From David Cowart's Thomas Pynchon: The Art of Illusion:

"according to Eric Partridge's Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English , 'goodfellow' is Covent Garden slang for 'a vigorous fornicator.' [1]

From The White Goddess:

"In the English countryside Mary Gipsy was soon identified with the Love-goddess known to the Saxons as 'The May Bride' [...]. She paired off with Merddin, by this time Christianized as Robin Hood, apparently a variant of Merddin's Saxon name, Rof Breoht Woden, 'Bright Strength of Woden,' also known euphemistically as Robin Good-fellow. In French the word Robin, which is regarded as a diminutive of Robert but is probably pre-Teutonic, means a ram and also a devil. [...] The two senses of ram and devil are combined in the illustration to a pamphlet published in London in 1639: Robin Goodfellow, his mad pranks and merry gests. Robin is depicted as an ithyphallic [having an erect penis] god of the witches with young ram's horns sprouting from his forehead [...]." (p.396) [emphasis added] [2]

From Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology, and Legend:

"Robin Goodfellow In English folklore, a malicious or mischievous spirit, later identified with Puck in his role of household spirit. Shakespeare's Robin Goodfellow (Midsummer Night's Dream ii,I) is a servant of Oberon." [3]


  1. Cowart, David, Thomas Pynchon: The Art of Illusion, Southern Illinois University Press, 1980, p. 68
  2. Graves, Robert, The White Goddess, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 1948, p. 396
  3. Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology, and Legend, edited by Maria Leach, Funk & Wagnalls Company, New York, 1950, p. 950
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