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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
vocabulary tolkien taught me
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Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Apr 17 2013, 8:02pm

Post #1 of 37 (414 views)
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vocabulary tolkien taught me Can't Post

 
i first thought of posting this to the "tomes" thread, but it really is its own theme.

yes, i've picked up a lot of vocabulary from a lot of sources, but i'm fond of what i picked up from tolkien (i have extra love for his descriptions of physical places and naturescapes).

which brings me to a word tolkien taught me:


sward.


you?


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Apr 17 2013, 8:54pm

Post #2 of 37 (244 views)
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Baldric // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....


Finwe
Lorien


Apr 17 2013, 9:13pm

Post #3 of 37 (264 views)
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Way too many to list [In reply to] Can't Post

Off the top of my head:
Fey
Hearth
Coney
Cumbrous
Pyre
Craven
Faggot
Draught
Gaffer
Thrall
Mere
Lithe

There's many, many more I know I've had to look up when reading, but cannot recall. Probably hurts my case I'm a young American, so not only do I not know many British words, I also suffer from being 3 generations younger than Tolkien. Needless to say, I haven't found the chance to slip these words into casual conversations.

As three great Jewels they were in form. But not until the End, when FŽanor shall return who perished ere the Sun was made, and sits now in the Halls of Awaiting and comes no more among his kin; not until the Sun passes and the Moon falls, shall it be known of what substance they were made. Like the crystal of diamonds it appeared, and yet was more strong than adamant, so that no violence could mar it or break it within the Kingdom of Arda.


CuriousG
Valinor


Apr 17 2013, 9:20pm

Post #4 of 37 (242 views)
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Well, I was about 11 on my first read, so my vocabulary had room to grow [In reply to] Can't Post

What I learned:
The British spell gray as "grey," dooming me to misspell it America.
Tolkien only used ' for dialogue instead of " .

Words I had to look up:

Grim (he really uses that a lot)
Fortnight
Oast and byre (in Minas Tirith chapter, IIRC; or oast and garner? Anyway, farm terms)
Phial
Sward
Helm
Niggard (I was shocked he was a racist until I looked it up)

That's just a sample.


CuriousG
Valinor


Apr 17 2013, 9:21pm

Post #5 of 37 (234 views)
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Oh, yeah, all those too. And the 2nd 'f' word in that list was shocking until I looked it up. It was the 1970s. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Apr 17 2013, 9:25pm

Post #6 of 37 (238 views)
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oh!!!! i almost forgot!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

 
(but how could i have forgotten?)

flotsam -- and -- jetsam

(ironic that this did not really refer to samwise gamgee in any way.)

and coney (thanks, finwe, for reminding).


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Apr 17 2013, 9:27pm

Post #7 of 37 (237 views)
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Tee hee [In reply to] Can't Post

I was musing that if Finwe had replied to my post
Baldric//

By posting

Faggot//

That would have been entirely a sensible contribution within the spirit of the thread, but would have caused momentary confusion....

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....


Morthoron
Gondor


Apr 18 2013, 2:31am

Post #8 of 37 (212 views)
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Confusticate and bebother. [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Please visit my blog...The Dark Elf File...a slighty skewed journal of music and literary comment, fan-fiction and interminable essays.



Aragalen the Green
Gondor


Apr 18 2013, 2:38am

Post #9 of 37 (225 views)
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Many, but my favorite [In reply to] Can't Post

is paraphernalia Blush

'"Never laugh at live dragons, Bilbo you fool!" he said to himself, and it became a favourite saying of his later, and passed into a proverb.'


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Apr 18 2013, 4:21am

Post #10 of 37 (208 views)
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Jetsam. [In reply to] Can't Post

Rill (and some other descriptions for streams or landscape features.)

And I was surprised to find out that Wetwang is an actual place in the UK.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Apr 18 2013, 6:39am

Post #11 of 37 (204 views)
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Dwimmer (dwimmer-crafty, dwimmerlaik) [In reply to] Can't Post

I thought Tolkien made that up, but it seems not.
He was very good at making up plausible sounding words (his professional training) so it's hard to tell.

