The Annotated LOTR: A Long-Expected Party

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Postby roaccarcsson » Wed Apr 07, 2004 11:09 am

<strong><em>For the collection of HUGO BRACEGIRDLE, from a contributor</em></strong><BR><BR>Hugo Bracegirdle seems to be the only "upper-class" hobbit mentioned in this chapter who des not appear in the family trees in Appendix C. Lobelia Sackville-Baggins was a Bracegirdle by birth.<BR><BR>As has been pointed out in the annotations to the Prologue, this gift implies that ownership of books was widespread among the Hobbit gentry. This however is fundamentally inconsistent with the fact that the histories of the War of the Ring were transmitted by a chain of manuscript copies beginning with the Red Book of Westmarch. If the Hobbits had invented printing, the Red Book would surely have been widely distributed. This is an example of how the Shire is entirely anachronistic with respect to the rest of Middle-Earth.
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Postby roaccarcsson » Wed Apr 07, 2004 11:26 am

<strong>But old Rory Brandybuck was not so sure.</strong><BR><BR>Rorimac Brandybuck was the oldest son and heir of Gorbadoc, and hence at this time Master of Buckland; Frodo's mother was his youngest sister. He was about 99 at the time of the Party, and died seven years later, in S.R. 1408. He was succeeded as Master by his son Saradoc, the father of Meriadoc.
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Postby roaccarcsson » Wed Apr 07, 2004 11:45 am

<strong>And Mr. Drogo was staying at Brandy Hall with his father-in-law, Old Master Gorbadoc</strong><BR><BR>The name "Gorbadoc" resembles that of the title character of <em>Gorboduc</em>, the first English play in blank verse, written by Norton and Sackville(!) and performed before Queen Elizabeth in 1561.
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Postby Queen_Beruthiel » Wed Apr 07, 2004 12:02 pm

The double-barrelled Sackville-Baggins name is explained in Letter 214. If the headship passed from a (male) head to his daughter's family:<BR><BR><strong>In such cases the heir (if he accepted the courtesy title) took the name of his mother's family - though he often retained that of his father's family also (placed second).</strong><BR><BR>
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Postby -Rómestámo- » Thu Apr 08, 2004 1:11 pm

<strong>Master Everard Took and Miss Melilot Brandybuck got on a table and with bells in their hands began to dance the Springle-ring: a pretty dance, but rather vigorous.</strong><BR><BR>Farmer Maggot's daughters also dance the Springle-ring in 'Bombadil Goes Boating' in <em>The Adventures of Tom Bombadil</em>. JRRT comments on the name:<UL><strong>Springle-ring</strong>. An invention; render it by a similar one suitable to the language of translation, implying a vigorous ring-dance in which dancers often leaped up.<BR><BR>'Guide to names in <em>The Lord of the Rings</em>'</UL>In <em>The Complete Guide to Middle-earth</em>, Foster classifies the name as 'translated Hobbitish' meaning 'war-horse ring' although where this information proceeds from is not given ('springle' does not seem to be a synonym for 'war-horse' in any online dictionary).
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Postby roaccarcsson » Thu Apr 08, 2004 3:05 pm

