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in folklore, sea-dwelling creature commonly represented as having the head and body of a woman and a fishtail instead of legs. Belief in mermaids, and in their counterpart, mermen, has existed since earliest times. They are often described as having great beauty and charm, which they use to lure sailors to their deaths (see SirenSiren
, in Greek mythology, one of three sea nymphs, usually represented with the head of a woman and the body of a bird. Daughters of Phorcus or of Achelous, the Sirens inhabited an island surrounded by dangerous rocks.
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). In some legends they assumed human shape and married mortals (see MélusineMélusine
or Melusina
, in French legend, a fairy who changed into a serpent from the waist down every Saturday. She married a mortal, Count Raymond, said to be the ancestor of the house of Lusignan, and made him promise never to visit her on that day.
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). The origin of the mermaid is thought by some to be the dugong (see sireniansirenian
or sea cow,
name for a large aquatic mammal of the order Sirenia. Living sirenians are the dugong and the manatee, both found in warm, shallow waters in sheltered regions, where they feed on seaweeds and seagrasses.
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What does it mean when you dream about a mermaid?

A mermaid or merman is a double symbol of our instinctual life because (1) a merperson is half animal, and (2) a merperson is at home in the water, a potent symbol of the unconscious. So a dream communication from a mermaid or merman is a message from a deeper part of ourselves.


half-woman, half-fish; seen by sailors. [western Folklore: Misc.]
See: Sea


an imaginary sea creature fabled to have a woman's head and upper body and a fish's tail
References in periodicals archive ?
Well you could be in luck as Grosvenor Casino in Coventry is looking to recruit a mermaid to work in their water feature.
DOWN WITH THE KIDS What your children are talking about this week out eek KIDS are going flipping mad for mermaid tails.
Bethan said her love for mermaids began when she was a lot younger.
The Mermaid Endurer was built in Norway, specifically for these conditions, and we are confident that we can fulfill Bibby Offshores expectations stated Mr.
Pedersen's Mermaids and the Production of Knowledge in Early Modern England, however, deftly mobilizes conceptions of sexuality and identity to argue for the cultural relevance of mermaids as objects of mystery and knowledge in the early modern English imagination.
Mermaids are legendary creatures who are half human and half fish.
"When the cynical narrator sees the mermaids with her own eyes, the reader buys into the magic, too, setting skepticism aside for the anything-can-happen fun that's the reason many of us started reading fiction to begin with.
The sculpture, aptly named "Mermaid of Porto Bello" was commissioned by artist Philippos Yiapanis and welcomes all visitors to the sea-loving town.
Boudreau's latest Real Mermaids novel develops plotlines and characters introduced in the earlier books Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings and Real Mermaids Don't Hold Their Breath, so it should be read in order.
'Mermaids: The New Evidence', which aired on Sunday in the UK, reeled in a record 3.6 million viewers - the largest in the network's 17-year history, reported.
All the Mermaids in the Sea is a romantic fantasy adventure of three generations of mermaids that are descended from King Valdemar I of Denmark, who was washed overboard in a violent storm as a young prince.