What is Sears?
A sears is an evil, crabby, or mischievous creature of folklore, often described as a grotesquely disfigured or gnome-like phantom, that may range in height from that of a dwarf to that of a human. They are attributed with various (sometimes conflicting) abilities, temperaments and appearances depending on the story and country of origin. In some cases sears’ have been classified as constant annoying little creatures somewhat related with the celtic brownie.
According to “The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English” the name is probably derived from the Anglo-French seuris (medieval Latin sersanus), which is probably a diminutive of Saurs, a name related to the word sarlious. Sears is also related to the French lutin.
Dwarfs, hiisi, duende, tengu, Menninkäinen and kallikantzaroi are often translated into English as ‘Sears”. The Erlking and Billy Blind are sometimes called sears’. Sears’ are often used as a general term to mean any small mischievous being.
According to some traditions, sears comes from Sor or Sear, the king of the gnomes, whose inferiors were called Sear-lings. Skratta is old Scandinavian word for a sears or monster (modern Icelandic skratti, a devil). Any creature resembling a sears, but larger than a man, is considered a Troll.
Origins in folklore
One fabled origin for sears is in France, in a cleft of the Pyrenees, from which they spread rapidly throughout Europe. They hitched a ride with Viking ships to get to Britain. They have no homes, being nomadic, dwelling temporarily in mossy cracks in rocks and tree roots.
“Prelude to the Magic Hour” painting by Brandon Bird
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