The war-horse thing strikes me as utterly bogus. I have avoided reading Foster - did he make a lot of stuff up? This is like Ohlmarks.<BR><BR>I would suggest adding to Romestamo's excellent note the information that "Bombadil Goes Boating" was written <strong>after</strong> the publication of LotR (see letter 237 - is it the only such poem in TAoTB?). So the Springle-ring originates in this chapter, unlike Bombadil, Farmer Maggot, etc.<BR><BR>Letter 237 (to Rayner Unwin) says: "You may note I have written a new <em>Bombadil</em> poem, which I hope is adequate to go with the older one . . ." There is more, and it is very interesting, but it belongs in the Bombadil chapters.<BR><BR><strong>A decent respectable hobbit was Mr. Drogo Baggins</strong><BR><BR>In Appendix F.III, Tolkien says that he gave the Tooks names of Frankish and Gothic origin. It is interesting that the very Baggins-sounding name "Drogo" is also Frankish. Charlemagne had an illegitimate son by that name who became Bishop of Metz, and is remembered as a patron of the arts (see the link below).<BR><BR><a href='http://www.adeva.com/englisch/buchseite_e.asp?id=766' target=_blank>http://www.adeva.com/englisch/buchseite_e.asp?id=766</a><BR><BR>Charlemagne also had a cousin named Drogo, the son of his uncle Carloman.<BR><BR><strong>. . . Bolgers,</strong><BR><BR>The entry for "Bolger" in Tolkien's translation guide refers the reader to the place name "Budgeford,' where we find:<BR><BR><em><OL>Budge was an obscured element, having at the time no clear meaning. Since it was the main residence of the Bolger family (a hobbit name not to be translated) it may be regarded as a corruption of the element bolge, bulge. Both Bolger and Bulger occur as surnames in England. Whatever their real origin, they are used in the story to suggest that they were in origin nicknames referring to fatness, tubbiness.</em></OL><BR>It is interesting that in medieval Italian <em>bolgia</em> meant "bag," as in the name <em>Malebolgia</em>, "evil bag," coined by Dante for the circles of Hell. In the absence of evidence that Tolkien intended to link the Bagginses and Bolgers by a bilingual pun, this must be assumed to be a coincidence.
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Postby -Rómestámo- » Thu Apr 08, 2004 9:20 pm

Bracegirdles

JRRT notes in his 'Guide to Names in The Lord of the Rings'
    Bracegirdle. A genuine English surname, used in the text, of course, with reference to the hobbit tendency to be fat and so to strain their belts. A desirable translation would recognize this by some equivalent meaning Tight-belt, or Belt-tightener / strainer / stretcher. (The name is a genuine English one; a compound of the Romance type with the verbal element first, as in Drinkwater = Boileau; [...] ).
    -------------------------
roaccarcsson :I have avoided reading Foster - did he make a lot of stuff up? This is like Ohlmarks.

If you have 'avoided reading Foster' how can you state 'this is like Ohlmarks'? :wink: :twisted:

Foster is not like David Day or Ohlmarks. As as a rule he avoids speculation and when conjecturing or hypothesising usually signposts it in his entries by using key words (may have been, probably or including a '?'). His entries also provide exact page references to where he derives his information unlike any other compendium compiler. CJRT both used and recommended Foster when writing The History of Middle-earth. Most errors in Foster spring from the publication of his Guide before the publication of Unfinished Tales and HOME yet are relatively few (apart from the almost totally conjectural 'Chronology of the First Age' (acknowledged as such) given as an Appendix).

What complicates the issue of 'springle-ring' is while the page references given (in The Lord of the Rings, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and the Guide to names in The Lord of the Rings) do not mention 'war-horse ring', Foster also had access to (unpublished) communications between JRRT and Dick Plotz (the first Thain of the Tolkien Society in the USA), and his linguistic conclusions borrowed from the expertise of members of the Mythopoeic Linguistic Fellowship (including jallan). The fact that Foster does not place a question mark in his 'translation' suggests that his sources had no doubt as to the meaning. While the provenance of this 'translation' is uncertain, to dismiss this out of hand as <bogus> is an over-reaction.
Last edited by -Rómestámo- on Wed May 05, 2004 11:41 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby -Rómestámo- » Thu Apr 08, 2004 11:02 pm

<strong>Chubbs</strong><BR><BR>JRRT notes in his 'Guide to Names in The Lord of the Rings':<UL><strong>Chubb</strong> A genuine English surname, chosen because its immediate association in English is with the adjective 'chubby', round and fat in bodily shape (said to be derived from <em>chub</em>, the name of a river fish).</UL><pre> -------------------------</pre><strong>Brockhouses</strong> <BR><BR><UL><strong>Brockhouse</strong>. <em>Brock</em> is an old word for the badger, still widely current in country speech up to the end of the nineteenth century and appearing in literature, and hence in good dictionaries, including bilinguals. So there is not much excuse for the Dutch and Swedish translators' having misrendered it. [...] <BR><BR><em>Brock</em> occurs in numerous place-names, from which surnames are derived, such as <em>Brockbanks. Brockhouse</em> is, of course, feigned to be a hobbit-name because the 'brock' builds complicated and well-ordered underground dwellings or 'setts'.</UL>
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Postby -Rómestámo- » Sat Apr 10, 2004 2:24 am

[...] there were various Grubbs (relations of Bilbo Baggins' grandmother), [...]

