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leprechaun

[lep-ruh-kawn, -kon] /ˈlɛp rəˌkɔn, -ˌkɒn/
noun, Irish Folklore.
1.
a dwarf or sprite.
2.
a conventionalized literary representation of this figure as a little old man who will reveal the location of a hidden crock of gold to anyone who catches him.
Origin
1595-1605
1595-1605; < Irish leipreachán, lucharachán, MIr luchrapán, lupra(c)cán, metathesized forms of Old Irish lúchorp(án), equivalent to lú- small + corp body (< Latin corpus) + -án diminutive suffix
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for leprechaun
  • Were it not for a hint of the leprechaun in his smile.
  • The leprechaun sort of steals the show from the leads, but everyone was great.
  • Make a leprechaun craft, hunt for gold and make a lucky green float.
British Dictionary definitions for leprechaun

leprechaun

/ˈlɛprəˌkɔːn/
noun
1.
(in Irish folklore) a mischievous elf, often believed to have a treasure hoard
Word Origin
C17: from Irish Gaelic leipreachān, from Middle Irish lūchorpān, from small + corp body, from Latin corpus body
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for leprechaun
n.

c.1600, from Irish lupracan, metathesis from Old Irish luchorpan literally "a very small body," from lu "little" (from PIE *legwh- "having little weight;" see light (adj.)) + corpan, diminutive of corp "body," from Latin corpus "body" (see corporeal). Commonly spelled lubrican in 17c. English. Leithbragan is Irish folk etymology, from leith "half" + brog "brogue," because the spirit was "supposed to be always employed in making or mending a single shoe."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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