[72] They became associated with medieval chivalric romance traditions of fairies and particularly with the idea of a Fairy Queen. noun elves A supernatural creature of folk tales, typically represented as a small, delicate, elusive figure in human form with pointed ears, magical powers, and a capricious nature. [62] Compare with the following excerpt from a 1749–50 ode by William Collins: Because of elves' association with illness, in the twentieth century, most scholars imagined that elves in the Anglo-Saxon tradition were small, invisible, demonic beings, causing illnesses with arrows. [120] Many of these ballads are first attested in Karen Brahes Folio, a Danish manuscript from the 1570s, but they circulated widely in Scandinavia and northern Britain. Mention of the land of Álfheimr is found in Heimskringla while Þorsteins saga Víkingssonar recounts a line of local kings who ruled over Álfheim, who since they had elven blood were said to be more beautiful than most men. After the medieval period, the word elf tended to become less common throughout the Germanic languages, losing out to alternative native terms like Zwerg ("dwarf") in German and huldra ("hidden being") in Scandinavian languages, and to loan-words like fairy (borrowed from French into most of the Germanic languages). For example, because the cognates suggest matt white rather than shining white, and because in medieval Scandinavian texts whiteness is associated with beauty, Alaric Hall has suggested that elves may have been called "the white people" because whiteness was associated with (specifically feminine) beauty. Although this word took a variety of forms in different Old English dialects, these converged on the form elf during the Middle English period. You can complete the translation of elf given by the English-French Collins dictionary with other dictionaries such as: Wikipedia, Lexilogos, Larousse dictionary, Le Robert, Oxford, Grévisse. Elves appear as demonic forces widely in medieval and early modern English, German, and Scandinavian prayers. [104] Accordingly, the German word Alpdruck (literally "elf-oppression") means "nightmare". A hallmark of many fantasy elves is their pointed ears. [52], In one or two Old English medical texts, elves might be envisaged as inflicting illnesses with projectiles. [26][27][5], Scholars have at times also tried to explain beliefs in elves as being inspired by people suffering certain kinds of illnesses (such as Williams syndrome). It is defined by the Althochdeutsches Wörterbuch as a "nature-god or nature-demon, equated with the Fauns of Classical mythology ... regarded as eerie, ferocious beings ... As the mare he messes around with women". Examples Elves are magical creatures from Germanic folklore, typically with an appearance similar to humans but supernaturally beautiful. [130] A 2006 and 2007 study by the University of Iceland's Faculty of Social Sciences revealed that many would not rule out the existence of elves and ghosts, a result similar to a 1974 survey by Erlendur Haraldsson. These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'elf.' Beliefs in humanlike supernatural beings are widespread in human cultures, and many such beings may be referred to as elves in English. Most popular is Avery, the unisex darling meaning “elf counsel.” Aubrey, meaning “elf ruler,” is close behind, followed by Alfredo and Alvin, both meaning “elf.” However, the term Vanir is rare in Eddaic verse, very rare in Skaldic verse, and is not generally thought to appear in other Germanic languages. [34], The main medieval Germanic cognates are Old Norse alfr, plural alfar, Old High German alp, plural alpî, elpî (alongside the feminine elbe), Burgundian *alfs, and Middle Low German alfcode: mlg promoted to code: mg . English . English to English. [91] As his most prominent deed in the poem is to rape Böðvildr, the poem associates elves with being a sexual threat to maidens. [citation needed] Post-Tolkien fantasy elves (which feature not only in novels but also in role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons) are often portrayed as being wiser and more beautiful than humans, with sharper senses and perceptions as well. [65] Rather, recent scholarship suggests Anglo-Saxon elves, like elves in Scandinavia or the Irish Aos Sí, were regarded as people. [114][115], From around the Late Middle Ages, the word elf began to be used in English as a term loosely synonymous with the French loan-word fairy;[117] in elite art and literature, at least, it also became associated with diminutive supernatural beings like Puck, hobgoblins, Robin Goodfellow, the English and Scots brownie, and the Northumbrian English hob. elves ) 1. [145] The role of elves