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Alternative forms




From Middle English eten, etend, from Old English eoten (giant, monster, enemy), from Proto-West Germanic *etun, from Proto-Germanic *etunaz (giant, glutton), from Proto-Indo-European *h₁ed- (to eat). Cognate with Icelandic jötunn (giant), Swedish jätte (giant), Danish jætte (giant). Doublet of jotun.





ettin (plural ettins)

  1. (dialectal, archaic, fantasy) A giant.
    • 1890, Joseph Jacobs, "The Red Ettin" in English Folk and Fairy Tales, New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 3rd edition, no date, p. 138, [1]
      He asked the wife if he might stay for the night, as he was tired with a long journey; and the wife said he might, but it was not a good place for him to be in, as it belonged to the Red Ettin, who was a very terrible beast, with three heads, that spared no living man it could get hold of.
  2. (roleplaying games) A giant with two heads.


  1. ^ Northumberland Words – A Glossary of Words Used in the County of Northumberland and on the Tyneside -, Volume 1 by Richard Oliver Heslop, Read Books, 2008, →ISBN
  2. ^ Legg, Penny "The Folklore of Hampshire" The History Press (15 Jun. 2010)