Gnomes and dwarfs are two mythical creatures. They both have human-like features and are smaller in size.
They are both very different creatures. Somehow, over the years, the pictorial representation of these characters got similar. Gnomes are now more of a lookalike of dwarfs; this all happened following the image of dwarfs from the movie snow white and the seven dwarfs.
- Gnomes are mythical creatures associated with earth, nature, and magical abilities; dwarves are mythical beings known for their craftsmanship and mining skills.
- Gnomes are depicted as smaller, with a height of around 1 foot; dwarves are stockier and taller, averaging 4-5 feet.
- Gnomes are characterized by their connection to the natural world and whimsical appearance; dwarves are portrayed as skilled, strong, and hardworking.
Gnome vs. Dwarf
The difference between a gnome and a dwarf is that a gnome lives underground. At the same time, dwarves live in the forest, mountains, and underground. Gnome does not like human interaction and avoids it, whereas dwarf is a friendlier character and likes human interaction.
Gnomes are mythical creatures. Paracelsus first created it in the Renaissance period.
According to him, genomes are earth dwellers. Gnomes are not friendly to human beings and avoid them in most situations.
Dwarfs are also mythical creatures. It was first originated in Norse mythology. It is said it was first created between the 10th and 13th centuries.
Dwarfs are portrayed as friendlier creatures. Though its origin was from the 10th–13th century, dwarves got popularized after the movie snow white and the seven dwarfs.
|Parameter of Comparison
|It originated in the Renaissance period by Paracelsus
|It was the origin of the Norse mythology
|The live underground
|They live in forests, mountains, and underground
|They do not like human interaction and avoid human beings
|They are friendly creatures
|They look more like dwarfs after the dwarfs from snow white and the seven dwarfs movie
|They are portrayed as short and ugly creatures
|They are smart and creative
|They are wise creatures
What is Gnome?
Gnome is a mythical creature; it originated by Paracelsus, was rooted in the Renaissance, and was eventually adopted by fiction fantasy authors. Paracelsus was a renowned physician from the Renaissance period.
He was an astrologer, botanist, and alchemist. Gnome initially meant “earth dweller.”
Gnomes are considered earth elemental. Gnomes are small creatures who live underground.
They have a human-like feature. Gnomes tend to avoid humans and swim through the earth in that process.
Gnomes are described as ugly, hot-tempered immortal creatures with round bodies, spindle legs, and arms; they have long beard and wild hair. Gnomes live underground and protect jewels and precious metals.
There has been no reference made to the female gnome. Gnomes are crafty, intelligent, and tech-savvy.
It is also mentioned at certain times that gnome was initially mechanical creatures. Gnomes are considered harmless but mischievous.
They might bite with their sharp teeth. Gnome figures were used as garden décor or ornaments during the 19th century, known as garden gnomes.
The visual representation of gnomes changed further in the 1960s and 1970s; gnomes were given features like dwarfs depicting the features of dwarfs from the movie snow white and the seven dwarfs.
What is Dwarf?
The dwarf is a mythical character that originated in Norse mythology through oral narrations between the 10th and 13th centuries. It is said that the “dwarf” term originated from the old Norse word “dvegr,” old English “dweorg,” an old German word “gitwerc” and “zwerc.”
Dwarfs are linked with death as they tricked and messed around with humans. Dwarfs are considered wise characters as god favored them with the ability to think.
Dwarfs are also friendly creatures. They live underground as well as in forests and mountains.
They are represented as short and ugly creatures.
Dwarfs in folklore are mentioned as old men with long white beards. Female dwarfs are rarely mentioned.
Dwarfs were blacksmiths and stone man by profession. Dwarfs are classified under seven breeds: long beards, fire beards, broad beams, iron fists, stiff beards, black locks, and stone feet.
The lifespan of dwarfs is dependent on which breed they are.
Main Differences Between Gnome and Dwarf
- Gnome as a mythical character originated in the Renaissance period by Paracelsus. Dwarf as a mythical character originated between the 10th century and 13th century in the form of Norse mythology in the form of oral narrations.
- Gnomes live underground, whereas dwarfs live in mountains, forests, and underground.
- Gnomes are not human-friendly. They do not like human interaction and, on most occasions, hide and avoid them. Dwarfs are friendlier creatures.
- Gnomes in recent years have been pictured as dwarfs, depicting the features of the dwarfs from the movie snow white and the seven dwarfs. Gnomes are also now used as garden décor or ornaments known as garden gnomes. Dwarfs are pictured as small human-like creatures with ugly features. They are pictured as old men with long white beards.
- Gnomes are smart and creative creatures. They are also tech-savvy. Dwarfs, on the other hand, are wise creatures; god gifted them with the capability to think.
- The reference to the female genome has not been made, whereas, on a few rare occasions, references to female dwarfs have been made.
Last Updated : 13 July, 2023
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Chara Yadav holds MBA in Finance. Her goal is to simplify finance-related topics. She has worked in finance for about 25 years. She has held multiple finance and banking classes for business schools and communities. Read more at her bio page.