Word History: Nothing seems more Irish than the leprechaun; yet hiding within the word leprechaun is a word from another language entirely. If we look back beyond Modern Irish Gaelic luprachÃƒÂ¡n and Middle Irish luchrupÃƒÂ¡n to Old Irish luchorpÃƒÂ¡n, we can see the connection. LuchorpÃƒÂ¡n is a compound of Old Irish lÃƒÂº, meaning "small," and the Old Irish word corp, "body." Corp is borrowed from Latin corpus (which we know from habeas corpus). Here is a piece of evidence attesting to the deep influence of Church Latin on the Irish language. Although the word is old in Irish it is fairly new in English, being first recorded in 1604.