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 Post subject: tolkienite names
PostPosted: October 23rd, 2006, 6:58 pm 
Istari
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i was doing some research for an assigment earlier and i came across this entry in the anglo saxon-chronicle:

626 in this year eomer came from cwichelm, king of wessex...

as professor of anglo saxon, tolkien would certainly have known the anglo-saxon chronicle as its one of the few historical documents from the time, so it's a pretty good guess that this is where the name eomer came from.


earendil also comes from anglo saxon - the name is found in two lines of anglo saxon poetry that inspired tolkien to write the voyage of earandil. the original anglo saxon reads

eala earandel engla beorhast
Ofar middengeard monnum sended


which in english means

hail earendel brightest of stars
above the middle-earth sent unto men


the voyage of earendil was the first tale of middle earth, so just think - without those two lines of poetry, the lord of the rings etc may never have been written. it doesn't bear thinking about!


anyhoo, anybody found any other possible origins for names?


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PostPosted: October 24th, 2006, 3:17 am 
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I think I've seen mentions of a bunch of names (especially the Rohirric ones) in various places over the last two years, but I don't remember most of them, though I've seen the Eomer one before, at least, and maybe the Earendil one, too.

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PostPosted: October 28th, 2006, 1:53 am 
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I read this old book that I believe was called 'The Viking Bow' and it had a character named Frodo in it.

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PostPosted: October 28th, 2006, 10:34 am 
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PostPosted: October 28th, 2006, 2:31 pm 
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I think that Peregrin was actually an ancient name... I'm not sure of that though, or of which nationality it would have come from.

The Rohirric names are, I think, the most common to be found in Old or Middle English things, because their language basically was an ancient form of English.

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PostPosted: October 31st, 2006, 4:28 am 
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And there's the Peregrine falcon, but that has nothing to do with this. :-) Well, not really.

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PostPosted: January 12th, 2008, 5:52 am 
Istari
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thought i'd revive this, having recently come across the source for gandalf and most of the dwarf names. they come from stanzas 9-16 of voluspa, an old norse eddaic poem:

Then sought the gods their assembly-seats,
The holy ones, and council held,
To find who should raise the race of dwarfs
Out of Brimir's blood and the legs of Blain.

There was Motsognir the mightiest made
Of all the dwarfs, and Durin next;
Many a likeness of men they made,
The dwarfs in the earth, as Durin said.

Nyi and Nithi, Northri and Suthri,
Austri and Vestri, Althjof, Dvalin,
Nar and Nain, Niping, Dain,
Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Nori,
An and Onar, Ai, Mjothvitnir.

Vigg and Gandalf, Vindalf, Thrain,
Thekk and Thorin, Thror, Vit and Lit,
Nyr and Nyrath,-- now have I told--
Regin and Rathsvith-- the list aright.

Fili, Kili, Fundin, Nali,
Heptifili, Hannar, Sviur,
Frar, Hornbori, Fræg and Loni,
Aurvang, Jari, Eikinskjaldi.

The race of the dwarfs in Dvalin's throng
Down to Lofar the list must I tell;
The rocks they left, and through wet lands
They sought a home in the fields of sand.

There were Draupnir and Dolgthrasir,
Hor, Haugspori, Hlevang, Gloin,
Dori, Ori, Duf, Andvari,
Skirfir, Virfir, Skafith, Ai.

Alf and Yngvi, Eikinskjaldi,
Fjalar and Frosti, Fith and Ginnar;
So for all time shall the tale be known,
The list of all the forbears of Lofar.


and as an interesting note to that, apparently gandalf was old norse for 'magic elf'.

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PostPosted: March 4th, 2008, 6:46 am 
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You know, this book called something like "The magical worlds of the Lord of the Rings: a treasury of myths, legends and fascinating facts" by David Colbert and it's a pretty good book for general info; it doesn't go into extreme detail, but it's an easy read and quite informative. (Note: it says it hasn't been approved of by NLC or Tolkien, or something like that. It still is a fairly good book though if you're looking for something to give you general knowledge)

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PostPosted: March 4th, 2008, 6:49 am 
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(PS forgot to mention :-D it's easy because it's for younger readers.)

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: February 20th, 2017, 11:41 am 
Gondorian
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The Nightingale wrote:
And there's the Peregrine falcon, but that has nothing to do with this. :-) Well, not really.


But it's a good example, as peregrine is a word denoting "wandering, foreign, pilgrim", as Tolkien well knew: "Peregrin (Pippin) The H. name was Razanur. This was the name of a legendary traveler, and probably contains the C.S. elements raza "stranger", razan "foreign". I therefore chose Peregrin to represent it, though it does not fit quite so well. Of Peregrin, Pippin is I suppose a not imposible "pet-form"; but it is not so close to its original, as is Razar (a kind of small red apple) by which abbreviation Razanur Tuc was almost inevitably known to his contemporaries." JRRT, draft text for Appendix F

Now, even though this was not used for the final version of Appendix F, On Translation, it shows Tolkien's thinking here and the relation of Peregrin's name to the word applied to the Peregrine Falcon, or the word in general, meaning: "1) Roving or wandering. 2. Archaic Foreign; alien. [Middle English, from Old French, from Medieval Latin peregrīnus, wandering, pilgrim, from Latin, foreigner, from pereger, being abroad]." So far I've actually chanced across two reasons for why this bird got its name, but both reasons have to do with the general meaning above, in any case.