as Santa's helpers has continued to be popular, as evidenced by the success of the popular Christmas movie Elf. The lead researcher of the 2006–2007 study, Terry Gunnell, stated: "Icelanders seem much more open to phenomena like dreaming the future, forebodings, ghosts and elves than other nations". [146], A pioneering work of the fantasy genre was The King of Elfland's Daughter, a 1924 novel by Lord Dunsany. Tolkien also appears to be the first author to have introduced the notion that elves are immortal. From this Romanticist elite culture came the elves of popular culture that emerged in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. [39] In this case, *ɑlβi-z connotes the meaning, "skillful, inventive, clever", and is a cognate with the Latin labor, in the sense of "creative work". The most famous name of this kind is Alboin. before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1, Middle English, from Old English ælf; akin to Old Norse alfr elf & perhaps to Latin albus white — more at alb. My choice was the name Alea but i changed it into Aleah bc that was more helpful in my opinion! ELF is "defined functionally by its use in intercultural communication rather than formally by its reference to native-speaker norms" whereas English as a second or foreign language aims at meeting native speaker norms and gives prominence to native speaker cultural aspects. Advertisement. Viewing elves as being more or less like people, and more or less outside Christian cosmology. (in folklore) one of a kind of legendary beings, usually characterized as small, manlike, and mischievous 2. English to Tagalog. The elves could be seen dancing over meadows, particularly at night and on misty mornings. With urbanisation and industrialisation in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, beliefs in elves declined rapidly (though Iceland has some claim to continued popular belief in elves). They include a fleeting mention of elves seen out riding in 1168 (in Sturlunga saga); mention of an álfablót ("elves' sacrifice") in Kormáks saga; and the existence of the euphemism ganga álfrek ('go to drive away the elves') for "going to the toilet" in Eyrbyggja saga. Police video of the incident showed the officer in his, Another new company, Santa: The Experience, offers parents a video tour, hosted by an, Melissa Villaseñor and Mikey Day bring their daughter to a virtual contactless, In this different kind of puzzle, Dudás encourages his fans to find the, Fundraiser for Tinley Wish; $10 donation gets you an, Through Santa — The Experience, customers who reserve a time slot will be taken through five scenes guided by an, Listen to a story, write a letter to Santa, learning how to make sugar cookie icing and. A propensity to seduce or rape people becomes increasingly prominent in the source material. Some of the early modern ballads, indeed, are still quite widely known, whether through school syllabuses or modern folk music. Elf names for boys aren’t always obvious, with elfin meanings are more common than you’d think. In the eighteenth century, German Romanticist writers were influenced by this notion of the elf, and reimported the English word elf into the German language. Given the link between Freyr and the elves, it has therefore long been suspected that álfar and Vanir are, more or less, different words for the same group of beings. Thank you! The Experience of Evil from a Cosmic Perspective", "Die sprachvergleichung und die urgeschichte der indogermanischen völker", "Light-elves, Dark-elves, and Others: Tolkien's Elvish Problem", Sacred trees and groves in Germanic paganism and mythology, Mythological Norse people, items and places, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Elf&oldid=995336803, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from September 2020, Articles with dead external links from December 2018, Articles with permanently dead external links, Articles with dead external links from December 2016, Wikipedia indefinitely semi-protected pages, Articles containing Old English (ca. [107][108] This deception sometimes shows the seductive side apparent in English and Scandinavian material:[105] most famously, the early thirteenth-century Heinrich von Morungen's fifth Minnesang begins "Von den elben wirt entsehen vil manic man / Sô bin ich von grôzer liebe entsên" ("full many a man is bewitched by elves / thus I too am bewitched by great love"). Reply. These all come from an Indo-European root *h₂elbʰ-, and seem to be connected by the idea of whiteness. [157], Some scholarship draws parallels between the Arabian tradition of jinn with the elves of medieval Germanic-language cultures. Learn a new word every day. Accessed 20 Dec. 2020. This tradition continues into later English-language traditions too: elves continue to appear in Middle English medical texts. [94] But although limited, these texts provide some of the best evidence for the presence of elves in everyday beliefs in medieval Scandinavia. [146] Despite the obvious fictionality of fantasy novels and games, scholars have found that elves in these works continue to have a subtle role in shaping the real-life identities of their audiences. Loriel: English . Accordingly, investigating the relationship between beliefs in elves and Christian cosmology has been a preoccupation of scholarship about elves both in early times and in modern research.