The supposed domestic spirit of certain Irish or Highland Scottish families, supposed to take an interest in its welfare, and to wail at the death of one of the family. The Welsh “Cyhydraeth.” is a sort of Banshee.
The distinction of a Banshee is allowed only to families of pure Milesian stock. (Gaelic, ban-sith, a womanfairy.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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