Grubb. A hobbit-name. (Grubbs, I 36, is plural.) Translate, if possible in some way more or less suitable to sound and sense. The name is meant to recall the English verb grub 'dig, root, in the ground.'

'Guide to Names in The Lord of the Rings.'

Bilbo's paternal grandmother was Mrs Mungo Baggins, née Laura Grubb. In the successive draft versions of the Baggins genealogy given in The Peoples of Middle-earth, Miss. Grubb was originally named Lavinia, then Regina. The final name (Laura) was arrived at on the fourth of nine completed versions of the Baggins family tree.
    -------------------------
They lived on the Hill itself, in Number 3 Bagshot Row just below Bag End.

Bagshot Row was made up of three small hobbit-holes below Bag End (seen in Tolkien's painting of *The hill: hobbiton-across-the-Water*. [ http://fantasy.doom.bg/jrrtolkien/jrrtolkien23.jpg ].
Bagshot Row. The row of small 'holes' in the lane below Bag End, said to have been so named because the earth removed in excavating Bag End was shot over the edge of the sudden fall in the hillside onto the ground which later became the gardens and earthwalls of the humbler dwellings.

'Guide to Names in The Lord of the Rings.'


‘And no wonder they’re queer,’ put in Daddy Twofoot (the Gaffer’s next-door neighbour),

Daddy Twofoot must live in Number 2 Bagshot Row (presumably the hobbit-hole in the middle of the row).
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Postby -Rómestámo- » Mon Apr 12, 2004 7:46 am

<strong>Hornblowers</strong><BR><BR>Continuing JRRT's comments on Hobbit surnames:<UL><strong>Hornblower</strong>. <em>Hornblow</em> and <em>Hornblower</em> are English surnames. In the Shire they are evidently occupational surnames.<BR><BR>'Guide to Names in <em>The Lord of the Rings'</em>.</UL>
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Postby Alberich » Wed Apr 21, 2004 11:50 am

<strong>He held forth at The Ivy Bush, a small inn on the Bywater Road </strong> English pubs are traditionally called after the picture painted on the sign hanging outside their front door, by which people would have identified them when many were illiterate. 'Ivy Bush' is a perfectly likely name. One database of 60,000 British pub names <a href='http://www.jetlink.net/~bconroy/' target=_blank>http://www.jetlink.net/~bconroy/</a> lists five 'Ivy Bushes', though for some reason all are in Wales. There are also plain 'Ivy' or 'Ivy House' names all over England.<BR><BR>** edited to make link work
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Postby wilko185 » Wed Apr 21, 2004 2:11 pm

[not an annotation, just for interest]<BR>A bush is the traditional sign of a drinking-place, dating back to Roman times when grape vines were hung outside to represent the wine being sold. From this tradition an actual bush was apparently hung outside public houses in Britain, and ivy might be a good local approximation of grape vines.
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Postby roaccarcsson » Wed Apr 21, 2004 6:39 pm

Well, <strong>I</strong> think it belongs in the annotation. Along with a mention of the proverb "good ale needs no bush."<BR><BR>Here's a contribution:<BR><BR>The first names of the Sackville-Bagginses are not given in <em>The Hobbit</em>. "Otho" is an alternate spelling of the Germanic name "Otto," best known as the name of three successive 10th-century Holy Roman Emperors. "Lobelia" is the name of a widespread genus of flowering plants, named for a prominent 16th-century French-born physician and naturalist. There is a wide variety of cultivated lobelias, and no apparent way of knowing which one Tolkien might have had in mind. It may not be an accident that most species of lobelia are regarded as toxic. A picture of one common form is at this link:<BR><BR><a href='http://cactus.east.asu.edu/~cmartin/plants/lobeliaerinus.jpg' target=_blank>http://cactus.east.asu.edu/~cmartin/plants/lobeliaerinus.jpg</a><BR>
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Postby truehobbit » Thu Apr 22, 2004 5:27 pm

