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Ogre

An Ogre.

Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman - Be he alive or be he dead, I'll grind his bones to make my bread.
~ The giant in Jack and Beanstalk (in versions where the "giant" is a more malevolent being - thus more akin to an ogre)

An Ogre is a type of monster common in fairytales and folklore - often confused with giants. These creatures are antagonists of many stories and vary in size from slightly larger than a human to hundreds of feet tall: unlike most giants, Ogres were said to be hideously ugly and more monstrous than the relatively human giants.

Perhaps the most notable aspect of an Ogre was said to be their immense hunger, often for human flesh, in fact their hunger is sufficiently legendary that many dictionaries define an Ogre as "a man-eating giant" or similar.

As well as being cannibalistic monster Ogres were depicted as barbarians with little in the way of manners or benevolence, as a result the word has also been used to describe an individual who is seen as exceptionally cruel or brutal.

Although not always used the proper name for a female Ogre is Ogress - much as a female giant is known as a giantess, unlike the hideous Ogre males an Ogress may or may not be depicted as fairly attractive and benevolent: though they tended to be depicted as being just as unpleasant as their male counterparts.

Ogres have played a major villainous role in certain fairy tales, such as "Hop-O' My Thumb" and "Puss in Boots". In Puss in Boots, the feline hero outwits an evil Ogre by tricking him into turning into a mouse.

Foreign Counterpart

Oni

Multi-eyed Oni

The Oni

The Oni (鬼) are legendary Japanese monsters that are heavily involved in the nation's folklore - regarded as demons, ogres or trolls they are very popular characters both in traditional stories and in modern work, though they can be friendly they tend to be antagonistic.

Oni are normally depicted as hideous, gigantic humanoids with sharp claws, unkempt hair and two long horns growing from their heads - they can have varied numbers of eyes or extra fingers and toes and have skin of any color imaginable, thouh red and blue seem to be the most common.

Oni tend to wear tiger-skin loincloths and carry iron clubs, which is where the expression "oni with an iron club" came from (which means to be invincible).

Indeed Oni were seen as virtually unbeatable, the only way to really disperse them was with loud noise and celebrations - even to this day some villages in Japan perform these rituals to drive away Oni spirits.

As well as the ogres of today Oni have been believed by some to be gods, ghosts or other supernatural beings that caused unpleasant things to occur and originally they were said to be invisible to human eyes or formless - in modern times this ethereal being has been largely forgotten and replaced with the creatures described above.