Gnomes are a fabled race of small treasure-guarding beings. The term was coined by Paracelsus (sixteenth century). In Celtic folklore, the knocker (Cornwall) and the goric (Brittany) are comparable. They are usually portrayed as hunchbacked little men with long white beards.

The word may be derived from Greek genomoi, "earth-dwellers," or gnome, "understanding."



  • Lurker, Manfred. (2004). Routledge Dictionary of Gods and Demons. London: Routledge.
  • MacKillop, James. (2004). Dictionary of Celtic Mythology. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc.