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Within the legendarium, ''Gandalf'' translates an unknown name of the meaning  "Elf-of-the-wand (or cane/staff)", or more literary "Wand-elf", in old northern Mannish. Most denizens of Middle-earth incorrectly assumed Gandalf was a [[Men|Man]], although he was really a Maia spirit (approximately equivalent to an angel). However, a less common misconception that occurred during the beginning of his career in Middle-earth was that for someone to be [[Immortality|immortal]] and use as much magic as he did, he must have been an Elf. Although it soon became apparent to all that he could not be an Elf, as he was old and Elves do not generally age, the nickname stuck with him. He later gave it as his name to others he met who did not know its original meaning.
 
Within the legendarium, ''Gandalf'' translates an unknown name of the meaning  "Elf-of-the-wand (or cane/staff)", or more literary "Wand-elf", in old northern Mannish. Most denizens of Middle-earth incorrectly assumed Gandalf was a [[Men|Man]], although he was really a Maia spirit (approximately equivalent to an angel). However, a less common misconception that occurred during the beginning of his career in Middle-earth was that for someone to be [[Immortality|immortal]] and use as much magic as he did, he must have been an Elf. Although it soon became apparent to all that he could not be an Elf, as he was old and Elves do not generally age, the nickname stuck with him. He later gave it as his name to others he met who did not know its original meaning.
  
==Other names==
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==Names==
 
{{Main|Gandalf/Names}}
 
{{Main|Gandalf/Names}}
  

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