A mermaid. Their appearance forebodes a coming storm. There are supposed to be males but there is no word to designate them.
In Irish they are called moruadh or muirrúhgach, from muir, "the sea," and oigh, "a maid." Other names include muir-gheilt, samhghubha, murdhucha'n, and suire.
It was rather annoying to Jack that, though living in a place where the merrows were as plenty as lobsters, he never could get a right view of one. -- W. B. Yeates. Fairy and Folk Tales, p. 63.
- Cave, E. and J. Nichols. (1865). The Gentleman's Magazine, Vol. 19, p. 424.
- Cobham Brewer, E. (2001). The Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. Cassell reference.
- Cooper, J.C., ed. (1997). Brewer's Book of Myth and Legend. Oxford: Helicon Publishing Ltd.
- Hazlitt, W. Carew. (1905). Faith and Folklore. 2 vols. London: Reeves and Turner, p. 2:337.