英 [sɪlf] 美 [sɪlf]
  • n. 空气精灵;身材苗条的女人
1 / 10
sylph 气精,气仙,苗条女子

居住在空气中的精灵,可能合成自拉丁语 sylva,森林,树林,nympha,水仙子,仙女。

sylph (n.)
1650s, "air-spirit," from Modern Latin sylphes (plural), coined 16c. by Paracelsus (1493-1541), originally referring to any race of spirits inhabiting the air, described as being mortal but lacking a soul. Paracelsus' word seems to be an arbitrary coinage, but perhaps it holds a suggestion of Latin silva and Greek nymph, or Greek silphe "a kind of beetle," but French etymologists propose a Gaulish origin. The Century Dictionary comments that, "to occultists and quacks like Paracelsus words spelled with -y- look more Greek and convincing." The meaning "graceful girl" first recorded 1838, on the notion of "slender figure and light, airy movement" [OED].