Goblin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Nineteenth-century illustration of a goblin

A goblin is a monstrous creature from European folklore, first attested in stories from the Middle Ages. They are ascribed various and conflicting abilities, temperaments and appearances depending on the story and country of origin. They are almost always small and grotesque, mischievous or outright malicious, and greedy, especially for gold and jewelry. They often have magical abilities similar to a fairy or demon. Similar creatures include brownies, dwarfs, duendes, gnomes, imps, and kobolds.

Name[edit]

Alternative spellings include gobblin, gobeline, gobling, goblyn, goblino, and gobbelin

English goblin is first recorded in the 14th century and is probably from unattested Anglo-Norman *gobelin,[1] similar to Old French gobelin, already attested around 1195 in Ambroise of Normandy's Guerre sainte, and to Medieval Latin gobelinus in Orderic Vitalis before 1141,[2][3] which was the name of a devil or daemon haunting the country around Évreux, Normandy.

It may be related both to German kobold and to Medieval Latin cabalus, or *gobalus, itself from Greek κόβαλος (kobalos), "rogue", "knave", "imp", "goblin".[2][4] Alternatively, it may be a diminutive or other derivative of the French proper name Gobel, more often Gobeau,[5][6] diminutive forms Gobelet, Goblin, Goblot, but their signification is probably "somebody who sells tumblers or beakers or cups".[7] Moreover, these proper names are not from Normandy, where the word gobelin, gobelinus first appears in the old documents. German Kobold contains the Germanic root kov- (Middle German Kobe "refuge, cavity", "hollow in a rock", Dial. English cove "hollow in a rock", English "sheltered recess on a coast", Old Norse kofi "hut, shed" ) which means originally a "hollow in the earth".[8][9] The word is probably related to Dial. Norman gobe "hollow in a cliff", with simple suffix -lin or double suffixation -el-in (cf. Norman surnames Beuzelin,[10] Gosselin,[11] Étancelin,[12] etc.)

The Welsh coblyn, a type of knocker, derives from the Old French gobelin via the English goblin.[13][14]

The term goblette has been used to refer to female goblins.[15][16]

European folklore and collected folk stories[edit]

The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald, illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith, 1920

Goblin-like creatures in other cultures[edit]

Many Asian lagyt creatures have been likened to, or translated as, goblins. Some examples for these:

  • Chinese Ghouls and Goblins (England 1928)
  • The Goblin of Adachigahara (Japanese fairy tale)[19]
  • The Goblin Rat, from The Boy Who Drew Cats (Japanese fairy tale)
  • Twenty-Two Goblins (Indian fairy tale)[20]
  • In South Korea, goblins are known as dokkaebi (도깨비). They are especially important mythical creatures in Korean folklore. They usually appear in children's books.[citation needed]
  • In Bangladesh, Santal people believe in gudrobonga which is very similar to goblins.

Goblin-related place names[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ T. F. Hoad, English Etymology, Oxford University Press, p. 196b.
  2. ^ a b CNRTL etymology of gobelin (online French)
  3. ^ Du Cange et al, Glossarium mediae et infimae latinitatis ...(online French and Latin) [1]
  4. ^ κόβαλος, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  5. ^ Harper, Douglas. "Goblin". The Online Etymological Dictionary. Retrieved 2011-12-20.
  6. ^ HOAD, p. 196b.
  7. ^ Albert Dauzat, Noms et prénoms de France, Librairie Larousse 1980, édition revue et commentée par Marie-Thérèse Morlet. p. 295b Gobel.
  8. ^ Duden, Herkunftswörterbuch : Etymologie der deutschen Sprache, Band 7, Dudenverlag, p. 359 : Kobel, koben, Kobold.
  9. ^ HOAD, p. 101b.
  10. ^ Géopatronyme : surname Beuzelin in France (online French)
  11. ^ Géopatronyme : surname Gosselin in France (online French) Gosselin
  12. ^ Géopatronyme : surname Étancelin in France (online French)
  13. ^ Franklin, Anna (2002). "Goblin", The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Fairies. London: Paper Tiger. ISBN 1-84340-240-8. p. 108
  14. ^ The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English
  15. ^ Anthony, Piers (1992). The Color of Her Panties. You can't move me out, you skirted goblette.
  16. ^ Porter, Jesse (28 September 2015). "Goblin". The Adventures of Puss in Boots. Episode 12. My dear, dear goblette, there is really nothing to it.
  17. ^ Apples4theTeacher - short stories
  18. ^ Dutch Fairy Tales for Young Folks, 1918, compiled by William Elliot Griffis
  19. ^ Rick Walton - folktale
  20. ^ Sacred texts
  21. ^ Ghosts, Goblins, and Haunted Castles, Aventinum Publishers, 1990 in English, page 51
  22. ^ Glasgow Street Names, Carol Foreman, Birlinn, 2007, page 58.

Further reading[edit]

  • Briggs, K. M. (2003). The Anatomy of Puck. London: Routledge.
  • Briggs, K. M. (1967). The Fairies in English Literature and Tradition. Chicago: Chicago University Press.
  • Briggs, K. M. (1978). The Vanishing People. London: B.T. Batsford.
  • Carryl, Charles E. (1884). Davy And The Goblin. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
  • Dubois, Pierre (2005). The Complete Encyclopedia of Elves, Goblins, and Other Little Creatures. New York: Abbeville Press. ISBN 0-789-20878-4.
  • Froud, Brian (1996). The Goblin Companion. Atlanta: Turner.
  • Froud, Brian (1983). Goblins!. New York: Macmillan.
  • Page, Michael and Robert Ingpen (1987). British Goblins: Encyclopedia of Things That Never Were. New York: Viking.
  • Purkiss, Diane (2001). At the Bottom of the Garden. New York: New York University Press.
  • Rose, Carol (1996). Spirits, Fairies, Gnomes and Goblins: an Encyclopedia of the Little People. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO.
  • Sikes, Wirt (1973). British Goblins: Welsh Folk-lore, Fairy Mythology, Legends and Traditions. Wakefield: EP Pub.
  • Silver, Carole G. (1999). Strange and Secret Peoples. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Zanger, Jules (1997). "Goblins, Morlocks, and Weasels". Children's Literature in Education. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 8: 154–162.