Most people do not believe in elves. The little people, along with fairies, banshees, and werewolves, are often thrown into the category of ‘fantasy’ and left to molder unless some video game or children’s book decides to make use of them for commercial purposes. Whatever you believe to be true, stories of fantastic creatures are present in most ancient cultures, particularly in European regions such as Germany, Scandinavia, and Ireland.
Widespread disbelief and discrediting of the mystical folk have rendered serious research into the origins of elves almost nonexistent. However, recent scientific and historical analyses of the folklore of Ireland reveal that elves are not wholly fictional, but actually based on real life beings.
The Etymology of ‘Elf’
First, for clarity, it should be noted that the word ‘elf’ is not indigenous to Ireland. This word derives from a term used in Common Germanic, the ancestor language of modern German, English, and several Scandinavian languages. ‘Elf’ became a label for the Irish fairies when the English began to write about and record Irish folklore.
To read the rest of this article from Ancient Origins copy and paste this link into your browser: https://www.ancient-origins.net/myths-legends/tuatha-d-dannan-enchanting-predecessors-irish-fairies-and-elves-007657