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Goblin vs. Gremlin: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sumera Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Updated on October 3, 2023
Goblins are mythical, often malicious creatures from European folklore, while gremlins are more modern, mischievous entities known for sabotaging machinery.

Key Differences

Goblins and gremlins, though sometimes confused, are distinct entities in folklore and popular culture. Goblins are older in the realm of myths, stemming from European legends.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 03, 2023
They are often portrayed as malicious, cunning, and sometimes even grotesque beings that might live underground or in remote areas, causing harm to humans or seeking treasure. Gremlins, on the other hand, are a relatively modern invention. Their lore revolves around the sabotage of machinery, especially aircraft.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 03, 2023
During World War II, pilots would blame unexplained mechanical failures on these mischievous creatures. While goblins are versatile in the roles they play in stories, often being antagonists in fairy tales, gremlins are more specialized, with their mischief largely restricted to machines.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 03, 2023
Both have been integrated into modern media, with goblins frequently appearing in fantasy stories and movies and gremlins remembered for the 1980s films where they wreak havoc when specific rules are not followed.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 03, 2023

Comparison Chart

Origin

European folklore
Modern, linked to 20th-century machinery issues
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 03, 2023
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Nature

Often malicious, cunning
Mischievous, known for sabotage
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 03, 2023

Appearance

Varies, often grotesque
Small, impish creatures
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 03, 2023

Associated Stories

Fairy tales, legends
World War II aircraft stories, 1980s movies
Harlon Moss
Oct 03, 2023

Primary Habitat

Underground, forests, remote areas
Near machinery, especially aircraft
Aimie Carlson
Oct 03, 2023

Goblin and Gremlin Definitions

Goblin

A mythical being known for trickery and mischief.
Beware of the goblin that lurks in the shadows, waiting to play its tricks.
Janet White
Oct 03, 2023
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Gremlin

A small, impish creature from 20th-century lore.
After the radio malfunctioned, he teased that a gremlin was behind it.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 03, 2023

Goblin

A fantasy antagonist often in stories.
The hero prepared to face the goblin king in the final battle.
Harlon Moss
Oct 03, 2023

Gremlin

A modern, mischievous entity, especially around aircraft.
Mechanical failures were often whimsically blamed on gremlins during the war.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 03, 2023

Goblin

A legendary creature that often seeks treasure.
The old tale spoke of a goblin hoarding gold beneath the mountain.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 03, 2023

Gremlin

A mythical saboteur of modern machines.
Some still believe in gremlins causing unexplained technical glitches.
Janet White
Oct 03, 2023

Goblin

A malicious creature from European folklore.
The goblin guarded the treasure deep within the cave.
Sara Rehman
Oct 03, 2023

Gremlin

A creature known for sabotaging machinery.
The pilot joked that a gremlin must've tampered with his plane.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 03, 2023

Goblin

A grotesque, mischievous fairy-like being.
The woods were rumored to be home to goblins and other mystical creatures.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 03, 2023

Gremlin

An entity from popular 1980s films.
The movie showcased the chaos that ensues when gremlins are not handled according to the rules.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 03, 2023

Goblin

A grotesque elfin creature of folklore, thought to work mischief or evil.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 01, 2023

Gremlin

Any mysterious, unknown source of mischief or trouble, or the problem created thereby.
We rechecked everything, and we suspect gremlins in the database.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 01, 2023

Goblin

One of various hostile supernatural creatures, now especially (fantasy literature) a malevolent and grotesque diminutive humanoid, often associated with orcs or trolls.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 01, 2023

Gremlin

A young, inexperienced surfer, seen as being a nuisance.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 01, 2023

Goblin

An evil or mischievous spirit; a playful or malicious elf; a frightful phantom; a gnome.
To whom the goblin, full of wrath, replied.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 01, 2023

Gremlin

An imaginary gnomelike creature to whom mechanical problems, especially in aircraft, are attributed.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 01, 2023

Goblin

(folklore) a small grotesque supernatural creature that makes trouble for human beings
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 01, 2023

Gremlin

A maker of mischief.
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Mar 01, 2023

Gremlin

(obsolete) A contemptible person.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 01, 2023

Gremlin

An imaginary creature reputed to be mischievously inclined to damage or dismantle machinery.
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 01, 2023

Gremlin

(by extension)
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 01, 2023

Gremlin

(folklore) fairies that are somewhat mischievous
Sawaira Riaz
Mar 01, 2023

FAQs

Are gremlins always associated with machinery?

Mostly, especially aircraft, but they've expanded in popular culture.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 03, 2023

Are goblins and gremlins the same?

No, goblins are from European folklore, while gremlins are known for sabotaging machinery.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 03, 2023

Which is older in origin, goblin or gremlin?

Goblins are older, originating from European legends.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 03, 2023

Can goblins be friendly?

While often portrayed as malicious, some stories depict them neutrally or even positively.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 03, 2023

Why are gremlins linked to aircraft sabotage?

During WWII, unexplained aircraft issues were humorously blamed on these mythical saboteurs.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 03, 2023

Are goblins intelligent?

In many tales, they're cunning and crafty.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 03, 2023

Have gremlins been featured in movies?

Yes, notably in the 1980s "Gremlins" films.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 03, 2023

Is the concept of a gremlin universal?

It's more Western, particularly linked to the 20th century and machinery.
Harlon Moss
Oct 03, 2023

Were gremlins created during World War II?

The concept was popularized then, especially among pilots, but they've since grown in legend.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 03, 2023

What do goblins typically look like?

Descriptions vary, but they're often portrayed as small, grotesque beings.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 03, 2023

Can gremlins be good?

While mischievous, they're not inherently evil, but their portrayal can vary.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 03, 2023

Are there friendly goblins in stories?

Yes, not all stories portray them as malicious; some can be neutral or friendly.
Sara Rehman
Oct 03, 2023

Are goblins part of a larger folklore family?

Yes, they're among various fairy-like or small mystical beings in European legends.
Harlon Moss
Oct 03, 2023

Do gremlins have a specific appearance?

They're often depicted as small, impish creatures, but portrayals can vary.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 03, 2023

Can gremlins speak?

In popular culture, especially movies, they've been given the ability to speak or make noises.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 03, 2023

What's a goblin's favorite activity?

Stories often involve them causing mischief, seeking treasure, or guarding something.
Harlon Moss
Oct 03, 2023

Are goblins real?

They're mythical beings, part of folklore and stories.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 03, 2023

Why are gremlins called "gremlins"?

The origin is unclear, but it may derive from the Old English word "gremian," meaning "to vex."
Sara Rehman
Oct 03, 2023

Which is more popular in modern culture, goblin or gremlin?

Both have their niches, but goblins are more widespread in fantasy, while gremlins are remembered for specific films and the aircraft lore.
Janet White
Oct 03, 2023

Do goblins have a particular habitat?

Often underground, forests, or remote areas in legends.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 03, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.

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