There is a debate about how to spell the noun fairy/faery. Americans tend to spell it fairy but some of the more magickally minded opt for faery unless they are talking about fairy tales or cartoon characters. We who live across the pond in the British Isles mainly use faery and I know some who prefer faerie.
Both faery and faerie are considered ‘pseudo-archaisms’ by language experts but there is also a difference in meaning (especially in Pagan circles) that has cropped up due to the Disney’s Tinkerbell and other cute cartoon fairies which many perceive as misrepresentations of the Fae.
The spelling faery is now often used to differentiate between the cartoon version and the real elementals, much as magick is spelled with a K to differentiate from stage magic and mentalism.
Fairy tales are cute stories for children but faery tales are stories for adults which involve the elemental realm. A google search for images will also reveal that a search for the word fairy generates more cartoon images than a search for the word faery.
Here on the blog, I will alternate between the two spellings on purpose because it doesn’t really matter to the fairies themselves. I am Swedish, living in the UK and studied to become a Certified Fairyologist with the American teacher Doreen Virtue who consistently uses the spelling fairy about the elemental realm. I also believe most of my readers are in America.
The etymology for the word fairy is found in the french word fée (or fae, Old French). In Old French, faerie was the gathering place of the fae and it could also mean witchcraft. Fée/fae means enchanted or enchanting and was originally used about females who possessed the ability to enchant things and people. The French fae has its root in the Latin word fatum/fata which relates to fate/destiny and oracles.