The Official Collection of Fantastical Creature Information--Updated Randomly

For all your fantastical creature needs! This is the beginning of my encyclopedia, and I'm collecting as much information as I can on various fantasy creatures. Most of my stuff can be found on wikipedia. However, no source is perfect, so the stuff that is my input is often italicized. Help me by sending me more information at

Side Note: There have been concerns about my using Wikipedia because it is not a reliable resource. I am well aware of wikipedia's unreliable nature--but that's exactly why I use it. Fantasy creatures are available to all, and everyone should have a chance to add their "discoveries." This website is supposed to be a fun collection of fantastical creature information with fun images to go with. I am not a reliable source--I'm just a collector. Though at this point, I am flattered that people are concerned with the validity of my site. :)

!!!!This is NOT a forum. Comments are to be informative and generally helpful. Clean humor is acceptable, but NOT if it detracts from the entry. This site is to help people find out more about fantastical creatures!!!

Thursday, June 28, 2007


A gnome is a creature characterized by its very small size and subterranean free lifestyle.
The word gnome is derived from the New Latin gnomus. It is often claimed to descend from the Greek gnosis, "knowledge", but more likely comes from genomos "earth-dweller".

Paracelsus includes gnomes in his list of elementals, as earth elementals. He describes them as two spans high, and very taciturn.

Gnomes are commonly portrayed as large-headed humanoids about a meter in height, displaying characteristics such as a cheery temperament, an athestic bent, a high degree of intelligence coupled with curiosity and poor judgement, unusual talent when it comes to inventing and building technology (typically of the loud and dangerous sort), and fanciful, outlandish hairstyles. These attributes not found in traditional stories about gnomes largely originated with tinker gnomes in the Dragonlance setting. Additional rumors have stated that gnomes once inhabited the lost city of Atlantlis, though evidence of this has yet to be verified.

In Folklore
Often featured in Germanic fairy tales, including those by the Brothers Grimm, the gnome often resembles a gnarled old man living deep underground who guards buried treasure. Because of this, Swiss bankers are sometimes disparagingly referred to as the Gnomes of Zurich. Gnomes feature in the legends of many of central, northern and eastern European lands by other names: a kaukis is a Prussian gnome, tomten in Sweden, and barbegazi are gnome-like creatures with big feet in the traditions of France and Switzerland. In Iceland, gnomes (Vaettir) are so respected that roads are re-routed around areas said to be inhabited by them. Some confusion arises as the gnome is one of many similar but subtly different creatures in European folklore; fantastical creatures such as goblins and dwarves are often represented as gnomes, and vice versa. Which, like so many other mix ups, is rather disparaging to their respected species. Gnomes do not like to be compared to dwarves, for they view dwarves as clumsy and too big for their own good, despite the ressemblance of digging for gold. To compare a gnome to a goblin, is far worse, since gnomes view themselves as siding with good while goblins often do not. They view goblins as betrayers, and the highest insult to a gnome is to call him a goblin.

Individual gnomes are not very often detailed or featured as characters in stories, but in Germanic folklore, Rubezahl, the lord over the underworld, was sometimes referred to as a mountain gnome. Gnomes are highly adaptable. Mountain gnomes tend to be larger than the average woodland gnome. There is a possibility a human had seen a mountain gnome, which aren't the most aesthitically pleasing of creatures to the human eye, and believed him to come from the underworld, thus starting the fable. However, many a gnome have also believed humans to be from the underworld for just the same reason.

According to some traditions, the gnome king is called Gob. In some places, this is true out of a humanlike awe for their king. However, most gnomes prefer to call their king a "Gnob," coupling the "G" and "N" in the same way English speakers also couple a "Q" with a "U." The true gnomic language is very difficult for humans to pronounce, making communication difficult. Gnomes are naturally intelligent and learned English as a second language but have always kept the GN together. To spell Name for a gnome is a gross grammatical error. For a Gnome, you would ask him or her to spell their "Gname." However, "Gnomish Gnames" are also very long, tracing back their progenitors for many generations. The few humans to make this mistake would have had to sit for hours for the gname of one gnome. Instead, to converse with a gnome, one would have to speak rather quickly and clip some of the words to prevent a very long recitation. A varying dialect of their language can be found in G.C. Levine's "Fairest" in which the gnomes punctuate their sentences backward and each word begins and ends with the same letter. However, translation of this sub-species of gnome is difficult, and learning the proper pronunciation even more so.

Gnames of gnomes in different parts in Europe
These are the names by which gnomes are commonly designated in different parts of Europe:
Ireland — Goblin
Belgium — Gnome, Kabouter
Germany — Gnom
Norway — Tomte or Nisse
Denmark — Nisse
Italy — Gnomo
Greece - Gnomos, Gnomiko
Poland — Krasnoludek, Skrzat
Finland — Maahinen or menninkäinen
Russia — Гном (Gnom)
Serbia — Kepec, patuljak, gnom
Sweden — Tomtenisse, hustomte or tomte
Bulgaria — Djudje
Czech Republic — Skřítek
Slovakia - Škriatok
Hungary — Manó
England - Gnome or Hob
Iceland - Álfur or dvergur
Spain - Gnomo, duende
Malta - Nanu
The Netherlands - Kabouter

Modern usage
Fantasy authors sometimes employ gnomes, as elementals, in their fiction. Particularly noteworthy is the phonetically spelled Nome King of the Oz books. Although the Wicked Witch of the West is the most famous of Oz's Books, Nome King is the closest the book series has to a main antagonist. He appears again and again to cause trouble for the Land of Oz.

Garden gnomes

The first garden gnomes were made in the town of Gräfenroda in Thuringia, Germany in the mid-1800s by Phillip Griebel, and his name has been cursed by the real gnomes ever since. Griebel made terracotta animals as decorations and created the gnome based on local myths as a way for people to enjoy the stories of the gnomes' willingness to help in the garden at night. The garden gnome quickly spread across Germany and into France and England, and wherever gardening was a serious hobby.

Garden gnomes have become a popular accessory in
many gardens. They are often the target of pixie pranks for obvious reasons. The practice of stealing garden gnomes is also sometimes referred to as "Gnome Hunting".

Of course, Garden Gnomes are not an accurate portrayal of the real gnomes, and many would-be helpful gnomes avoid gardens with these gross statues.

This Post is still being edited, please help by providing more information!

Special thanks to Wikipedia!


twas_brillig said...

The legendary Tata Duende, described as an overgrown gnome-like creature who carries a large hatchet and is there to protect the jungle. To avoid being caught or seen, the Tata’s feet are backward to throw off trackers.

The following clips on youtube appear to be genuine video of the creature.

Jekka Goaty Senoj said...

In midevial lore you have a funny misspelling: their feathers were believed to restore sight to the bling. I didn't know peasants had blings. . . ;)

Jekka Goaty Senoj said...

oops! wrong one!