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The Definition of a Gnome

I read a definition of a gnome recently that left me incensed. This is my comment on it.

The Definition of a Gnome

Recently whilst I was ‘Googling’ around to try and find a long lost friend of ours, I happened to see a dictionary definition for gnome, which quite frankly, I took exception to.  You see it stated that a gnome is “an ageless and often deformed dwarf of folklore who lives in the earth and usually guards treasure”.  The more I thought about it, the more cross I became.  To try and sum up a gnome in one sentence like that is as ridiculous a statement as saying “humans are all brown and sail boats”.   Then I started to Google in earnest (by this time all thought of finding our dear friend gone) to see what else was being said about my fellow gnomes and it is as a result of that Googling which has lead me to the point of this blog; to set the record straight, at least for myself and the gnomes of Pixieland.  So, please read on (and join me monthly) for an open and honest account of what it means to be a gnome of clan Pixieland, how Pixieland began, the origins of a gnome (we the physical beings), the origins of the traditional garden gnome (like those we manufacture at Pixieland), gnome homes, gnome care and anything else that I feel will help you gain a better understanding of our species.  Incidentally, anybody with any gnome specific questions that they would like an answer to, please email me lordjack@pixieland.co.uk and I will be more than happy to respond to you via the following month’s blog post.

This month I feel that I should deal with this Merriam-Webster definition that left me so incensed, and of which there are only two words I agree with wholeheartedly and they are ‘ageless’ and ‘folklore’.  It is true to say that we have always existed but I cannot tell you of a precise beginning or end as generally we live for so many years that we are often thought of as being immortal.  The death of a gnome will take far more explanation and that I’ll deal with at a later date.  There were many tales of us in folklore as we have only really shown ourselves properly to humans for the last 150 years or so.  But ‘deformed and dwarf’?  Really?  Some of us may not be the prettiest creatures on earth (just like some of you humans) but to say a gnome is deformed is extremely unkind; and deformed how?  I can only think that this label was given to us because of the shape of our hats and because of another definition that I have seen which says we use the shape of our heads to move through the earth with ease.  To be fair, centuries ago our earliest of ancestors may have done this.  Perhaps there are those sorts of gnomes that exist still to this day, although I have yet to meet one and I can assure you that we gnomes of Pixieland do not snuffle around in the earth like moles.  As for ‘dwarf’, well none of us to my knowledge have ever met snow white and none of us are skilled at mining.  I have to assume that this has come about as when gnomes began to evolve into the not so shy beings they once were, and started to show themselves more to humans, statues were made of them (by way of the human trying to explain what they had seen).  Those statues were more gruff and dwarf-like in appearance and this was the beginning of the garden gnomes. Lastly to the part of the definition that says ‘usually guards treasure’. To humans, this may sound like we are security guards as you would imagine them to be, guarding a bank or gold and gems.  No.  Goblins guard treasure, or leprechauns maybe; not gnomes.  However, we are extremely protective of nature and our name is actually an acronym which says it all: 






If anybody were to ask me for my definition of a gnome, I would have to say that although I cannot speak for every gnome in the world, the gnomes of Pixieland are: 

“Magical, ageless, generally gentle, human like earth creatures (elementals not moles), ranging in size from tiny to quite tall (over 6’).  They love the company of others and enjoy living as one big happy extended family.  They are industrious souls, never happier than when they are at work.  They ask for nothing in return but they need to feel appreciated.  They can be prone to naughtiness if left idle (some naughtier than others).  They like to partake in a little tipple of scrumpy, although the amount needs to be monitored as one too many can lead to an unrecognisable, out of control gnome. They are fiercely loyal to those who show them kindness (like the guardians of Pixieland, whom are always referred to as our Mum and Dad) and pleased to greet all those who stop by.  They try to live symbiotically with, and have the utmost respect for Mother Nature and their surroundings (so please don’t litter if you ever visit as you will likely have it hurled back at you and in extreme cases have your ankles kicked!)”.

I hope this has given you a little more understanding of a gnome and I hope you will join me for next month’s musings

Category: Gnomes