The word fay came to English around 1400 (as fai, fay) from Old French faie or fee (Modern French fée), earlier from the Vulgar Latin feminine fata, referring to one of the Fates, personifications of destiny (the Greek Moirae); cf. the Italian Fata Morgana used as a translation of Morgan le Fay.

English fairy (Middle English faierie) was borrowed ca. 1300 from Old French faerie "land of the faie, enchantment", a noun denoting the general class, activity or habitation of the faie (faierie being related to fai as e.g. yeomanry to yeoman, foolery to fool, or nunnery to nun). From adjectival use ("fairy gold", "fairy queen" etc.) from the 15th century applied to the class of supernatural beings inhabiting faerie, re-interpreted as derived from fair, singular fairy with a new plural fairies. The term fairy tale is a translation of the Conte de feés of Madame d'Aulnoy (1698). The spelling faerie first appears 1590 in Spenser's Faerie Queene. From Spenser's use, the spelling with -ae- came to be used in a dignified or poetic sense as opposed to "vulgar" tales. J. R. R. Tolkien makes use of the distinction, in On Fairy-Stories defining Faërie as "the realm or state in which fairies have their being", depicted (under the name of Faery) as a mystical or visionary state in his Smith of Wootton Major. Fairy Land is used by Shakespeare as an apposition, in the 19th century contracted to fairyland.

A fairy (also fey or fae or faerie; collectively, wee folk, good folk, people of peace, and other euphemisms) is the name given to an alleged metaphysical spirit or supernatural being.

The fairy is based on the fae of medieval Western European (Old French) folklore and romance. Fairies are often identified with related beings of other mythologies (see list of beings referred to as fairies). Even in folklore that uses the term "fairy," there are many definitions of what constitutes a fairy. Sometimes the term is used to describe any magical creature, including goblins or gnomes: at other times, the term only describes a specific type of more ethereal creature.

Fairies are generally described as human in appearance and as having magical powers. Their origins are less clear in the folklore, being variously the dead, or some form of angel, or a species completely independent of humans or angels. Folklorists have suggested that their actual origin lies in a conquered race living in hiding, or in religious beliefs that lost currency with the advent of Christianity. These explanations are not always mutually incompatible, and they may be traceable to multiple sources.

I am very much connected with the Fairies. Upon occasion I do, whenever I have a chance, a ritual to the Fairys...What I don't understand is all this thing about the Fairies being 'glitterised' and 'pinkerised'...Fairies are very serious beings and I really don't personally think of them as pinky and glitter. In fact, did you realised that almost all Fairies that appear on drawings and pictures (well..I'm really not talking here about the glitter ones) are females? Are the Fairies all girls? Well I really don't think so...


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I tried replying to this article earlier...not sure what happened to the post. provide some excellent information here. Thank you for sharing it.

...and no, not all Fae are glittery and pink. I feel that that is glammed up Hollywood or should I say Disney stereotype. ...and no, not all Faeries are female.

Fae energy is very unique however and they can provide excellent insight and possess healing talent as well.
Oh I would love to see that...You are an amazing artist and I know that you see more than it seems to be...I really love to see those painted by you...


I have a very old book, published in 1978 actually, called "Faeries" and its "Described and Illustrated by Brian Froud and Alan Lee". There are MANY faeries discussed and pictured in this book and MANY are male! Though SOME are female and adorned by flowers, NONE are glittery and MANY are actually rather blood-thirsty.
Apparently there are MANY different types and they all have their own unique proclivities.
Hello everyone,

This is a topic I don't resist: Fairies...

There are very tipes of Fairies.
Most of the time we can't see them cause our human eye (and our mind) isn't able to do that.
Do you see the sound? Do you see the brise of the wind?
I do have Fairies who are my friends. I know they are always with me, but most of the times I only can see them when I'm in the Circle. They live in «another time» that is faster than ours. The Fairies are very dificult to focus (their image), cause they move so fast they look ethereal. The most curious is that I see them better with the eyes closed.


I graduated from high school in 1979.... WHO are you calling old?? LOLOL

Great article Karagan. Fairies are to be respected and not messed with! I always teach the children that the biggest thing to remember when dealing with fairies is RESPECT! :)
I haven't seen a fairy but I've experienced their pranks. I would like to get to know more about them. I helped set up a ritual in honor of the fae for midsummer and have thought a lot about them since. For example, how do desert fae and forest fae compare? Are there less of them, different attitudes, etc?
I love informative articles... I think you deserve cool points if there is such a thing!! I get faerie pranked, too. glad I'm not the only one.Be blessed.
I think that spelling can get in the way here. Before we had the idea of right and wrong spelling, there may have been fey, and fae. If you arent concerned with spelling, or your language doesnt have that sort of restraint, you dont always know which a person is talking about. Fey can mean 'doomed to die.' My point is that, specificaly with the word faerie, is that before we started having right and wrong spelling, there may have been fae (likely one of the land-vaettr) and fey, one doomed to die, or perhaps even already dead (not 'ghost' though). ANyway, just my thoughts..



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