Think about this for a moment. When was the last time that you saw a female leprechaun? Probably never, but if you have please share the pot o’ gold with me. The reason that you have never seen a female one, aside from them being as fictional as a unicorn, is because leprechauns are always male. They seriously are. I mean even the cold-blooded killing machines that are the Smurf had a female in their midst. But then again, these little guys are complete loners in the world. So why exactly are leprechauns always male?
Right about now I could make any number of inappropriate jokes. You know, sexist ones, racist or homophobic jokes. Sure, they’re funny, but probably best not mentioned here. But perhaps they are just greedy little sods that don’t want to share their loot with their families, or maybe the reason that we only see males is because being creations from a period far displaced from todays morals, the male of the household were the ones that did the manual labor. Or perhaps it’s just a simpler explanation.
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The 1825 book titled “Fairy Legends” has contributed greatly on how we view leprechauns today. While the first recorded mention of leprechauns was in 1604, and in that case the little prankster was also a male, leprechauns have been a part of Irish folklore for many generations. The popular book, “Fairy Legends” simply cemented their appearance.
Leprechauns seem to be entirely male and solitary. They are often described as bearded old men dressed in green and wearing buckled shoes. Sometimes they wear a pointed cap or hat and may smoke a pipe.
The question remains, why are leprechauns always male? I can’t say for certain. Perhaps it was simply a sign of the times, a time when little thought was placed on female characters. It could be as simple as no one ever really thinking that a female could be a leprechaun. It could also be that because they are shoemakers, which is a trade that has traditionally been dominated by men, they have all been males.
In any event, the little wealthy pranksters, even though they are old hermits, are all the one sex. Leprechauns are always male.
Bonus facts about leprechauns:
- They haven’t always worn green. They originally wore a red jacket.
- Leprechauns in tales are used for moral purposes. Generally about get rich schemes.
- They can be traced back to an eighth-century tales of water spirits called “luchorpán.