Definition of leprechaun in English:
- In fact, all I knew about Celtic folklore consisted of one silly story about a leprechaun.
- And tomorrow the sky will be pink and filled with flying leprechauns and fairies.
- You are likely to see queens, princesses, leprechauns, angels, devils and a mixture of all sorts.
Early 17th century: from Irish leipreachán, based on Old Irish luchorpán, from lu 'small' + corp 'body'.
The name of the small, mischievous sprite of Irish folklore is based on old Irish words meaning ‘small body’. The spelling of Irish has always been a mystery to the uninitiated: when the leprechaun first appeared in English literature in the 17th century, it was named lubrican; the modern form dates from the 19th century.
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