gremlin


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grem·lin

 (grĕm′lĭn)
n.
1. An imaginary gnomelike creature to whom mechanical problems, especially in aircraft, are attributed.
2. A maker of mischief.

[Perhaps blend of Irish gruaimín, bad-tempered little fellow (from Middle Irish gruaim, gloom, surliness) and goblin.]
Word History: Elves, goblins, and trolls seem to be timeless creations of the distant past, but gremlins were born in the 1900s. In fact, gremlin is first recorded only in the 1920s, as a Royal Air Force term for a low-ranking officer or enlisted man saddled with oppressive assignments. Said to have been invented by members of the Royal Naval Air Service in World War I, gremlin is used in works written in the 1940s for "an imaginary gnomelike creature who causes difficulties in aircraft." The word seems likely to have been influenced by goblin, but accounts of its origin are various and none are certain. One source calls in Fremlin beer bottles to explain the word; another, the Irish Gaelic word gruaimín, "ill-humored little fellow." Whatever the word's origin, it is certain that gremlins have taken on a life of their own.

gremlin

(ˈɡrɛmlɪn)
n
1. (Military) an imaginary imp jokingly said to be responsible for malfunctions in machinery
2. any mischievous troublemaker
[C20: perhaps a corruption of goblin]

grem•lin

(ˈgrɛm lɪn)

n.
an imaginary, mischievous being humorously alleged to cause mechanical failures in aircraft or disruptions in any activity.
[1925–30; of obscure orig.; in its earliest attested sense, an RAF term for a subaltern or enlisted man; later development perhaps affected by phonetic resemblance to goblin]
syn: See goblin.

gremlin

A mythical creature believed to tamper with all kinds of machinery.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.gremlin - (folklore) fairies that are somewhat mischievousgremlin - (folklore) fairies that are somewhat mischievous
folklore - the unwritten lore (stories and proverbs and riddles and songs) of a culture
faerie, faery, fairy, fay, sprite - a small being, human in form, playful and having magical powers
leprechaun - a mischievous elf in Irish folklore
sandman - an elf in fairy stories who sprinkles sand in children's eyes to make them sleepy
Translations

gremlin

[ˈgremlɪn] Nduendecillo m, diablillo m

gremlin

[ˈgrɛmlɪn] ndiablotin m (à qui l'on attribue le mauvais fonctionnement d'une machine ou d'un appareil)

gremlin

n (hum)böser Geist, Maschinenteufel m (hum)

gremlin

[ˈgrɛmlɪn] nspiritello
References in periodicals archive ?
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In tow will be a specially-formed supergroup, Endaf Gremlin, bringing together members of some of the most exciting and innovative acts in Wales.
While Dark Horse sells the book commercially through several sources and Gremlin toys through its Web site, a special Air Force 60th anniversary commemorative limited edition of the book is now available exclusively at Army and Air Force Exchange Service main exchange stores.
There were 'bout 19 factors that caused them to shoot below their capabilities, and just two that kept this caveman competitive: The Devil & the Gremlin.
Then there's Oogleeoog, a gremlin only she can see.
According to Hagerty Insurance, cars such as the AMC Pacer and Gremlin have grabbed the imagination of a new generation who find the 1970s nerd mobiles not only fun and endearing, but evocative of "retro" automotive chic.