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/ ˈɜrlˌkɪŋ /
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noun (in German and Scandinavian mythology)

a spirit or personified natural power that works mischief, especially to children.



Are you aware how often people swap around “their,” “there,” and “they’re”? Prove you have more than a fair grasp over these commonly confused words.
Question 1 of 7
Which one of these commonly confused words can act as an adverb or a pronoun?

Origin of erlking

1790–1800; <German Erlkönig alder (tree) king, J. G. von Herder's mistrans. of Danish ellerkonge, variant of elverkonge king of the elves
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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British Dictionary definitions for erlking

/ (ˈɜːlˌkɪŋ) /


German myth a malevolent spirit who carries children off to death

Word Origin for erlking

C18: from German Erlkönig, literally: alder king, coined in 1778 by Herder, a mistranslation of Danish ellerkonge king of the elves
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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