- Now the standard term for a helpful household *fairy anywhere in Britain, but when first recorded in the early 16th century a dialect word limited to Lowland Scotland and the English Border counties; many of the early descriptions are Scottish. Corresponding beings in areas further south were called * hobs, * pucks, or * pixies. King James VI and I defines the brownie in his Daemonologie as a devil 'who appeared like a rough man' and 'haunted divers houses, without doing any evill, but doing as it were necessarie turnes up and down the house'; foolish people thought their homes prospered if they had one.A vicar of Beetham (Westmorland), making notes on local lore in 1777, stated firmly 'A Browny is not a Fairey, but a tawney colour'd Being which will do a great deal of work for a Family, if used well.' Sir Walter Scott agreed: 'The Brownie formed a class of beings distinct in habit and disposition from the freakish and mischievous elves' (Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border (1802-3), 41). In modern scholarly terminology, the category of 'household spirit' to which the brownie belongs is regarded as a subdivision within the fairy species, but one which has very distinctive features of its own. Such beings live alongside humans in their own homes and farms, bringing them luck and helping them in various ways, and there is only one per house; in contrast, other types of fairy are more remote, often dangerous, and often thought of as living in groups.Beliefs and tales about brownies are everywhere similar. They work by night, doing housework and farm tasks, and their presence ensures prosperity. As a reward, a bowl of cream or porridge, or a small cake, is regularly set out for them, often on the hearth. They punish lazy and slovenly servants by upsetting and breaking things, pinching them as they sleep, and so on; they may also rummage about noisily and create untidiness out of pure fun. Brownies should not be spied on while working, criticized, or laughed at, or they will take offence and either leave for ever (taking the luck of the house with them) or turn into angry and troublesome *boggarts. Occasionally, a brownie is given an individual name; such was the Tawny Boy at Overthwaite (Westmorland) around 1650, and the *Cauld Lad at Hilton (Northumberland).The most striking tale concerns the gift of new clothes. The first English mention of this comes in Reginald Scot's Discoverie of Witchcraft (1584), book 4, chapter 10:In deede your grandams' maides were woont to set a boll of milke before him and his cousine Robin Good-fellow, for grinding of malt or mustard, and sweeping the house at midnight; and you have also heard that he would chafe exceedingly, if the maid or good-wife of the house, having compassion of his nakednes, laid anie clothes for him, beesides his mess of white bread and milke, which was his standing fee. For in that case he saith,What have we here? Hemton, hamten, Here will I never more tread nor stampen.Immediately thereon he would take himself off and be never seene again.Versions differ in what explanation (if any) is given for this odd outcome. The Cauld Lad accepted a green cloak and hood with delight, but left at dawn, singing:Here's a cloak, and here's a hood!The Cauld Lad of Hilton will do nae mair good!(Keightley, 1889: 296)Perhaps, like the Devon *pixy, he now thought himself too grand to work. A Lincolnshire story rationalizes the motif; there, a brownie who had regularly accepted a linen shirt took umbrage when given one made of sacking, i.e. hemp, and sang:Harden, harden, harden hamp, I will neither grind nor stamp; Had you given me linen gear, I had served you many a year. Thrift may go, bad luck may stay, I shall travel far away.(M. Peacock, Folk-Lore 3 (1891), 509-10)From a functionalist point of view one can say, with L. F. Newman, 'The brownie or hob-thrush fitted easily into the old, generous rural economy. He typified the good servant in kitchen, dairy or stable' (Folk-Lore 63 (1952), 103-4). Belief in him could be exploited in two ways - by servants, to lay the blame for breakages, untidiness, or odd noises in the night on his mischief-making; by employers, to foster the belief that he would reward those who worked well, and punish the idle. The Elizabethan fairies who, in Bishop Corbet's poem 'The Fairies' Farewell', put sixpence in the shoe of a good maid were probably brownies.■ Briggs, 1959 and 1976; Gillian Edwards, Hobgoblin and Sweet Puck (1974), 103-121.
A Dictionary of English folklore. Jacqueline Simpson & Steve Roud. 2014.
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Brownie — may refer to:* Brownie (mythology), a type of fairy, elf or tomte * The Brownies , a series of books by Palmer Cox featuring the mythical creatures * Brownie (Girl Guides), junior Boy/Girl Guide or junior Boy/Girl Scout * Brownie (camera), a… … Wikipedia
Brownie — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Brownies. Un brownie (literalmente ‘marroncito’), también conocido como brownie de chocolate, es un pastel de chocolate pequeño y sabroso, parecido a una galleta, típico de la cocina estadounidense. Se llama así por… … Wikipedia Español
Brownie — ► NOUN (pl. Brownies) 1) (Brit. also Brownie Guide) a member of the junior branch of the Guides Association. 2) (brownie) a small square of rich chocolate cake. 3) (brownie) a benevolent elf supposedly doing housework secretly. ● … English terms dictionary
Brownie — UK [ˈbraʊnɪ] / US or Brownie Guide UK / US noun [countable] Word forms Brownie : singular Brownie plural Brownies a member of the brownies … English dictionary
brownie — [ broni ] n. m. • 1993; mot anglais, de brown « brun » ♦ Biscuit moelleux au chocolat et aux noix de pécan, qui se sert découpé en carrés. ● brownie nom masculin (anglais brown, brun) Petit gâteau traditionnel d Amérique du Nord composé d un… … Encyclopédie Universelle
brownie — benevolent goblin supposed to haunt old farmhouses in Scotland, 1510s, dim. of brown a wee brown man (see BROWN (Cf. brown)). The name for the junior branch of the Girl Guides or Girl Scouts is 1916, in ref. to uniform color. Brownie point (1963) … Etymology dictionary
Brownie — n 1.) the Brownies the part of the Girl Guides Association that is for younger girls 2.) also Brownie .Guide a member of this organization … Dictionary of contemporary English
brownie — [broun′ē] n. 1. Folklore a small brown elf or goblin that does helpful tasks for people at night 2. [B ] a member of the division of the Girl Scouts for girls six to eight years of age: in full Brownie Girl Scout ☆ 3. a small bar or square of a… … English World dictionary
Brownie — Brown ie, n. [So called from its supposed tawny or swarthy color.] An imaginary good natured spirit, who was supposed often to perform important services around the house by night, such as thrashing, churning, sweeping. [Scot.] [1913 Webster] … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
Brownie — (spr. Brauni), Hausgeist an den Küsten von u. den Inseln um Schottland, der in den Haushaltungen fleißiger Leute sich hülfreich u. segnend, bei faulen aber neckisch u. schreckend äußert. Dargestellt wird er als ein stämmiger Bursch mit langem… … Pierer's Universal-Lexikon
Brownie — (engl., spr. braunĭ, »Braunchen«), nach dem Volksglauben in Schottland eine Art Kobold oder Hausgeist, der unter der Türschwelle seine Wohnung hat. Gibt man ihm gute Worte, so sorgt er für Reinlichkeit, hilft buttern und dreschen, sagt kommende… … Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon