and over again in every single section of the article. We explain up front that fairies are a piece of Western European folklore and then go on to explain what the folklore is. Goldfritha 16:53, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

News Report on a False Fairy[edit]

I don't know whether this is of any use to the article but here it is for your perusal. [1] 217.42.192.46 00:34, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Fairies in modern culture[edit]

Instead of worrying about how "notable" or not a modern fairy mention is, why not do what every other mythical creature page has done and simply create a separate page for pop culture references? Then it wouldn't matter how many people added their own material. It makes more sense to me and is more democratic. I edit the Will-o'-the-wisps in popular culture article and it already has 62 mentions. Serendipodous 11:41, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Actually, per Wikipedia standards it would still matter what got added there. Information must always be notable and verifiable, etc. Mere trivia is not allowed on any article. But, yes, splitting the article off here might help somewhat. And now that you alerted me to how bad the Will-o'-the-wisps article is I must go either fix it or tag it. DreamGuy 03:35, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
What exactly would "fixing" it accomplish? All that will happen is that another person will just replace the deletion with the same information. You'd be spending the rest of eternity pressing down people's additions as if they were bubbles in wallpaper. As an editor, I have better things to do. Better that a mention is made once, and well, than over and over and over again across multiple pages. And how does one decide which mentions are "notable" anyway? Is Terry Jones's Pressed Fairy Book less notable than Andrew Lang's Blue Fairy Book? Are the fairies in Pan's Labyrinth less notable than the fairies in Willow? The Elf page has an entire paragraph devoted to "Dungeons and Dragons". How "notable" is that? And by the way, my "Harry Potter" insertion is necessary to keep some semblence of order in the Harry Potter section. Editorial policy on fabulous animal mentions in HP is that animals of Rowling's invention get their own pages, but magical creatures from myth and folklore get mentions on their pop culture sections. If I can't place a brief mention on this page, I'll get eternally re-instated five paragraph mentions on Harry Potter pages describing how Rowling "invented" fairies. You see how relative the term "notability" is? Serendipodous 08:24, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
Yes, all sorts of people can make edits to a site where anyone can edit at any time that don't follow policies of that site. That's like saying, "What good are any laws if people just break them?". We have policies for a reason, we need to follow them. DreamGuy 03:00, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
Fair enough. Same logic's been driving the war on drugs for decades, with about the same results, but OK. As regards notability, I don't really get Wikipedia's stance on it. According to Wikipedia, if I can find two reliable sources not related to a subject, then the subject is notable. But this is the internet. If I look hard enough I can find two unrelated sources about anything.Serendipodous 06:47, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

Neville Colmore[edit]

Nice photos, but Neville Colmore appears to be fictitious. Sole source is the creator of this Flickr photoset, which cites "the famed American explorer and author, Walter Traprock ... best known for the popular accounts of his scientific expeditions published in the 1920's, Cruise of the Kawa, Sarah of the Sahara and My Northern Exposure" (this Walter Traprock and [2]). 86.140.110.216 11:34, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Where did the external links go?[edit]

There are only two (media) external links now? Did I miss something? Is there a new policy I'm not aware of?

Xineann 13:20, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

See WP:EL. Nandesuka 15:46, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
Not new at all, but unfortunately a lot of people who add links here are either not aware of it (people trying to be helpful but linking to poor quality sites) or refuse to accept it (spammers and others out to promote their own sites). I agree 100% with the removal of the links in question. DreamGuy 00:55, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
I guess I don't agree with it. There are only two external links now and they are both media links. I am not sure what the problem was originally but this solution (death to external links) is overkill. If I don't want a media link (and I don't), there are no external fairy galleries or fairy scholarship sites. I preferred the living, changing pages and allowing Wikipedia police itself. This much control reeks of academic hydrant marking.

