Elfin vs Pixie - What's the difference?

elfin | pixie |

As a noun elfin

is an elf; an inhabitant of fairy-land.

As an adjective elfin

is relating to or resembling an elf, especially in its tiny size or features.



Etymology 1

From (etyl) elven, from (etyl) elfen, .


(en noun)
  • An elf; an inhabitant of fairy-land.
  • A little urchin or child.
  • Etymology 2

    Partly from attributive use of Etymology 1, but reanalysed by Spenser as if equivalent to .


    (en adjective)
  • Relating to or resembling an elf, especially in its tiny size or features.
  • *
  • *:Three chairs of the steamer type, all maimed, comprised the furniture of this roof-garden, withon one of the copings a row of four red clay flower-pots filled with sun-baked dust from which gnarled and rusty stalks thrust themselves up like withered elfin limbs.
  • *{{quote-news, year=2012, date=May 24, author=Nathan Rabin, work=The Onion AV Club
  • , title= Film: Reviews: Men In Black 3 , passage=He’s forced to travel back to 1969 to prevent an evil alien (a shockingly effective, nearly unrecognizable Jemaine Clement of Flight Of The Conchords, playing sort of a psychotic extraterrestrial-biker serial killer) from destroying the world by killing Brolin. Smith is aided in his quest by an elfin , time-jumping alien with psychic powers played by another Coen brothers veteran, A Serious Man star Michael Stuhlbarg. }}
    * elvish



    (wikipedia pixie)

    Alternative forms

    * pigsie (qualifier) * piskie (qualifier) * pisky (qualifier) * pixy


    (en noun)
  • (mythology, fantasy literature, fairy tales) A playful sprite or elflike or fairy-like creature.
  • * 2005', Dan Keding, ''The '''Pixies’ Bed'', Dan Keding, Amy Douglas (editors), ''English Folktales , page 98,
  • Then she saw pixies' — dozens and dozens of ' pixies — dancing and singing.
  • * 2005 , Kathryn Reyes, Mystery Door Manor and the Dragon Realm , page 72,
  • When she looked around, Mary saw four pixies' flying toward her. She had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit. Then the ' pixies turned around and attacked again.
  • * 2007 , Jeremy Phillips, The Wizardon Star , page 165,
  • The servant that had raised him, an elderly pixie' called Rolog, had died. On his deathbed he had called the young Captain to his side. Seeing the ' pixie dying had had no effect on him.
  • * 2010 , Sandra A. Filbin, The Enchanted World: A Tooth Fairy's Tale , page 49,
  • Tiffy froze as the two pixies looked directly into each other's eyes.
    Then Tiffy raised her hand and said, “Hi, I'm Tiffy the Tooth Fairy.” Even though the other pixie lifted her hand too, she didn't answer.
  • (slang) A cute, petite woman with short hair.
  • * 2006 , Darnell Arnoult, Sufficient Grace , page 186,
  • Then a pixie appears in the visitor window, round face, big brown eyes framed in thick liner, a tiny turned-up nose, red lips, inch-long blue-black hair so popular with the avant-garde.
  • * 2009 , Nicole Baart, The Moment Between , page 1,
  • Petite and narrow-waisted, with a pixie flip of hair the exact color of coffee beans, Abigail could easily pass for sixteen in a pair of ripped jeans and an Abercrombie T-shirt.
  • * 2010 , Mary Jo Ignoffo, Captive of the Labyrinth: Sarah L. Winchester, Heiress to the Rifle Fortune , page 196,
  • Petite in the extreme, not even reaching five feet tall, Winchester at her most robust had approached one hundred pounds. No longer the bright-eyed, sophisticated pixie that Isaiah Taber had photographed so many years earlier, Winchester showed a different picture altogether as she lay dying, her fingers and toes knotted and knurled from years of destruction by the painful arthritis.
  • * 2011 , L. E. Newell, Durty South Grind , page 138,
  • Like magic, Carla transformed from the dainty pixie into a hardcore, no-nonsense businesswoman right before his eyes.
  • (astronomy, meteorology) An upper-atmospheric optical phenomenon associated with thunderstorms, a short-lasting pinpoint of light on the surface of convective domes that produces a gnome.
  • Synonyms

    * (sprite or elf-like or fairy-like creature) brownie, fairy, gnome, imp, sprite

    Derived terms

    * pixie boot * pixie cup * pixie cut * pixie dust * (pixie hawkfish) ()