E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
of nursery mythology is the personification of Providence. The good ones are called fairies, elves, elle-folks, and fays; the evil ones are urchins, ouphes, ell-maids, and ell-women.
Fairies, black, grey, green, and white,
You moonshine revellers, and shades of night,
You ouphen-heirs of fixëd destiny,
Attend your office.
Shakespeare: Merry Wives of Windsor, v. 5.
The dress of the fairies. They wear a red conical cap; a mantle of green cloth, inlaid with wild flowers; green pantaloons, buttoned with bobs of silk; and silver shoon. They carry quivers of adder-slough, and bows made of the ribs of a man buried where three lairds lands meet; their arrows are made of bog-reed, tipped with white flints, and dipped in the dew of hemlock; they ride on steeds whose hoofs would not dash the dew from the cup of a harebell. (Cromek.)