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August 16, 2008

Identification Guide to Elves, Fairies, Gnomes, Goblins, Etc.


Fantasy Postcards depict all manner of Elves, Fairies, Gnomes, Goblins, Pixies and Brownies. It can be very confusing trying to keep all the different groups straight.

What's the difference between a gnome and a goblin? Quite a bit. Is that a Fairy or a Brownie? This guide will help you to tell the difference.

Fairies - These are easily identifiable by their large butterfly or insect-like wings. In some depictions, Fairies are shown to have a long pair antenna sprouting from their foreheads.

Female Fairies are shown as beautiful and fair while male fairies sometimes have a more insect-like look to their faces.

Fairies are very small and are often seen interacting with small forest creatures like toads, insects, and mice.

Flower Fairies - These are a type of fairy which have adapted themselves to living very closely with a certain type of flower.

The clothing and hat of the Flower Fairy are made to look like the foliage and blossoms of a specific plant. This is most likely used for camouflage.

You will see rose flower fairies, poppy fairies, daisy fairies, etc. There are even some dangerous looking thistle fairies.


Brownies - These can be identified by their brown clothing and the small, possibly acorn, caps on their heads.

Some depictions show small insect-like wings sprouting from their backs but I don't think they can fly like their Fairy cousins.

Brownies don't mind humans as much as Gnomes do and are often seen playing with small children.


Gnomes - The Gnomes of Scandinavia have tall pointed hats and long beards.They are a kindly forest people and are often depicted as friends with local woodland animals. They are not usually seen in the company of humans.

Elves - These look like diminutive bearded men. They wear bright colors with long stocking caps.

Elves are the small men who help Santa make toys for children at Christmas time and are often seen with bags of golden coins and pigs as a symbol for New Years.



Goblins - These are small and round faced with pointed ears and wicked grins. They come in many colors and varieties but are usually associated with witches and Halloween.

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