Anyway, yes... there was no Hobbit named "Pippin" [pippin meaning "any of several varieties of apple"], but the Hobbits actually called him Razar (a kind of small red apple)... ah, or not, if you believe this specific information was rejected. Still, even if rejected for some reason [other than considerations of space for the appendix, for example] we know that the scenario of some Common Speech names being translated is sound, and that Samwise, for example, was really called [in Hobbitish Westron] Banazîr rather, meaning "half-wise, simple", or Ban for short [Appendix F]...

... which makes sense, as "Samwise" hails from a language that had not yet arisen when Ban was alive!


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: February 22nd, 2017, 3:47 pm 
Gondorian
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Altariel Frodo wrote:
The Rohirric names are, I think, the most common to be found in Old or Middle English things, because their language basically was an ancient form of English.


This draws a good distinction concerning invented names versus names of translation. The actual language of the Rohirrim was not an ancient form of English of course (not that you meant this, necessarily), but Tolkien's "conceit of translation" allowed him to use names taken from, or based upon, real world languages like Old Norse or Old English. The "reality" of Tolkien's scenario is that the Rohirrim, Dwarves, Hobbits, and so on, were imagined to live in a world that existed well before the languages we call Old English and Old Norse existed. In a post above we can see that Tolkien lifted a lot of Dwarf-names (including Gandalf) for his Hobbit story... at the time he needed some good names for thirteen Dwarves to help him tell his tale to his children...

... but when The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings became part of Middle-earth, part of "the Silmarillion world", Tolkien needed an explanation, for how could the Dwarves be named in a language that did not yet exist? His answer was, they weren't; rather these Old Norse forms were only translations, just like "Greenleaf" is, in Modern English (for Legolas). Same with Old English, thus there was no "Dernhelm" and no "Eowyn" in Middle-earth, although we can guess that whatever these actual names were, they had a similar meaning to the Old English forms (and in a draft text for Appendix F, Tolkien muses upon the actual word for "horse" in the language of the Rohirrim, as the translation Eowyn appears to mean "horse-joy" for instance).

So there's a distinction here...

A) invented names in the languages spoken back when Ban Galbasi ("Sam Gamgee") was alive, with a notable amount of these being in some form of Elvish.

B) names that are to be considered translations, taken from or inspired by Primary World sources (Old Norse, Old English, Gothic, and so on).

Also, there's a type of "sourcing" where some fans try to find the real world inspirations for names (or words) in category A, but as this is not so easily explained in short, here it can be noted that the Old English earendel, which of course became the name inspiring Elvish Earendil, was a notable exception according to Tolkien; that is, he liked and desired the purposed connection between the Elvish name and its real world counterpart, along with its real world associations.


Anyway, the main distinction here is between A and B in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, between the many names Tolkien invented, and names he borrowed from real world sources, ultimately to be characterized as translations.


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 Post subject: Re: tolkienite names
PostPosted: February 23rd, 2017, 12:06 am 
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Well... let me just say... this name stuff seems quite complicated. Lol

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 Post subject: Re: tolkienite names
PostPosted: February 23rd, 2017, 3:44 am 
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Jax Nova wrote:
Well... let me just say... this name stuff seems quite complicated. Lol

Yes... as much as I admire the scholarly aspects of deep Tolkien study for informational purposes, over analyzing certainly takes the joy out of it for me, hence I tend not to do it. I'm just happy the Professor took the time through his life to bring us this beautiful fictional world!

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 Post subject: Re: tolkienite names
PostPosted: February 23rd, 2017, 10:04 am 
Gondorian
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For myself, I wouldn't call the above over analyzing.

It's about Appendix F, On Translation, which illustrates how Tolkien goes above and beyond many other authors with regard to nomenclature. It's art, the art of Secondary World building, which Tolkien is so often praised for. And in typical Tolkien style, JRRT has fun with it too: "... at this time the river was usually called Bralda-him, "heady ale". It must be observed, however, that when the Oldbucks (Zaragamba) changed their name to Brandybuck (Brandagamba), the first element meant "borderland", and Marchbuck would have been nearer. Only a very bold Hobbit would have ventured to call the Master of Buckland Braldagamba in his hearing." JRRT, Appendix F

Linguistic details, even those provided by Tolkien in The Lord of the Rings alone, might seem overly detailed to those who are not interested. I have no problem with folks who aren't interested; and for instance (to take but one issue here), for me a detailed analysis into who Tom Bombadil might be (although understandably, many folks like to solve a mystery), is going down a path that threatens to take the bounce out of the ball.

To me, a detailed analysis of who or what Bombadil is, as Tolkien himself seems to say in a letter, does not improve Tom. It's that kind of analysis I tend to stay away from, but the above is, in my opinion, just clarifying and introducing what Tolkien himself explained in Appendix F, with a bit of background to help explain the notion behind the "translation conceit" shaping this Appendix...

... as we don't want to give the impression (even if unintended) that Tolkien just went around lifting names from Primary World sources. He did do that in some measure, and it was a way to include some real world languages he liked and knew a lot about, but he was far more inventive than that.


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