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In Germanic mythology, dwarves are a human shaped entity that lives in mountains and on earth and has many connections with wisdom, forging, mining and crafts. Dwarfs are sometimes described as short and ugly, although some scholars question whether this is a later development due to the comic depiction of human beings. Dwarves continue to be portrayed in various media in modern popular culture.

The modern English noun dwarf originated from the Old English dweorg. It has other languages of other Germanic families, including Old Norse dvergr and old high German twerg. According to Vladimir Orel, English nouns and their cognates are ultimately derived from the original German *? wer? az。

In addition to the reconstruction of the original German, the etymology of the word dwarf has also been greatly questioned. Through historical linguistics and comparative mythology, scholars have put forward the theory of existence, including that dwarfs may be the natural spirit, a mixture of creatures or concepts related to death. Competitive etymologies include Indo European root * dheur - (meaning "damage"), Indo European root * dhreugh (thus, for example, modern English dream and German trug "deception"), and are compared with Sanskrit dhvaras (a "devil being").

There are two plural forms of dwarf in modern English: dwarf and dwarf. Dwarves are still the most commonly used plural. The history of a few multi dwarfs can be traced back to 1818, but it is widely spread due to the novels of linguist and writer JRR Tolkien. Its origin is a kind of mistake (correction), and it was hired by Tolkien before 1917 (for the existence of Tolkien, see dwarf (Middle Earth)). As for the plural, Tolkien wrote in 1937: "I'm afraid it's just a kind of personal bad grammar, which is shocking to linguists; but I will have to accept it.".