Simonside Dwarfs

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The Simonside Dwarfs, also known as Brownmen, Bogles and Duergar, are a race of ugly dwarfs, particularly associated with the Simonside Hills of Northumberland, in northern England. Their leader was said to be known as Roarie.[1]

In F. Grice's telling of the traditional story The Duergar in Folk Tales of the North Country (1944), one of them is described as being short, wearing a lambskin coat, moleskin trousers and shoes, and a hat made of moss stuck with a feather.

The legendary dwarfs of Simonside were mentioned in the local newspaper, the Morpeth Gazette, in 1889, and in Tyndale’s Legends and Folklore of Northumbria, 1930. They delighted in leading travellers astray, especially after dark, often carrying lighted torches to lead them into bogs, rather like a Will-o'-the-wisp.[1] The menacing creatures would often disappear at dawn.

The word duergar is likely to be derived from the Old Norse word for dwarf or dwarfs (dvergar), but it may also come from the dialectal words for "dwarf" on the Anglo-Scottish border which include dorch, dwerch, duerch, Duergh and Duerwe amongst others [2][3][4] with the added Norse -ar plural.[2] These Border words for "dwarf", like the Standard English form, all derive from the Old English dweorh or dweorg via the Middle English dwerg.[3][4][5]

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  1. ^ a b Ghosts of The North Country, Henry Tegner, 1991 Butler Publishing ISBN 0-946928-40-1, page 62
  2. ^ a b Familiar letters of Sir Walter Scott, Volume 1, Sir Walter Scott, Houghton Mifflin, 1894, page 151
  3. ^ a b Concise Scots dictionary Mairi Robinson, Edinburgh University Press, 1999, ISBN 1-902930-01-0, ISBN 978-1-902930-01-5 pages 162-166
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ Online Etymology Dictionary

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