Are dwarfs and dwarfs the same

Gnomes, wights, dwarfs, goblins - is there a difference?

Wichtel is a diminutive of Wretch; a term that is actually only used today with a negative connotation (poor wretch, villain). The word Wicht comes from Old High German wiht from and simply means thing. The modern German word “nothing”, which comes from the Old High German indefinite pronoun, has the same root niawiht or nêowiht with which a not-thing was designated - for example in the adverbial expression with niawihtu (= by no means). As a designation, Wicht was originally a taboo name [3]. Taboo names go back to the belief that words can be equivalent to things and names can be equivalent to the bearers of the name (runes, for example, could both describe magical things and be magical themselves). It was feared that giving the real name of a demon could have dire consequences - for example, that it would annoy him or even that he would have been summoned. To be on the safe side, an alternative name, a taboo name, was chosen. A house spirit from Ulm is said to have been called "the good thing" - the Wicht name was transformed into high German, so to speak.

Paracelsus coined the term "gnome" for a group smaller Earth spirits. Possibly he constructed a (incorrect) derivation from the Greek (gēnomos = Inhabitants of the earth) in order to fit them linguistically more easily into the structure of his four-element theory. Paracelsus was quite inventive in this regard. He specially invented the term "sylph" for air spirits.

Due to the enormous influence of Paracelsus, the term gnome found widespread use both in popular belief and in science. It is not entirely clear whether Paracelsus generally regarded all dwarf spirits as gnomes; for example, the goblins seem to have had no place in his universe. Today the terms gnome and dwarf are used largely synonymously, and goblins are also regularly referred to as gnomes.

Far more than the dwarfs, the goblins are accused of having a malicious nature. At best, they're teasing, at worst, fatal. They are often considered to be house spirits. According to their characterization, they can be used with the Night cruising on the one hand and with the Heckemännchen and the Spiritus familiaris on the other hand, overlap.

The origin of the designation is - at least in my opinion - not conclusively clarified. Today linguistic research predominantly takes the view that the word Kobold has its roots in the old German language and that its content goes back to the Roman household gods (Laren, Penaten). The Franciscan Rudolf von Biberach claimed to be a popular name for the penates Stetewalden been.

The ending -walden can still be found in today's word walten or administrate. A possible proto-European root is therefore* kuƀa-Walda in the meaning of caretaker, called caretaker. The old German term could be used to form the word Kobold steady by the Middle High German word kobe (Stable, covered hole in the ground) have been replaced. The ending –Old could come from the old high German hold (weighed, inclined), as it also occurs in the word unhold.

The interpretation of the name Kobold from a function as a household spirit contradicts the descriptions of Georgius Agricola.This denotes a "Cobalos " in his compendium on mining from 1556 as a mountain spirit. With the somewhat misleading name, Agricola is referring to you in the Mountain living spirit and not one on the mountain spirit living in the mountain, such as the Rübezahl. The metal cobalt was evidently named after the teasing, deceptive nature of the cobalos as early as the 16th century. Incidentally, this model later led to the naming of nickel after the mountain spirit of the same name.

Agricola assumed a Greek origin for his "Cobalos", and Jacob Grimm agreed with this: the word was derived from ancient Greek κόβαλος / kobalos = Schalk, rascal. In Greek mythology, the "Kobali" meant noisy participants in the Bacchus procession. The use of the term in the meaning of rascal is also guaranteed several times in ancient literature.

[1] Kopisch, A. (1856). The brownies. August Kopisch's Collected Works.
[2] Arrowsmith, N. (1977). A Field Guide to the Little People. English: Elves, Trolls and Hobgoblins. Piper, 2005.
[3] Röhrich, L. (1951). The demon and his name. Contributions to the history of the German language and literature 73: 456-468. P. 460.