My Bookshelf

Monday, 27 January 2014

Fairies and Faeries - The difference

So who knew Fairies and Faeries were two different creatures?  I'd always believed they were just two different spellings of the same word.  This goes to show my research needs to be just that little bit deeper.

Anyway I thought I would tell you about the differences I found!

The Word Fairy comes from the Lain word "Fatum" meaning Fate. The Fairy is the one most of us know, mischievous, good, helpful little spirits/folk who are generally no more than 3 inches tall.  Yes they have wings, either two or four. I suppose this is to do with where on the scale of life they are.  

The most famous story  is about the Cottingley Fairies and the two little girls who found them at the bottom of their garden. I loved those photos looking at the delightful fairies with the girls.  The story was made into a book a few years back now.  Sadly when the last little girl died a few years back now as an elderly lady she told the story of the fairies saying that they were pictures drawn by her brother or cousin.  Even today I don't believe what she said, though sadly no one will ever find out now.

Another article I found a few years back was about a the finding of skeletal remains of little people. An apparent hoax for April Fools Day. The picture shows the skeleton in a hand. Though myths and legends come from somewhere it would be lovely if some truth could be found.

Of course young childrens' favourite fairy is the Tooth Fairy who gives us money for our tiny baby teeth as we lose them. 

Now what about the Faerie, who or what are they, why do many people still use it for a different spelling of the lovable Fairy many of us learnt about as children?

The Faerie is a word derived from Gaelic "fear shidhe" In the article I found  it means "man of the shee" So more digging and research was required.

The myth goes to say that Faeries are evil, cruel, horrid spirits who steal children and keep them as slaves or pets. It's also said they are ugly or at least not as handsome as Fairies. Also they didn't necessarily have wings either and they could be tiny or tall.

One of the nicer looking Banshee's also known as Faeries.

Now Banshee's can be really scary as in the movie Van Helsing so please don't get your spelling of Fairy and Faerie mixed up when your writing like I did.  Dig deeper into the words you want to use the last thing I'd want for me or anyone else is a critic picking up on the different words and telling us we got it wrong.

So glad that in my stories, one I can change the spelling and the other was Faerie.  Both books will be available this year so look out for "Cera's Haunted House" and "Zoe's Journey," and enjoy the read.

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