Irish Leprechauns: the Myth Revealed!

Emily Cable is a student at the University of Rhode Island and an ISA Featured Blogger. Emily is currently studying abroad with Interstudy in Dublin, Ireland.

Ever wonder what if feels like to be a Leprechaun? In the city of Dublin, there is a fun and informative Leprechaun Museum where you can learn about the real man of myth and even experience how it feels to be their height!

Blog Tiny Emily
This furniture was HUGE! Or was I just really small…?

When most people think of leprechauns, they think of short little men, usually about three to four feet high, wearing copious amounts of green and constantly worried about someone stealing their pot of gold. Where some of these ideas are correct, the modern image of the leprechaun has been skewed over the years, effectively becoming “Americanized”.

Let’s start with one of the most prominent thing about leprechauns; their height. Using the example of  everyone’s favorite Leprechaun, Lucky, from General Mills’ Lucky Charms, most people think that these little men grow to three to four feet tall. This has been exaggerated over the years. The first recorded sighting of a Leprechaun states that the grass went up to his waist. So they are not three to four feet tall, but rather only a few inches.

Even the Leprechaun’s signature green outfit has been exaggerated over the years. The traditional Leprechaun did not wear all green but rather a brown overcoat, a red shirt, pants, and knee-high boots. The green outfit was created by Americans to better represent the Irish origin, but in reality they did not wear it.

Blog Pot of gold
Considering the small size of the Leprechaun, his pot of gold would have been pretty small as well.

The leprechaun’s obsession with his pot of gold is also a little distorted too. According legend, the leprechauns were shoemakers and very good at their trade. The gold they covet was earned from their hard work. How would you feel if someone tried to steal your hard-earned cash?

2 thoughts

  1. You make a good point about the obsession with gold. But what I want to know is how would they would act around people and kids??!!”cause my son is making a leprechaun trap and i’m wondering how big it has to be and if he should make one.

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