One day, the student came to me and ask me about the difference between a goblin and a dwarf. I regard it as an interesting topic for others. I prepared the text with historical background tailored for each different language level. Here you go.
Goblin is a monstrous, ugly and small creature from the Midlands that is harmful to humans. English goblin is first recorded in the 14th century and probably comes from Old French „gobelin“. Goblin was supposedly close to „kobold“ from German folklore or to „kobalos“ from Greece. In the Middle Ages there was „Gobelinus“ in the Latin word and it is described as evil spirit. In the 12th century, in the Northern France there was „Haunt Évreux“ similar to goblin. Goblins have magical abilities similar to a fairy or demon.
Dwarf is small and nice creature associated with wisdom, mining, and crafting. The modern English noun „dwarf“ comes from the Old English „dweorg“. Modern English has two plurals for the word dwarf: dwarfs and dwarves. Dwarfs remains the most commonly employed plural. The plural „dwarves“ was recorded in 1818 and is not as often used as „dwarfs“. Dwarfs were popularized by an English writer J.R.R. Tolkien since some time before 1917.
I must say that this topis was very useful for my students. In general they like dwarfs, goblins etc. They also prepared a nice talk about these creatures and remembered their childhood. It was so nice to hear about Rákosníček, Sněhová královna a sedm trpaslíků, Šmoulové, Maková panenka nebo skřítek domácí atd.
Besides one student called Jane mentioned a nice legend about dwarfs which lived in one Mariánská rock in Usti nad Labem. Here you go:
When industry development has started in the town and steamboats and sailing ships have started to sail on the river, the dwarfs trapped the Old Time (the name of an old woman that symbolizes the Old Time) in this rock and lived in the Old time. But the Old Time ran away from the dwarfs. The Dwarfs went for her. They didn’t have any money for a ferry but they had magical hats and were invisible. The only one dwarf without a magical hat payed the ferry . The Ferry man was very surprised. The ferry was very heavy with one small dwarf! On the other side of the ferry dwarfs put their hats off and said „thank you very much and good bye“. And the Old Time in the Usti nad Labem was gone. The dwarfs couldn’t come back because they didn’t catch the Old Time.