England has a lot of odd place names, including the River Piddle, and the village Nether Wallop.

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....


Fredeghar Wayfarer
Lorien


Apr 18 2013, 9:21am

Post #12 of 37 (213 views)
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Kine [In reply to] Can't Post

Kine - the archaic plural of cow. This earned me some points in Boggle. Smile


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Apr 18 2013, 5:12pm

Post #13 of 37 (196 views)
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I wonder how many words started with Tolkien & made it into English? [In reply to] Can't Post

Anyone got access to a big online dictionary - like oed.com (the Oxford English Dictionary)? . It would be fun to know whether they'd decided to include any Tolkienisms

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....


Brethil
Half-elven


Apr 18 2013, 5:52pm

Post #14 of 37 (180 views)
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"rick" [In reply to] Can't Post

In the haybale sense.

(when I saw your 'Baldric' title NoWiz as a BlackAdder fan all I can think of is "Baldric, the Renaissance is just something that happened to other people, wasn't it?)

Hell hath no fury like a Dragon who is missing a cup.


CuriousG
Valinor


Apr 18 2013, 5:56pm

Post #15 of 37 (205 views)
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Or since he was a contributor to OED, did he sneak in any of his words? [In reply to] Can't Post

Do hobbits litter the pages in subversive ways? Does he define palantir and then disguise it with a pseudo-etymology of Indo-European roots? Maybe it is only in the OED that he explains what a Variag of Khand is.

Let's cancel The Sil and discuss OED next.

More seriously, there was a book written about how it came about, and though it sounds dull, it was entertaining.


elaen32
Gondor

Apr 18 2013, 7:08pm

Post #16 of 37 (180 views)
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Well I was in my thirties when I first got round to reading Tolkien [In reply to] Can't Post

Blush and had already read a lot of English medieval history, fiction and factual, by that time. And also, being English, I suppose a lot of words I was already familiar with to some extent, but Tolkien helped to illustrate them and bring to life. Like Nowime, "dwimmer" was one that I had not come across before and as I read, kept confusing it with "dwarrow", which I had also not come across before- you can imagine it caused a bit of confusion storywise!

"Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves the dreams of trees unfold"


Asger
Bree


Apr 18 2013, 7:12pm

Post #17 of 37 (166 views)
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'Thrawn' and 'aumbries'... [In reply to] Can't Post

...two words that weren't in any of my English dictionaries, not even Webster's.

"Don't take life seriously, it ain't nohow permanent!" Pogo
www.willy-centret.dk


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Apr 19 2013, 12:16am

Post #18 of 37 (155 views)
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Nether Wallop? [In reply to] Can't Post

That's ... wince-inducing. Laugh

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Apr 19 2013, 12:18am

Post #19 of 37 (155 views)
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"A very small casserole." [In reply to] Can't Post

I love that scene.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Apr 19 2013, 7:26am

Post #20 of 37 (136 views)
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The index to a British road atlas has much to make a schoolboy snigger (I was that schoolboy, once) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....


squire
Valinor


Apr 19 2013, 10:30am

Post #21 of 37 (136 views)
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Wait - what words did Tolkien "make up"? [In reply to] Can't Post

I always thought that the limits of his linguistic invention (in English) were his efforts to project into modern English a few words that kind of "petered out" in the Middle English era. Dwimmerlaik is certainly one of those; so is Dwarrow. Strictly speaking, I should think that was not the same as "making up plausible sounding words", the way he did in Elvish for instance...



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd (and NOW the 4th too!) TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


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noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Apr 19 2013, 12:44pm

Post #22 of 37 (131 views)
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Place names and the porous boundaries of English (and Oxford Dictionaries) [In reply to] Can't Post

