farisees, pharisees

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In the dialects of Herefordshire, Suffolk, and Sussex, fairies were called ‘farisees’, to the amusement of educated listeners, who assumed the term arose through stupid confusion with the Pharisees of the Bible, and often spelled the word accordingly. It is simply a reduplicated plural, like ‘waspses’ for ‘ wasps’, or ‘ghostses’ for ‘ghosts’.

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