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Where are all the female Leprechauns? We asked an expert.

Where are all the female leprechauns? We asked an expert.


WASHINGTON (CIRCA) — The only sight more rare than a leprechaun is a female leprechaun.

In fact, plenty of people are convinced there’s no such thing as a female leprechaun in classic legends.

However, Mark Ó Géaráin from the National Leprechaun Museum in Dublin, Ireland, says those claims are false.

“In the old stories, there are references to female leprechauns,” he said. “You see in some 19th-century stories, there’s references to leprechauns living with their mothers. I think that’s just kind of a playful stereotype of Irishmen. But the role of female leprechauns is very much a homemaker; they are a great reflection of Irish mothers in that their days are filled with looking after the men in their lives.”

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Leprechauns date to the eighth-century tale “The Saga of Fergus Mac Léti,” and water sprites called “luchorpán,” meaning small body, which later evolved into the leprechaun we all know to be a staple of our St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

In the 1825 book, “Fairy Legends & Traditions of Ireland,” it is said that “leprechauns seem to be entirely male and solitary,” and some experts speculate that leprechauns are actually the offspring of fairies who were deemed “defective children ... because of their shape and disposition.”

“It’s strange though,” Mark said, “because people tend to think of the leprechauns as all men, and when we talk to people in the museum about the female leprechaun, they go, ‘Oh, you mean the fairies.’

“Leprechauns are traditionally seen as trooping fairies, so they march off to work in the morning, and they march home in the evening, they come home, and the mother has never left the house; she’s been cooking, she’s been cleaning, she’s not got the greatest life.

“But it’s so rare for them to leave the house that there are no, there’s very few settings or references to them from the past 800 years. Really, they’ve essentially been written out of history. "

So, even though there may not have been any female leprechaun sightings in recent years, or, you know, leprechaun sightings in general, know they they are out there, somewhere, even protected by European law.


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