"What words did Tolkien make up?" speaks to two of my previous posts.
Tolkien's place names are mostly made up. I don't think there are any real places called Bree or Archet or Buckleberry. But they would be unremarkable English place names, like Eynsham, Farmoor, Cuttleslow, Tackley or Abingdon (all real places in Oxfordshire). As the action moves to other places, the names get more "outlandish" - we are to suppose that they arose from other cultures, just as Yorkshire place names in England are different from Oxfordshire ones (Norse elements are added to Saxon ones "up North" - the area was much invaded, and then settled by Vikings). And place names of Rohan sound more English than those of Gondor, because the Rohirrim are pretty Anglo-Saxon, I think. Dunharrow, Riddermark, Starkhorn and Tarlang's Neck sound perfectly English to my English ears, but clearly Orthanc or Erech or Pelargir don't (which is the intention, of course). "Eastfold" is pretty natural as a name for a grassy region if you live near the Cotswolds, and can visit Stow-on-the-Wold. Same for personal names - Edmond could be a Rider of Rohan, but it also was my father's name. Frideswide could perfectly well be Eowyn's sister, but is the genuine patron saint of Oxford City (and associated with the original Treacle Well, of Alice in Wonderland fame).

Tolkien's names either come from the right linguistic roots (that -fold), and/or he has a very good ear for what sounds natural (or alien, as suits him).

Re the Oxford English Dictionary, I was speculating about whether any words Tolkien made up or found new senses for had been accepted into respected, general-purpose English dictionaries (for example, those published by Oxford University Press) and had, in that sense, become "English words". What is, or is not an "English word" is of course a matter for debate. Oxford Dictionaries now seem to see themselves as collectors of what the world currently sees as English - to answer CuriousG's point they have serious admission criteria, so its unlikely that JRRT would have been able to smuggle in any pet words. I've met some of the Oxford lexicographers and they are serious about their work - you'd have a better chance smuggling a woopee cushion onto Denethor's chair. So, let's take, as a working definition, that if it's in an Oxford Dictionary (or one of their competitor's), you could argue it's reached a level of general recognition adequate to become a general English Word, in a different sense to a word which is only found in specialized dictionaries for Tolkien fans.

"Hobbit" is a word which Oxford Dictionaries has included, which clearly Tolkien invented - here's the evidence
And "orc" seems to be one Tolkien got from earlier roots (A good example of his methods), but Oxford say its most common meaning now is the Tolkien-based one -
And "dwarves" now seems to be OK by Oxford as the plural (whereas pre-Tolkien the plural was obviously "dwarfs" - something he objected to)
But "Mithril" is not in their dictionary
(They also have "jedi")

...those are the kinds of examples I had in mind.

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....


(This post was edited by noWizardme on Apr 19 2013, 12:51pm)


Loresilme
Valinor


Apr 19 2013, 2:55pm

Post #23 of 37 (132 views)
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Landscape words [In reply to] Can't Post

For example, I learned that words like these were all names for different types of valleys:

dell - a small valley, usually with trees
vale - a wide valley, usually with a flat bottom or flood plain
dale - a broad valley
glen - a long, narrow valley
gully - a small valley or ravine originally worn away by running water and serving as a drainageway after prolonged heavy rains
gorge - a narrow valley between hills or mountains, typically with steep rocky walls and a stream running through it.
-- canyon: a deep gorge, typically with a river running through it
ravine - a narrow, steep sided valley, commonly one that has been eroded by running water


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Apr 19 2013, 3:47pm

Post #24 of 37 (120 views)
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Not words you can easily work into a conversation, alas [In reply to] Can't Post

Though when I next have my wizard's tower re-wired, I'm definitely going to have lights with dwimmer switches

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimŽ I am in the West, and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Apr 19 2013, 4:03pm

Post #25 of 37 (109 views)
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Adamant Dingle [In reply to] Can't Post

Adamant (as a noun) was new to me - already knew what it meant as a adjective.
Dingle (as in a landscape feature, not a playground slang term)

...were both new to me.

(Anyone like the Skulduggery Pleasant books? "Adamant Dingle" SO sounds like a character from them! Or perhaps not.....)

And it sounds nearly as nice as Obsidian Bunker


Quote
I think CuriousG has nailed why Melkor ends up single! Quite agree, he's not about to share his obsidian bunker with any equal.(Don't know whether he really has an obsidian bunker, but it's so nice to say "obsidian bunker", especially out loud, that I'm going to imagine one until proved otherwise).
The Silmarillion discussion: Valaquenta


Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimŽ I am in the West, and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "

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