fairy

[14] Fairy is an Old French coinage. It comes from Old French faerie, which meant ‘enchantment, magic’ and was derived from fae ‘fairy’ (source of English fay [14]). This in turn came from the Latin plural fāta, used in personifying the Fates, three goddesses who in ancient mythology governed human destiny. The original notion of the French noun survives in the mock-medieval term faerie (introduced by Edmund Spenser in his Faerie Queene 1590), but in fairy itself it has been gradually replaced by the meaning of the word from which it was originally derived – fay. => FABLE, FAME, FATE
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   The word for the small supernatural being originally meant 'fairyland,' so that the being itself was formerly known as a fay. (Fairy thus was literally fay-ery, with -ery meaning 'place,' just as piggery means 'place of pigs' and rookery 'place of rooks.') Fay is itself a word related to the Fates, the Greek goddesses who controlled human fate.

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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 — (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 …   Etymology dictionary

  • 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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