"Erlkönig" (also called "Der Erlkönig") is a poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

By wiki I know that the word könig means 'king', but what's the meaning of erl? Is it devil, elf, or genie?


1 Answer 1


The ballad Erlkönig is originally Danish and named there "Ellerkonge"... meaning elf-king. Eller was falsely translated with "Erle" which is a German tree. So the short form of "Erle" is "Erl".

Hope that could answer it :)

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