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In old French romance, "fee" was a woman skilled in magic, and who knew the power and virtue of words, of stones, and of herbs. Faierie became fairy, but with that spelling now almost exclusively referring to one of the legendary people, with the same meaning as fay.
The word "fairy" was used to represent an illusion, or enchantment; the land of the Faes; collectively the inhabitants thereof; or an individual such as a fairy knight.
To the word faie was added the suffix -erie (Modern English -(e)ry), used to express either a place where something is found (fishery, nunnery) or a trade or typical activity engaged in (cookery, thievery).
In later usage it generally applied to any kind of quality or activity associated with a particular type of person, as in English knavery, roguery, wizardry.
Any form of sudden death might stem from a fairy kidnapping, with the apparent corpse being a wooden stand-in with the appearance of the kidnapped person.
In Scottish folklore, fairies are divided into the Seelie Court, the more beneficently inclined (but still dangerous) fairies, and the Unseelie Court, the malicious fairies.
In this particular time, fairies were reputed by the church as being 'evil' beings.
Many beings who are described as deities in older tales are described as "fairies" in invented Victorian writings.
Folklorists have suggested that their actual origin lies in religious beliefs that lost currency with the advent of Christianity.Fairie was in origin used adjectivally, meaning "enchanted" (as in fairie knight, fairie queene), but was used as a name for "enchanted" creatures from as early as the Late Middle English period.In English literature of the Elizabethan era, elves became conflated with the fairies of Romance culture, so that the two terms began to be used interchangeably.This noted that many common points of belief, such as the same legends being told of ghosts and fairies, the sídhe in actuality being burial mounds, it being dangerous to eat food in both Fairyland and Hades, and both the dead and fairies living underground.At one time it was a common belief that fairy folklore evolved from folk memories of a prehistoric race.