What Is A Fairy?
A fairy (also faery, faerie, or fae; collectively wee folk, good folk, people of peace and other euphemisms) is a spirit or
supernatural being that is found in the legends, folklore, and mythology of many cultures. The term "fairy" came into use in the
folklore of Western Europe in the medieval era; it has been applied to supernatural beings of many different cultures, both those
similar to, and distinctly different from, the Western European "fairy" (see List of beings referred to as fairies). Even in folkore
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, and at other times only to describe a specific type of more ethereal creature.
Fairies are generally described as humanoid in appearance and as having magical powers. Their origins are less clear in the folklore,
being variously the dead, or some form of angels, 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
Much of the folklore about fairies revolves about protection from their malice, by such means as cold iron or charms of rowan and herbs,
or avoiding offense by shunning locations known to be theirs. In particular, folklore describes how to prevent the fairies from
stealing babies and substituting changelings, and abducting older people as well.
Many folktales are told of fairies, and they appear as characters in stories from medieval tales of chivalry, to Victorian fairy
tales, and up to the present day in modern literature.