A female attendant spirit whose wailing outside a house is a warning of an impending death in the family to which she attached herself. See also caoineag.
Late 17th century; from Irish bean sídhe, from Old Irish ben síde, "woman of the fairies."
- Hazlitt, W. Carew. (1905). Faith and Folklore. 2 vols. London: Reeves and Turner, p. 2:337.