Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A creature or spirit in Scottish and Irish folklore that has the form of a seal but can also assume human form.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A seal which can magically transform into a human.

Etymologies

Dialectal diminutive of seal2.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old English seolh ("seal"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • “A selkie is a seal creature who can remove his or her pelt and assume human form,” Munro said.

    The Shape-Shifter’s Curse

  • His latest, Ondine (2009, Paramount, 12), finds Jordan returning to more rewardingly lyrical fare with a whimsical tale of a lonely fisherman (Colin Farrell) who catches a "selkie" (half woman, half seal) and finds himself entrapped in a tightening emotional net.

    Mark Kermode's DVD round-up

  • The "selkie" object is a seal that was washed up onto the beach.

    Amelia's World

  • Also if she was a "selkie" she would not be "distained by the islanders".

    Hh Com 333

  • I like "selkie" tales but your query does not atttract me. sorry.

    Hh Com 333

  • a mermaid, but she could be a selkie, which is even better, because selkies aren't like fish from the waist down.

    Kitsap Sun Stories

  • Annie (Alison Barry), Syracuse's young daughter, researches Irish folklore and tells her father that Ondine is a "selkie," a sort of washed-ashore mermaid who can return to the water only after finding her lost "seal coat."

    post-gazette.com - News

  • It was wonderful, an Orkney village confronted with a swan, a selkie, and a dragon, and the consequences of allowing (or forcing) them to live among humans, as humans.

    "And when the waves came crashing down, he closed his eyes and softly kissed her."

  • In “For One Who Has Lost Herself,” the price is the awful truth that comes after the end of a story we already pretty much knew; that is, what happens to the selkie after the young man who stole her sealskin has vanished.

    "Into a light that lingers."

  • She took me to the very spot where she had been delivered from her widowed mother by a selkie midwife and laid down upon the sand, pulling me down beside her.

    On Desperate Seas « A Fly in Amber

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  • With his hand on the wheel
    Midst selkie and seal
    Unsure as to which one was real.

    He brought one to lair
    Right into the air
    Trying to transform to a pair.

    Oh Selkie! he cried
    I was alone, could have died
    Now I'm happily sealed for a ride.


    June 15, 2010

  • “The childish, romantic story of “Ondine” is about a West Cork fisherman named Syracuse (Colin Farrell) who one day snags a lovely, breathing young woman in his net. This comely catch, who gives her name as Ondine (Alicja Bachleda), isn’t a mermaid, but might be another, more locally familiar sort of mythic beast, a selkie: a woman who is also a seal.”

    The New York Times, Neil Jordan’s Possible World of the Impossible, by Terrence Rafferty, May 28, 2010

    June 1, 2010