View Full Version : Can elves be called "Men and Women?"

Annoying kid
April 27th, 2020, 03:21 AM
I avoid calling them that as I consider men and women to be human terms as per the dictionary. Though I've seen other writers use "An elf man and and elf woman".

LotR went with she-elf and presumably he-elf, which makes more sense to me. Although I don't use that either. I don't really have any such labels.

What would you go with? Personally I'd sooner make up terms than go with human ones.

Kyle R
April 27th, 2020, 03:34 AM
According to the almighty Google, in the earliest known uses of the term (7th century), it was: elf for male, elfe for female, and elfen for plural.

(Old English: ślf, ślfe, and ślfen​.)

Though, it's pretty much a fictional thing, anyway, so you could certainly make up your own words for each of these. That's what I'd do. :encouragement:

April 28th, 2020, 12:46 AM
I'd say use male and female for foreign race sexes (when you imagine aliens referring to us, it's often human male or human female) or as offered use your own terms for men and women. Elves (usually) have their own language and culture, so using their own terms can be more immersive for readers.

April 30th, 2020, 06:59 PM
She-elf and he-elf would be more appropriate I guess. Because elfs are different than humans, they are like totally different species in that matter, so I think they deserve to have their own Titles as well.

May 4th, 2020, 04:27 PM
Well its a fictional demographic. Unless you're operating in a setting which already has established rules for these things, then you can just identify these groups however you want. Its your lore.

May 8th, 2020, 07:30 AM
I would say 'no'. In my various fantasy works, I use terms like 'maiden', 'matron', and so forth. To call them men and women can confuse the readers and IMO detracts from the atmosaphere you are trying to create.

May 10th, 2020, 08:26 PM
This is a situation where it's your work. Sure, you could call your elves men and women, or you could call them an elf/elfe. Saying "men" or "women" may work if the elves are supposed to be familiar to the narrator. If it's many species in the story, using more specific terms (elf/elfe) may be more clear.