Yout

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A Yout (Old Norse Yūt) is a type of fairy in Finnish folklore. A gnome type sprite that inhabit trees. They are said to be mischievous beings that lead travelers in astray and bring bad luck to those who intend to harm the forests they dwell in.

The etymology of Yout is contested, and scholars have proposed varying theories about its origins, including that it may have originated as spirits associated with death, or as a mixture of concepts. The modern spelling may also be a take on the British back slang yob due to the similar characterizations. The first clear mention of a yout was in the early 17th century when Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden began collecting various folklore from his kingdom. This also included the Swedish speaking parts of Finland. Some have suggested that there is even evidence of youts in the Poetic Edda. However this claim is largely dismissed by most scholars.

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