fairy

fairy
fairy (n.) c.1300, fairie, "enchantment, magic," from O.Fr. faerie "land of fairies, meeting of fairies, enchantment, magic," from fae "fay," from L. fata (pl.) "the Fates," from PIE *bha- "to speak" (see FAME (Cf. fame)). As "a supernatural creature" from late 14c. [contra Tolkien; Cf. "This maketh that ther been no fairyes" in "Wife of Bath's Tale"], perhaps via intermediate forms such as fairie knight "supernatural or legendary knight" (early 14c.). The diminutive winged beings so-called in children's stories seem to date from early 17c.
Yet I suspect that this flower-and-butterfly minuteness was also a product of “rationalization,” which transformed the glamour of Elfland into mere finesse, and invisibility into a fragility that could hide in a cowslip or shrink behind a blade of grass. It seems to become fashionable soon after the great voyages had begun to make the world seem too narrow to hold both men and elves; when the magic land of Hy Breasail in the West had become the mere Brazils, the land of red-dye-wood. [J.R.R. Tolkien," On Fairy-Stories," 1947]
The slang meaning "effeminate male homosexual" is first recorded 1895. Fairy ring is from 1590s. Fossil sea urchins found on the English downlands were called fairy loaves.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Fairy — Fair y, a. 1. Of or pertaining to fairies. [1913 Webster] 2. Given by fairies; as, fairy money. Dryden. [1913 Webster] {Fairy bird} (Zo[ o]l.), the Euoropean little tern ({Sterna minuta}); called also {sea swallow}, and {hooded tern}. {Fairy… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Fairy — Fair y, n.; pl. {Fairies}. [OE. fairie, faierie, enchantment, fairy folk, fairy, OF. faerie enchantment, F. f[ e]er, fr. LL. Fata one of the goddesses of fate. See {Fate}, and cf. {Fay} a fairy.] [Written also {fa[ e]ry}.] 1. Enchantment;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Fairy — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Dos botellas de Fairy Fairy es un lavavajillas líquido concentrado para lavar a mano producido por Procter Gamble. Este lavavajillas es distribuido en España, Medio Oriente y Reino Unido,en Latinoamérica se llama… …   Wikipedia Español

  • fairy — fairy; fairy·ism; fairy·land; …   English syllables

  • fairy — ► NOUN (pl. fairies) 1) a small imaginary being of human form that has magical powers. 2) informal, derogatory a male homosexual. ORIGIN Old French faerie fairyland , from fae a fairy , from Latin fata the Fates …   English terms dictionary

  • fairy — [fer′ē] n. pl. fairies [ME, fairyland, fairy < OFr faerie < fée: see FAY1] 1. an imaginary being usually in human form and supposed to have magic powers, specif. one that is tiny, graceful, and delicate 2. Slang a male homosexual: term of… …   English World dictionary

  • fairy — [n] supernatural being bogie, brownie, elf, enchanter, fay, genie, gnome, goblin, gremlin, hob, imp, leprechaun, mermaid, nisse, nymph, pixie, puck, siren, spirit, sprite, sylph; concept 370 …   New thesaurus

  • Fairy — Infobox Paranormalcreatures Creature Name = Fairy Image Caption = Take the Fair Face of Woman… by Sophie Anderson Grouping = Mythological creature Born = 105BC Died = NA Possibilities = AKA = Fay Fae Faerie Wee Folk Good Folk Fair Folk Country =… …   Wikipedia

  • Fairy — …   Википедия

  • fairy — /fair ee/, n., pl. fairies, adj. n. 1. (in folklore) one of a class of supernatural beings, generally conceived as having a diminutive human form and possessing magical powers with which they intervene in human affairs. 2. Slang (disparaging and… …   Universalium

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