etc

etymology

Names

Here is a quick list of Scandinavian names for the creatures we generally call 'trolls':

Denmark: bjergfolk, højfolk, bakkefolk, de underjordiske, puslinger, vætter, trolde
Sweden: vättar, bolvättar, underbyggarna, de underjordiska, bergsrån, troll (Southern Sweden), älvorna (speciality: dance) in the whole of Sweden, but no important role in folk tradition, vittra/vittror (Northern Sweden)
Norway: Haugtussar, haugfolk, tuftefolk, underjordiske, rorefolk
Norway/Iceland/Faroes: huldre, huldrefolk (general term for troll)
Germany: Wichten (same as vætter)


Robert Högfeldt, Three Trolls

As for the word troll, it may be related to common germanic truzlon which like old high germanic trollen means ”running with small steps”. Trolls basically include all sociale mythic creatures, eg. giants, dwarfs, pixies, though in later Scandinavian tradition trolls have become known for their strong family ties.

The word dwarf/dværg is also common germanic and is also often used about the illnesses caused by these creatures. It may be derived from the indoeuropean verb dhreugh meaning deceive (Danish 'at bedrage')

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