Xineann 14:06, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Ambiguous sexuality?[edit]

Are fairies believed to have an ambiguous sexuality? It may seem like a strange question but, I have a copy of a New Year's greeting card from the late 1800s early 1900s which has two female child fairies kissing on the mouth. Leveroom444 16:00, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Isn't to be fae essencially to be free? They aren't bound by our rules regarding things such as sexuality. 92.9.59.48 (talk) 16:05, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

We shouldn't have anything in the article without a reliable, verifiable source, see WP:RS. Dougweller (talk) 17:29, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

Fairy vs. Pari[edit]

Aren't the Germanic/Anglo-Saxon "fairies" derived from Old-Persian/Zoroastrian "Peris"?! Or maybe they have the same Indo-European root?! Peris also exist in ancient Indian/Sanskrit mythology (परी) and have exactly the same meaning and function as ancient Persian and Germanic "fairies"/"peris". — Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.83.130.37 (talk)

As I recall, the word "faery" is a collective noun, like "citizenry" or "soldiery". The proper singular form of "faery" is "fae." The term isn't Germanic in origin, but Latin, and is derived from the word "fata", which means "fate". The Fata were originally the Moirae, the fates who decided the path of one's life. If the Latin word "fata" comes from the same Indo-European root as "peri" (which is possible) then yes they could be related. Serendipodous 12:56, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

Fairyopolis[edit]

I've bought a book from Target called "Fairyopolis" and it's a journal on fairies. It's about a woman named Cicely Mary Barker and she discovers these fairies in her garden or somewhere else. There's a page where there's a mini field guide about fairy. And it said that fairy came from the latin word "fata" meaning "fate." In different places, they call fairies in different names like faeries, fey, fay, the Little Folk and The good people. Would this information be true? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Roxy2k7 (talkcontribs) 03:19, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

Are we not conflating too many mythologies?[edit]

I think that the article on "fairy", since it is derived from French folklore, really should focus on its French origins. The Germanic elves, Celtic Sidhe and Slavic Vila have their own traditions. Yes, they are probably all different versions of the same thing (a common Indo-European mythology) but that is a topic for another article, not this one. Serendipodous 13:01, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