[8]. 750-1050)-language text, Articles containing Malagasy-language text, Lang and lang-xx code promoted to ISO 639-1, Articles containing Middle High German (ca. [47], The earliest surviving manuscripts mentioning elves in any Germanic language are from Anglo-Saxon England. Frequently Asked Questions About elves What is the plural of elf?. English as a lingua franca, a linguistics term for the use of English between speakers of different varieties of English, describing communication that involves people who do not consider English their first language [3] Accordingly, beliefs about elves and their social functions have varied over time and space.[4]. [117] Other names also abound, however, such as the Sicilian Donas de fuera ('ladies from outside'),[153] or French bonnes dames ('good ladies'). Although elfs may occasionally be found in print the accepted modern plural form of elf is elves. They have therefore played a major role in transmitting traditional ideas about elves in post-medieval cultures. As in Elveskud, sometimes the everyday person is a man and the elf a woman, as also in Elvehøj (much the same story as Elveskud, but with a happy ending), Herr Magnus og Bjærgtrolden, Herr Tønne af Alsø, Herr Bøsmer i elvehjem, or the Northern British Thomas the Rhymer. For Tolkien's fictional version, see, "Elves" redirects here. Tolkien's writing had such influence that in the 1960s and afterwards, elves speaking an elvish language similar to those in Tolkien's novels became staple non-human characters in high fantasy works and in fantasy role-playing games. In particular, nineteenth-century scholars tended to think that the dwarf Alberich, whose name etymologically means "elf-powerful", was influenced by early traditions of elves. However, from the early modern period onwards, elves started to be prominent in the literature and art of educated elites. Things are further complicated by the fact that when referring to the elves of Old Norse mythology, scholars have adopted new forms based directly on the Old Norse word álfr. The English word elf is from the Old English word most often attested as ælf (whose plural would have been *ælfe). [100], Both Continental Scandinavia and Iceland have a scattering of mentions of elves in medical texts, sometimes in Latin and sometimes in the form of amulets, where elves are viewed as a possible cause of illness. Science. [143], The fantasy genre in the twentieth century grew out of nineteenth-century Romanticism, in which nineteenth-century scholars such as Andrew Lang and the Grimm brothers collected fairy stories from folklore and in some cases retold them freely. Also surviving are the English surname Elgar (Ælfgar, "elf-spear") and the name of St Alphege (Ælfhēah, "elf-tall"). enPR: ĕlf, IPA : /ɛlf/ Audio (US) Rhymes: -ɛlf; Noun . However, almost all surviving textual sources about elves were produced by Christians (whether Anglo-Saxon monks, medieval Icelandic poets, early modern ballad-singers, nineteenth-century folklore collectors, or even twentieth-century fantasy authors). [64] However, this is now thought to be a misunderstanding: the image proves to be a conventional illustration of God's arrows and of Christian demons. Updated April 03, 2020 The term English as a lingua franca (ELF) refers to the teaching, learning, and use of English as a common means of communication (or contact language) for speakers of different native languages. Elf is a very old word, and has been with us not only in modern English, but in Middle and Old English as well (in Old English it was ælf). This word became partly synonymous with elf by the early modern period. They were round places where the grass had been flattened like a floor. [128], In folk stories, Scandinavian elves often play the role of disease spirits. An example is Andrew Lang's fairy tale Princess Nobody (1884), illustrated by Richard Doyle, where fairies are tiny people with butterfly wings, whereas elves are tiny people with red stocking caps. 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