Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Elf, a Teutonic word, generally replaced in modern English by "Fairy" [Fairies], and when used alone signifying a sprightly, graceful, but somewhat mischievous child. It retains its original meaning, however, in many compounds; as elf-arrows, -bolts, -darts, -shots, -stones = flint implements (q.v.), for these were formerly supposed to be weapons used by the fairies against men and cattle; elf-child = a changeling (q.v.); elf-land=z the land of enchantment, fairyland; and elf-locks = knots of hair mischievously twisted by elves or fairies, hence applied to hair matted and in disorder.