← NixieYou do not have permission to edit this page, for the following reason: The action you have requested is limited to users in the group: Users. You can view and copy the source of this page. [[Image:nixie.jpg|thumb|155px|right|The Rhine maidens warn Sigfried by Arthur Rackham, 1912.]] The '''Neck, Nixie''' (English) or ''''Nix, Nixe''' or '''Nyx''' (German) are types of river merman and mermaid who may lure men to drown, akin to the Celtic Melusine and similar to the Greek Siren. ==Description== The males can assume many different shapes, including that of a human, fish, and snake. The females are beautiful women with the tail of a fish. When they are in human forms, they can be recognised by the wet hem of their clothes ==Etymology== The names are held to derive from Common Germanic ''*nikwus'' or ''*nikwis''(i), derived from PIE ''*neigw'' (wash). It is related to Sanskrit ''nḗnēkti'' (wash), Greek ''νίζω nízō'' and ''νίπτω níptō'', and Irish ''nigther'' The form ''neck'' appears in English and Swedish (näck or nek). The Swedish form is derived from Old Swedish ''neker'', which corresponds to Old Icelandic ''nykr'' (gen. nykrs), and ''nykk'' in New Norwegian. In Finnish, the word is ''näkki''. In Old Danish, the form was ''nikke'' and in modern Danish and Norwegian ''Bokmål'' it is ''nøk(ke)''. The Icelandic word ''nykr'' is also used for hippopotamus. In Middle Low German, it was called ''necker'' and in Middle Dutch ''nicker''. The Old High German form ''nihhus'' also meant ''crocodile'', while the Old English ''nicor'' could mean both a water monster and a hippopotamus". The spirit has appeared in the myths and legends of all Germanic peoples in Europe. ==Similar creatures== Common bynames are the Swedish ''Strömkarlen'' and the Norwegian ''Fossegrim''. Since the Scandinavian version can transform himself into a horse-like kelpie, he is also called ''Bäckahästen'' (the "brook horse"). ==History== The German epic ''Nibelungenlied'' mentions the Nix in connection with the Danube, as early as 1180 to 1210. Nixes in folklore became water sprites who try to lure people into the water. . The Nixes are portrayed as malicious in some stories but harmless and friendly in others. By the 19th century Jacob Grimm mentions the Nixie to be among the "water-sprites" who love music, song and dancing, and says "Like the sirens, the Nixie by her song draws listening youth to herself, and then into the deep." According to Grimm, they can appear human but have the barest hint of animal features: the nix had "a slit ear", and the Nixie "a wet skirt". Grimm thinks these could symbolize they are "higher beings" who could shapeshift to animal form. ==Famous Nixe== *One famous Nixe of German folklore was [[Lorelei]]. According to the legend, she sat on the rock at the Rhine which now bears her name, and lured fishermen and boatmen to the dangers of the reefs with the sound of her voice. *In Switzerland there is a legend (myth) of a sea-maid or Nixe that lived in lake Zug (the lake is in the Canton of Zug). ==Das Rheingold== The Rhine maidens Wellgunde, Woglinde, and Floßhilde (Flosshilde) belong to a group of characters living in a part of nature free from human influence. Erda and the Norns are also considered a part of this 'hidden' world. They are first seen in the first work of the Nibelungen cycle, ''Das Rheingold'', as guardians of the Rheingold, a treasure of gold hidden in the Rhein river. The dwarf Alberich, a Nibelung, is eager to win their favour, but they somewhat cruelly dismiss his flattery. They tell him that only one who is unable to love can win the Rheingold. Thus, Alberich curses love and steals the Rheingold. From the stolen gold he forges a ring of power. Further on in the cycle, the Rhine maidens are seen trying to regain the ring and transform it back into the harmless Rheingold. But no one, not even the supreme god Wotan, who uses the ring to pay the giants Fasolt and Fafner for building Valhalla, nor the hero Siegfried, when the maidens appear to him in the third act of Götterdämmerung, will return the ring to them. Eventually Brünnhilde returns it to them at the end of the cycle, when the fires of her funeral pyre cleanse the ring of its curse. ==Art/Fiction== *''The Yellow Fairy Book'' by Andrew Lang includes a story called ''The Nixie of the Mill-Pond'' in which a malevolent spirit that lives in a mill pond strikes a deal with the miller that she will restore his wealth in exchange for his son. This story is taken from the ''Tales of Grimm''. *The legend of Heer Halewijn, a dangerous lord who lures women to their deaths with a magic song, may have originated with the Nix. *In a fictional depiction, the Rhine maidens are among the protagonists in the four-part Opera ''Der Ring des Nibelungen'' by the composer Richard Wagner, based loosely on the nix of the Nibelungenlied. ==See also== *[[Bäckahäst]] *[[Näck]] *[[Nechtan]] *[[Huldra]] *[[Kelpie]] *[[Naiad]] *[[Näkki]] *[[Nyx]] *[[Rusalka]] *[[Vodyanoy]] *[[Siren]] ==References== * Grimm, Jacob (1835). ''Deutsche Mythologie (German Mythology''); From English released version Grimm's Teutonic Mythology (1888); Available online by Northvegr © 2004-2007: Chapter 17, page 11; Chapter 33, page 2. File retrieved 4 June 2007. * Hellström, AnneMarie. (1985). ''Jag vill så gärna berätta....'' ISBN 91-7908-002-2 * Karlsson, S. (1970). ''I Tiveden'', Reflex, Mariestad. [[Category: Water spirits]] [[Category: Germanic mythology]] Return to Nixie. Retrieved from "https://www.monstropedia.org/index.php?title=Nixie"