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Ogres (folklore)

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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 the main villains of 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.

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