"A note on the use of the word F-A-E-R-IE The words 'fey' and 'faerie' come from the French and started to replace the Old English 'elf' during the Tudor period. Spenser and Shakespeare popularised the change. 'Elfland' and 'Faerieland', 'Elf' and 'Faerie' were and are still interchangeable words.
The spellings of 'faerie' are numerous: fayerye, fairye, fayre, faerie, faery, fairy. In this book Faerie refers to the world of Faerie as an entity (noun), as a geographical location, as a general name for its inhabitants (faerie, faeries) and as an adjective to describe its attributes, e.g., faerie music.
Fairy (fairies) is applied to a particular, diminutive, generally female species of Faerie; or when the spelling is common usage, e.g. fairy Tool, a hill, Yellow Fairy Club, a toadstool; or if used in a source quotation."
From the book titled FAERIES by Brian Froud and Alan Lee
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