This is indeed one of the numerous reasons why this article is nothing short of a train wreck. Unfortunately, the mess here is also spreading into other articles. I've tagged the article for a rewrite. :bloodofox: (talk) 08:36, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
The "mess" here is not isolated to Wikipedia. I have a stack of books here by folklorists who all default to the term "fairy" when classifying many kinds of creatures throughout Europe. Encyclopedia of Fairies by K. Briggs, Encyclopedia of the Celts by Knud Mariboe, British Goblins by Wirt Sikes, The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries by Evans-Wentz, The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies by Robert Kirk. Several works by Yeats (which I don't own but have looked at online.) (The other works I own tend to be derivatives of these. I am adding to my collection daily.) Some of these works date back to the 1640's. Some, like Evans-Wentz are collections of tales told directly from the folk who believed it. Briggs is well-referenced with an extensive bibliography. Sacred-texts.com uses the broader definition of "fairy" (eg: http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/sfft/) Additionally the term "Fairy" or variants ("fare", "fary", etc), are found in tales told in regions across at least the British Isles (where I've focused my recent reading). This is evidence that people even in Scotland, Northumberland, and elsewhere, actually used and still use this term to apply to their local ... well... fairies. Mythology is not the same as folklore (though they have a lot in common). It appears clear to me that folklorists on the subject find it fit to categorize all these types of creatures under one umbrella, and as such, Wikipedia should follow their model. If you do much reading on this topic you quickly see why - when there are creatures in Scotland called Elves (by the Scots) just like the Germanic people do though the description isn't the same, and when one kind of creature of the same description can have five different names for all five villages that talked about it, and a creature of near-identical description all the way in Denmark or Russia is called something else. It makes no sense to isolate all this lore except in the respective articles, which make the distinctions quite well. This article may need rewriting for other reasons, but certainly not because of falsely-conflated ideas. I can continue to provide references, specific quotes, and specific examples if needed, and page numbers from printed and respected works.lunaverse (talk) 00:05, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
First, please format your responses in paragraphs; responding to a slab of text is no fun.
Second, no, you've got a "stack" of some folklorists who have maintained the poor practice of referring to everything they've found as a "fairy". This is by no means a universal case and seems to be particularly Anglocentric, stemming from the 19th century and reaching into circles in the early 20th century, perhaps influenced by Theosophy. In the realm of Germanic philology, referring to these beings as "fairies" would get you laughed out of the academy. Serious literature on this material not capitalizing on the world does not apply the term, and neither should we. The same goes for the term fairy tales, which has been much criticized and purposely avoided by some scholars (preferring the far more accurate "magic tale" or märchen for exactly the same reasons. Modern folklorists do not go around glossing everything as a "fairy", unlike some of the examples you give above, some of which neither were nor are reliable sources (Evans-Wentz's ridiculous "fairy-faith" comes to mind).
Third, the term "elf" and "giant" have been similarly abused as "catch-all" glosses, and they often remain so in popular literature rather than in specialist, academic works (and "giant" even there to this day, unfortunately!).
If this article is to be remotely decent, it will discuss where the word fairy and its variants is actually used and then discuss specific scholars who have used it as a catch all term after the fact. Otherwise we're simply using a particularly poor practice only employed by a specific group of English language scholars and those who benefit from a modern industry of images of giggling little people with wings flying around Victorian children. :bloodofox: (talk) 07:04, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
Sorry for the one paragraph thing. That is formatting laziness on my part, as not being sure how to do it on a talk page.
I think this might be easier if you were to give some specific examples of alleged fairies where you disagree with the label, both those listed on the Fairy article and those in the Fairies Template. A full list of those you question would be ideal, but at least a couple of examples would give me something to research.
Also, if there is controversy among academics that this term has been misused by other scholars, then perhaps that controversy should be part of this page, or should even have its own page with mention here. If there are papers out there discussing how Katharine_Mary_Briggs (who is respected by many) miscategorized spirit beings, or about how this school of folklore is too Anglocentric, then this is actually a topic of interest and something I'd very much like to read about on Wikipedia and in the sources. Please include that information and link to it. If someone has proposed a better way of classifying and/or talking about non-ghostly spirit beings of Europe and/or the World, then by all means, let's introduce that into the Wikipedia articles.
Meanwhile, a majority of the content of this article is in line with all the sources I've seen on this topic. Even if another view is shown, this view should be retained, because what little we know of fairy-related folklore, unfortunately, was recorded by people who were Anglocentric and in most cases Christian. There is, again unfortunately, no Edda or Ulster Cycle to reference. That is a problem inherent in studying any Oral tradition.
Furthermore, interested people have an idea of Tinkerbell fairies, and you want to educate them that prior to the Victorian era, people had a different idea, then we need to mention sidhe, brownies, puca, hobs, leperchauns, clurlichans, tomte, and their ilk on the article people might use to sate their curiosity.
One way of thinking about it is this: Most cultures don't call them "gods" or "deities", and yet we've chosen these terms to discuss am extremely wide range of described beings. We have translated local words to "deity", and in many cases, we have probably mischaracterized whole swaths of beliefs. Yet we still use the term. Likewise for the categories "spirit" and "ghost" which are used to describe worldwide beliefs and phenomenon. We do not scour Wikipedia to remove all use of the word "deity" or "ghost" or "spirit" on non-Western entities that happen to be similar to our versions of these concepts. I don't believe this is widely done in scholarship, either. If I'm wrong, please reference.lunaverse (talk) 17:45, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

Barry's Peter Pan...[edit]

...while an important 20th century fiction concerned with fairies, is not at all relevant to fairy 'origins'. It is virtually certain that Barrie's 'baby's laughter' is his own whimsy & is absent from any relevant traditions or beliefs.

I both agree and disagree. In context of the rest of the article, I think Barry's concept might have played a huge part in the modern view of fairies as being positive, happy, pleasant mythical beings. Historical myths would often say otherwise. Therefore, this should probably be incorporated in the article while it should be placed somewhere else. 70.185.98.72 (talk) 10:55, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

Infobox[edit]

The infobox used in this article seems to be out of place. "First report" "in folklore" seems like a waste of space. The article should treat the topic as a folklore one, not in some woo-woo "supernatural is maybe real, who reported seeing this creature" sort of way. The existence of the supernatural creatures infobox in the first place seems to be in a way a violation of WP:FRINGE, as it seems to be there to push a view. Isn't there a more suitable infobox? DreamGuy (talk) 14:07, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

fairys are mystical creatures that some people beleive in i personly think there real except the tooth fairy —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.109.157.169 (talk) 23:17, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Protection[edit]

