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The History of a Hobgoblin httpwwwgeocitiescomAthensAcropolis4198puckageshtml One of the most popular characters in English folklore of the last thousand years has been the faerie goblin devil or imp known by the name of Puck or Robin Goodfellow The Welsh called him Pwca which is pronounced the same as his Irish incarnation Phouka Pooka or Puca These are far from his only names Parallel words exist in many ancient languages - puca in Old English puki in Old Norse puke in Swedish puge in Danish puks in Low German pukis in Latvia and Lithuania -- mostly with the original meaning of a demon devil or evil and malignant spirit Because of this similarity it is uncertain whether the original puca sprang from the imaginative minds of the Scandinavians the Germans or the Irish -Gillian Edwards Hobgoblin and Sweet Puck p143 Indeed Pouk was a typical medieval term for the devil For example Langland once called Hell Pouks Pinfold And the Phouka was sometimes pictured as a frightening creature with the head of an ass Truly a devil to behold The Welsh Pwca also did not match our modern conception of dainty tinkerbell fairies According to Louise Imogen Guiney a peasant drew the Pwca as a queer little figure long and grotesque and looked something like a chicken half out of his shell As a shape-shifter Puck has had many appearances over the years Hes been in the form of animals like how the Phouka can become a horse eagle or ass Hes been a rough hairy creature in many versions One Irish story has him as an old man Hes been pictured like a brownie or a hobbit In some paintings he looks like Pan from Greek mythology In others he looks like an innocent child And a modern cartoon show portrays him as a silver-haired elf Puck used his shape-shifting to make
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