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Characters in stories

Arthur

in ancient stories, a king of Britain who was leader of a group of soldiers called the Knights of the Round Table

Arthurian

adjective

relating to Arthur, the ancient king of Britain

changeling

noun

in stories, a child believed to have been left by fairies when they stole the real child from its parents

cowboy

noun

a man in stories and films called Westerns about the North American West. A cowboy’s job was to look after cattle, but they are often shown in dangerous situations and especially having fights with native americans.

Cupid

noun

the Roman god of love, shown as a little boy with wings, holding a bow and arrow

cyclops

noun

an extremely large man with only one eye in the middle of his forehead in ancient Greek stories

Dorian Gray

an imaginary character who leads a bad life in a novel by Oscar Wilde. Every time he does something evil, a picture of him changes and begins to look older and more evil, while he remains young and attractive.

Dracula

a character from a 19th-century novel who is a vampire (=someone who sucks the blood out of other people’s bodies)

elf

noun

a small imaginary person with magic powers

Father Christmas

an imaginary old man with a long white beard and red clothes who brings children their Christmas presents

Faustian

adjective

relating to Faust, a German doctor who sold his soul (=spirit part of his body) to the devil (=powerful evil spirit) in exchange for knowledge and power

the Furies

noun

three female gods in ancient Greek stories whose hair was made of snakes and who punished crimes

giant

noun

an imaginary person in stories, who is extremely tall, strong, and often evil

giantess

noun

an imaginary woman who is extremely tall, strong, and often evil

gnome

noun

an imaginary little man in children’s stories who wears a pointed hat and can do magic

the Grim Reaper

noun

an imaginary character who represents death. It is usually shown as a skeleton wearing a long black cloak with a hood and carrying a scythe (=a tool for cutting grass).

harlequin

noun

a character in traditional plays or stories who wears clothes with a pattern of different colours, usually in diamond shapes, and a mask over his eyes

Jack Frost

noun

an imaginary person who brings the frost (=ice on the ground or on a window) and represents winter

Janet and John

a series of UK children’s books used for teaching children to read in the 1950s and 60s, about a girl and a boy whose lives and families were typical of British middle-class people. The books have recently been published again and now include more modern situations, characters, and language.

the Knights of the Round Table

in old English stories, a group of knights who supported King Arthur

leprechaun

noun

in traditional Irish stories, a very small man believed to have magic powers

the little people

noun

small imaginary people in children’s stories, especially leprechauns in Irish stories

the man in the moon

noun

an imaginary person whose face some people think they see on the surface of the moon when it is full

Merlin

a wizard in old English stories who was a friend of King Arthur

Morpheus

noun

the ancient Greek god of dreams and sleep

Muse

noun

one of the nine ancient Greek and Roman goddesses who were believed to be in charge of particular arts and sciences

ogre

noun

a large, frightening, and cruel person in children’s stories

Olympian

noun

one of the ancient Greek gods

Olympian

adjective

relating to the ancient Greek gods

Peter Pan

noun

the main person in the play Peter Pan by the British writer J.M. Barrie. Peter Pan is a boy who wants to remain a child and never grow up. If you call someone ‘a Peter Pan’, you mean that they do not want to behave like an adult, or that they never seem to get older.

Pinocchio

a character in a traditional children’s story that is a wooden toy in the shape of a boy. His nose grows very long whenever he says something that is not true, and at the end of the story he becomes a real boy.

Popeye

a cartoon character who is a sailor and smokes a pipe. He is very strong because he eats a lot of spinach.

Robin Hood

a character in old English stories who lives in a forest with a group of friends and steals money from rich people in order to give it to poor people

Santa Claus

an imaginary man with a long white beard and a red suit who brings presents for children at Christmas

Shylock

a Jewish moneylender who is the main character in the play The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare. If you call someone a Shylock, you are criticizing them for always wanting more of something and for being willing to be cruel in order to get it.

siren

noun

a woman in ancient Greek stories who sang to sailors in order to make them sail towards rocks and crash

Snow White

a girl in a children’s fairy tale who is poisoned when she eats an apple but is made well again when a prince kisses her

superhero

noun

a character in a comic strip (=story told in pictures), film etc who has special powers that can be used for saving people and fighting against evil

the tooth fairy

noun

an imaginary person who takes away a tooth that a child puts under their pillow at night and leaves them some money instead

vampire

noun

a character in stories who appears at night to bite people’s necks and suck their blood

zombie

noun

a dead person in some religions and stories who looks and behaves as though they are alive as a result of magic

Lilliputian

noun

the (three) Graces

three beautiful sister goddesses from ancient Greek stories

emoji

a small digital image … which is used in electronic communication to express emotion or other simple concepts

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

major on (doing) sth

to have or do a lot of something; to focus on a particular thing

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