Since this article suffers from chronic anonymous vandalism (i.e. nearly all of the edits), I requested semi-protection for it... and the admins' response was to protect it for two whole days. Apparently someone doesn't grasp the concept of "chronic". I'm taking it off my watchlist; too much noise. - Jason A. Quest (talk) 23:26, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

more fairies in literature ... and music![edit]

Some more fairies in literature: Relating to the Brothers Grimm allegedly purging their fairy tales from fairies, I must contradict: As I am German and know "Dornröschen" from my childhood (that one has sources in French and Catalan; you may know the story from the Disney film "Sleeping Beauty"), the plot is constituted by the action of fairies: At the christening of a baby princess, twelve faries are invited but a thirteenth one is not, for a shortage of dishes. But the thirteenth fairy is so angry about it that she puts a spell on the princess: the age of fifteen she must die. One of the other fairies changes the spell from death to a hundred years' sleep. And so it works out. "Wise women", human beings, would not have such power; and witches are never any good in German fairy tales.

a noted novel by E. Th. A. Hoffmann: "Klein Zaches, genannt Zinnober". It deals with a boy who is an ugly hunchback with a mean, foolish soul; but a bypassing fairy who has pity on him gives him a gift: everbody who looks at him should see him as a handsome, charming, clever guy. Endowed with this vantage, he fools everybody and makes a big career and is a great womanizer, until the fairy gets word that he misuses his gift, and she takes it from him again. so that he is seen as as miserable as he really is.This plot gives the author a lot of room to entensively and ironically describe how career can be made with superficial gifts (irony is a common trait in the works of German Romantic authors.)

But what puzzles me most: Why is there no paragraph "Fairies in Music"? There would be a long list from folk songs to oparas like "Oberon" to Rock 'n Roll (e. g. "Bridget the Midget, the Queen of the Blues")? Why is there no mention of that beautiful, enchanting celtic folk tune named "King of the Fairies"? I think it should even have an article of its own! - Wolfram, 149.225.72.156 (talk) 07:48, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

The etymology does not cite any sources[edit]

Sentence difficult to understand[edit]

I cannot figure out the point of the following sentence:

Fairies resemble various beings of other mythologies, though even folklore that uses the term fairy offers many definitions.

Can someone familiar with this topic, edit this for clarity? Wakablogger2 (talk) 23:02, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Pagan deities[edit]

"Many of the Irish tales of the Tuatha Dé Danann refer to these beings as fairies, though in more ancient times they were regarded as Goddesses and Gods." This needs citation. I would have added a "citation required" tag, but the page is locked. CuAnnan (talk) 18:07, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

I shall add it for you. There is a lot of unsourced material, a lot of it nonsense, in this article. The above is nonsense anyway as the word "fairy" isn't Gaelic. Translations of Irish tales may use "fairy" but it isn't in the originals. Sigurd Dragon Slayer (talk) 17:08, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

Are you talking about something like this ? --Tsaag Valren (talk) 11:47, 2 March 2011 (UTC)


Untitled[edit]

The word fairy is often described as being derived from the persian words, Peri, Pari, Fereshteh. However, in this wiki article all references to the fairies Iranian origins have been removed. The Shahnameh, which is an epic of Kings of Iran contains descriptions of fairy land and fairies who live in this fairy land. Reference: P. Kershasp, 1905. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pairyqueen (talkcontribs) 03:12, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Caeryddion[edit]

A pendant or charm said to be worn by fairies as protection against evil spirits. Celtic legend suggests that tooth fairies would hang a simple pendant of polished lapis lazuli from a string of the highest quality milk teeth. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Witoldlutoslawski (talkcontribs) 22:25, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

NEW STORIES ABOUT FAIRYS[edit]

Please include the series on HBO True Blood whose main character is Sookie Stackhouse a waitress with fairy blood who is discovering her powers of good over evil. This is the fourth season of this show and it is not really about the vampires it is about their fascination with Sookie's blood which they think will give them power to walk in the day. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.161.32.230 (talk) 15:52, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

