An elf is a being of Germanic mythology
Germanic mythology
Germanic mythology is a comprehensive term for myths associated with historical Germanic paganism, including Norse mythology, Anglo-Saxon mythology, Continental Germanic mythology, and other versions of the mythologies of the Germanic peoples...

. The elves were originally thought of as a race of divine beings (wight
Wight is a Middle English word, from Old English wiht, and used to describe a creature or living sentient being. It is akin to Old High German wiht, meaning a creature or thing.In its original usage the word wight described a living human being...

s, vættir
Vættir or wights are nature spirits in the Norse religion. These nature spirits divide up into 'families', including the Álfar , Dvergar , Jötnar , and even gods, the Æsir and Vanir, who are understood to be prominent families among them. The term 'families' is often translated as 'clans' or...

) endowed with magical powers
Magic (paranormal)
Magic is the claimed art of manipulating aspects of reality either by supernatural means or through knowledge of occult laws unknown to science. It is in contrast to science, in that science does not accept anything not subject to either direct or indirect observation, and subject to logical...

, which they use both for the benefit and the injury of mankind. In medieval Norse mythology
Norse mythology
Norse mythology, a subset of Germanic mythology, is the overall term for the myths, legends and beliefs about supernatural beings of Norse pagans. It flourished prior to the Christianization of Scandinavia, during the Early Middle Ages, and passed into Nordic folklore, with some aspects surviving...

, they appear to have been divided into light elves and dark elves, difficult to delineate from the Æsir
In Old Norse, áss is the term denoting a member of the principal pantheon in Norse paganism. This pantheon includes Odin, Frigg, Thor, Baldr and Tyr. The second pantheon comprises the Vanir...

 (gods) on one hand and the dvergar (dwarves) on the other.

In early modern and modern folklore, they become associated with the fairies of Romance folklore and assume a diminutive size, often living mainly in forests but also underground in hills or rocks, or in wells and springs.

[Answering the phone] Buddy the Elf; what's your favorite color?

[Whispering to fake Santa] You Stink. You smell like beef and cheese! You don't smell like Santa.

[To fake Santa] You sit on a throne of LIES.

[Burps loudly for what seems like thirty seconds] Did you hear that?

First we'll make snow angels for two hours, then we'll go ice skating, then we'll eat an entire roll of Toll House cookie dough as fast as we can, and then to finish, we'll snuggle!

[Dejectedly] Let's just face it. I'm the worst toymaker in the world! I'm a cotton-headed ninny-muggins. [Elves gasp]

[In a public restroom, looking over the wall into the neighboring stall] Hey, have you seen these toilets? They're GINORMOUS!

Us elves like to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corn and syrup.

[To wild racoon] Does some one need a hug? [The raccoon attacks him] I just wanted a hug!

[After getting hit in the face with a snowball] Ow! Son of a Nutcracker!