E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Giants (g soft).
(1) Of Greek mythology, sons of Tartaros and Ge. When they attempted to storm heaven, they were hurled to earth by the aid of Hercules, and buried under Mount Etna.
(2) Of Scandinavian mythology, were evil genii, dwelling in Jötunheim (giantland), who had the power of reducing or extending their stature at will.
(3) Of nursery mythology, are cannibals of vast stature and immense muscular power, but as stupid as they are violent and treacherous. The best known are Blunderbore (q.v.), Cormoran (q.v.), Galliantus (q.v.), Gombo (q.v.), Megadore and Bellygan.
(4) In the romance of Gargantua and Pantagruel, by Rabelais, giants mean princes.