New book additions.[edit]

I would like to see the Meredith Gentry series by Laurell K Hamilton the first being published in 2000 added to this article as it is very much a story about Faeries. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Kiss_of_Shadows — Preceding unsigned comment added by 123.211.128.67 (talk) 06:33, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

they appear in one episode of scooter secret agent[edit]

they are the focus of that episode. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.208.59.120 (talk) 21:32, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

Edit request on 14 March 2012[edit]

Can you add a citation needed link at the end of the section called Pagan deities, the claims there are inaccurate. 24.153.218.5 (talk) 20:53, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

Done Thanks, Celestra (talk) 23:22, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

Lost Girl[edit]

Please add Lost Girl to See also: popular culture. --98.119.198.79 (talk) 06:02, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 16 April 2012[edit]


72.252.197.78 (talk) 23:24, 16 April 2012 (UTC) I HAVE SOME INFORMATION ABOUT FAIRIES I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE I HAVE SEEN ONE!!!!! i also took a picture of it..... the fairy had a beautiful short white dress wearing and long brown hair the creature looked at me and flew off, i looked at it until it mytically disappeared. I was terribly frightened.

Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. Thanks, Celestra (talk) 02:54, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

About the fairies in cartoons[edit]

Do you think it would be wise to do an article about fairies in cartoons? many children are learning various factors about these in modern cartoons more than legends, most of the time are drawn with no humanoid forms and have a kind of codependency with humans. A new type of fairies on my point of view. --DFTDER (talk) 20:19, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

Also, what is the difference between a fairy, a sprite, and a pixie? For example: Spryte from The Legend of Zelda is often called a fairy...but the name would suggest she is more properly a sprite. Are the two interchangeable? Is it a slur to call a fairy a pixie? Like, all Koreans are Asians, but not all Asians are Korean? --The_Iconoclast (talk) 08:35, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 23 October 2012[edit]

Well, I might be a small unneeded 10-year-old, but my friend and I, her name is Hayley, have been studying on fairies for years, making our own fairy attractant and then staying up all night in my backyard camping in a tent, just to find this creature that most people believe is just some mystical nonsense or something to make the children happy. Like Mickey Mouse or Barney. But NO!!! We believe fairies are out there, just waiting for us to dissapear so they can come out from hiding. Sarasroses (talk) 03:19, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

Not done: please make your request in a "change X to Y" format. -- Fyrefly (talk) 03:42, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 23 October 2012[edit]

Well, I might be a small unneeded 10-year-old, but my friend and I, her name is Hayley, have been studying on fairies for years, making our own fairy attractant and then staying up all night in my backyard camping in a tent, just to find this creature that most people believe is just some mystical nonsense or something to make the children happy. Like Mickey Mouse or Barney. But NO!!! We believe fairies are out there, just waiting for us to dissapear so they can come out from hiding. Sarasroses (talk) 03:58, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

X mark.svg Not done. I'm sorry, I'm not sure what you're asking us to change here. It may or may not be worth noting Wikipedia's policy on original research, but feel free to set the answered back to no if there is indeed a specific and applicable change you desire. -— Isarra 06:58, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

Is the picture really appropriate?[edit]

Given that this article spends most of its length explaining how people feared and mistrusted fairies and viewed them as fickle at best and malevolent at worst, is an image of one of those Victorian twee fairies really representative of what this article is trying to say? Serendipodous 20:37, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

The article is confused about its own scope, and is justly tagged for rewriting. It should make up its mind first whether it wants to be the actual fairies of (more or less) Victorian era Romanticism, or if it wants to be a comparative study on folk beliefs throughout Western Europe. The two topics certainly overlap, and influences go both ways, but they surely aren't the same topic. Category:Fairies conflates all possible and impossible sprites, hobgoblins, water-spirits and what have you from the world over. This isn't a fruitful approach. Just like Supernatural beings in Slavic folklore (the article is bad, but its scope is useful and conductive to improvement), there can be a similar overview page for other "folklores" (Welsh, Gaelic, English, French, etc.). The folkloristic beliefs are in mischievous or even dangerous, poorly-defined and rarely-seen "creatures". The Romantic stories, ultimately inspired by the medieval "Romances" (hence "Romantic") cast this into tales of dream-like enchantment and magic. "Fairy" is an extremely difficult term to work with, as it can mean anything or nothing. Perhaps WP:SS would be the best approach, just laying out the situation in overview and referring to more clearly defined sub-topics discussed on separate pages.

