While there is not scientific proof that leprechauns exist, they do make fairly regular appearances in Irish literature. Leprechaun is believed to have been created from numerous other words. While the beginnings of the name all come from different sources, when these words are put together, it is supposed to mean a childlike, small in stature, shoemaker. While there are many variations of the words used to describe leprechauns in Ireland, all of the words are recognized to mean the same thing, no matter what the dialect you are saying them in.
Leprechauns are considered to be magical elves. They can travel easily from area to area, with very little effort. Tales warn that you may not even know if a leprechaun is sitting next to you, right this minute, since a leprechaun can choose when they will be visible. Leprechauns are described as standing about two feet tall when they are fully grown. They appear as older, small, wrinkled men. Leprechauns are most often described being dressed as shoemakers, though they tend to manage money as well. Their clothing is usually described as being mostly greens and browns which lets them blend into the surrounding countryside.
Leprechauns appear as well-dressed gentlemen who like to wear hats with three points that are set at an angle along with a suit jacket, vest, bow tie and sometimes a leather apron. They usually are depicted wearing their hat and shoes, gold buckles along with wearing gold chains. These chains are thought to be connected to a gold watch or the map that leads the leprechaun to the location of their hidden stash of gold. Most tales tell us that a leprechaun will have several different sizes of pots of gold, so that he doesn’t have to leave all of his gold in one place.
Leprechauns can be tricky, and human treasure hunters are advised not to take their eyes off a leprechaun if they are lucky enough to catch one. If they do look away, the leprechaun will vanish along with any hope of finding their gold.
Many stories tell that leprechauns can assume the shape of a large number of small animals as well as other objects. Those who are hunting leprechauns will have to keep this in mind as it means a leprechaun can disguise his age, sex and entire appearance.
Leprechauns seem to be prepared (being the wily, cunning individuals they are), to have several different disguises available, to trick and mislead any human visitor. Any who are seeking a leprechaun will have to understand that he will have to use any means necessary in order to trap the tricky leprechaun.
Stories tell us that when leprechauns visit the world of humans, because of their magic they can move so quickly, that they appear as nothing more then a blur in the air. Back in their own magical realm, leprechauns are considered to be fast, with both their feet and their sense of humor. Because of these powers leprechauns are said to move around in the human world, without ever being seen, unless he must stop to complete some promised work, or is looking for cool sip of water from a stream.
Human eyes can only detect a leprechaun when he actually stops moving. Other tales state that in order to find a leprechaun, one must listen for the sound of shoemaker’s hammer while he creates his shoes for elves. Apparently there is only thing that keep humans from seeing leprechauns: the failure to believe. If a human does not believe in the leprechaun or in his magical realm, then they have lost all chance of ever seeing one, and partaking of the luck he can bring.