Erl-king meaning

ûrlkĭng
In Germanic folklore, a spirit or creature that dwells in the forest and captures people, carrying them off to their deaths.
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In German mythology, a giant who preys on children.
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Origin of erl-king

  • Partial translation of German Erlkönig alteration and partial translation of earlier Danish elverkonge, ellekonge elf-king (taken by Johann Gottfried von Herder in his translation of a Danish ballad as “alder-king,” influenced by German Erle alder, since the alder is associated with the supernatural in Germanic myth and folklore) elv elf albho- in Indo-European roots konge king

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • A part-translation of German Erlkönig literally "˜alder-king', a mistranslation of Danish ellerkonge "˜king of the elves'.

    From Wiktionary