The first thing to make clear is that this topic is entirely modern. Medieval romance, Celtic mythology and what have you can be discussed as possible contributing factors under an "Origins" header, but the "fairies" did not evolve prior to the 16th to 17th century, and are thus by their nature a product of the Early Modern period. This fact gives them their character, and it only distracts from the core of the topic to discuss "Slavic fairies" or "African fairies" or "Japanese fairies". Comparative folklore is a good thing, but it needs to be contained to discussions that are explicitly comparative, instead of the natural entropic tendency of Wikipedia to devolve into unordered "lists" of random or loosely related terms and concepts. --dab (𒁳) 08:47, 9 July 2013 (UTC)

Slated Rewrite[edit]

As noted in various places above, this article is a big problem. The word fairy is a big problem, before this article can get anywhere, exactly what fairy means and what it meant needs to be handled in depth. Here is, for example, a good place to start:

  • Williams, Noel. 1996. "The Semantics of the Word Fairy: Making Meaning Out of Thin Air" in Narváez, Peter (ed.) The Good People: New Fairylore Essays. University Press of Kentucky.

Hunting down similar approaches will solve the issue with this article. :bloodofox: (talk) 22:57, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 13 January 2014[edit]

In 1932, the famous American writer H.-P. Lovecraft has written a short text about this thesis of Fairies as hidden people : "Some backgrounds of Fairyland" (Finally published in 1944 into "Marginalia"). 82.64.194.141 (talk) 20:01, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

Not done. Can you kindly present reliable references for this information? Fiction descriptions may be included. --PeaceNT (talk) 23:41, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

Fairies: Real or Not Real?[edit]

Are Fairies real? A fairy (also fay, fae; from faery, faerie, "realm of the fays") is a type of mythical being or legendary creature in European folklore, a form of spirit, often described as metaphysical, supernatural or preternatural. There is proof that they don't exist though. There has been many people that have said they have seen fairies, e.g. there is proof they might exist in Ireland: The area around the hill of Tara is known to be a dwelling place of fairies. For years now, attempts have been made to build motorways over this land. Strange things happen to those involved in the projects, and the projects fail. They were warned by pagans that the area was a fairy place, and that bad things would happen if they messed with it, but they didn't listen because "fairies are not real." So... people who say fairies aren't real think again, because if you haven't seen a fairy, you cannot prove they don't exist, but you can prove they do exist because there are many stories about people seeing fairies, its not just in myths and legends.. they might possibly exist.

Fairies: Real or Not Real?[edit]

Are Fairies real? A fairy (also fay, fae; from faery, faerie, "realm of the fays") is a type of mythical being or legendary creature in European folklore, a form of spirit, often described as metaphysical, supernatural or preternatural. There is proof that they don't exist though. There has been many people that have said they have seen fairies, e.g. there is proof they might exist in Ireland: The area around the hill of Tara is known to be a dwelling place of fairies. For years now, attempts have been made to build motorways over this land. Strange things happen to those involved in the projects, and the projects fail. They were warned by pagans that the area was a fairy place, and that bad things would happen if they messed with it, but they didn't listen because "fairies are not real." So... people who say fairies aren't real think again, because if you haven't seen a fairy, you cannot prove they don't exist, but you can prove they do exist because there are many stories about people seeing fairies, its not just in myths and legends.. they might possibly exist. — Preceding unsigned comment added by CutieCatz (talkcontribs) 20:45, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

Anteros and the modern representative of fairies[edit]

I was wondering, does anyone know if there is an connection between Anteros, the greek god of requited love, and the modern representations of fairies with butterfly wings, given he was represented as such some time before them? 180.181.125.107 (talk) 06:43, 8 April 2014 (UTC)