What on earth is a gnome?

According to the entry in the Chambers Dictionary of Etymology;

gnome n. 1712-14, in Pope’s Rape of the Lock; borrowed from the French gnome, from New Latin gnomus, possibly with the meaning of earth dweller. The word is often said to have been coined by the Swiss-born alchemist and physician Paracelsus, 1493-1541, perhaps from a Greek form  genomos earth dweller, erroneously improvised from Greek gnome – thought, opinion, intelligence (because gnomes are described as intelligent). It is also possible that the quasi-Greek genomos was formed on analogy with the Greek thalassonomos – dwelling in the sea, from the alleged inhabitants of the four elements; salamander (fire), sylph (air), undine (water), and gnome (earth).

and, gnomic. adj. full of instructive sayings …

μGnome.

Comments

  1. What is a micrognome anyway… http://tinyurl.com/yd5z8tj

  2. RT @sandnsurf: What is a micrognome anyway… http://tinyurl.com/yd5z8tj – I thougth they were really small kids

  3. More on the legend of the micrognome: RT @micrognome157: What on earth is a gnome? http://bit.ly/bfvXfZ

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