roac, as you said, there are numerous varieties of lobelias. I think calling them toxic, especially summarily, is a bit misleading.<BR><BR>Lobelia erinus, which is shown in your link, is indeed the most common garden plant, and therefore the one I have usually thought of in connection with the name.<BR>I had never heard of them being toxic (they certainly don't have a reputation for being so, at least over here), so I asked google about it.<BR>It seems that the variety with the best known or most used active substances is Lobelia inflata (which I've never seen in gardens).<BR>All varieties seem to have active substances, and their evaluation differs depending on the aims of whoever is writing about them. The same plant can thus be called harmless, medicinal or toxic. Dictionaries of toxic plants, for example, interpret the word to mean <em>every</em> plant that contains an active substance, leading to the inclusion of plants otherwise only known as medicinal or edible (after all the dose makes the poison).<BR>This site, A modern herbal <a href='http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/l/lobeli38.html' target=_blank>http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/l/lobeli38.html</a>, seems a fairly neutral assessment.<BR><BR>In case, however, that Tolkien was not thinking of the common garden Lobelia (erinus), but of the inflata variety, it might be interesting, that although it can hardly be called toxic in the ordinary sense of the word, it's effect is that of an emetic. <BR><img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>
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Postby roaccarcsson » Fri Apr 23, 2004 6:44 am

I'm not a gardener. I was just repeating what I found online - several different sites said toxicity is common in the genus. One said all Lobelias should be assumed to be toxic <strong>except</strong> <em>L. erinus.</em><BR><BR>(I don't read "toxic" as meaning "lethal." If it makes you throw up, isn't that toxic?)<BR><BR>Incidentally, <em>erinus</em> is very commonly planted in the Puget Sound area, but I have never seen it growing here in the Washignton, DC area. I have always assumed this is because it doesn't stand heat. Is that correct?
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Postby Aravar » Fri Apr 23, 2004 1:06 pm

<strong>of Bag End</strong><BR><BR>The name Bag End is a small joke on Tolkien's part. It is a pun on cul-de-sac, a distincly 'suburban' word for a dead end, which reflects Bilbo as an example of the English middle-class (see Shippey: The Road to Middle Earth 1st Ed pp55-56 ). <BR><BR>My own speculation: could the Road goes ever on.. be a reaction to the 'dead end'?
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Postby Queen_Beruthiel » Mon Apr 26, 2004 2:46 pm

I'm back from holiday. I'll play catch-up this week. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby roaccarcsson » Wed Apr 28, 2004 4:03 pm

More:<BR><BR><strong>old Ham Gamgee</strong><BR><BR>The Gaffer was born in 1326, and was thus about 75 at the time of the Party - not particularly old, in terms of the hobbit lifespan.<BR><BR><strong>the job was mainly carried on by his youngest son, Sam Gamgee</strong><BR><BR>Sam was born in S.R. 1380, and was thus no more than 21 at this time - the equivalent of a young teenager in human terms. In the late-Victorian society which Tolkien took as a model, however, it was not unusual for quite young children to "go into service."<BR><BR><strong>And <em>I</em> heard she pushed him in, and he pulled her in after him.</strong><BR><BR>Clearly we are not supposed to think this is "really" how Frodo's parents died. Nevertheless, even as slanderous gossip this stement seems inconsistent with Frodo's observation in Bk VI, ch. 8 that "No hobbit has ever killed another on purpose in the Shire." If murder were unknown in the Shire, surely it would not occur even to the malicious as a possiblity.<BR><BR><strong>The old man was Gandalf the Wizard, whose fame in the Shire was due mainly to his skill with fires, smokes, and lights</strong><BR><BR><em><OL>Fireworks have no special relation to me. They appear in the books (and would have done even if I disliked them) because they are part of the representation of <strong>Gandalf</strong>, beaqrer of the Ring of Fire, the Kindler: the most childlike aspect shown to the Hobbits being fireworks.</em></OL><BR>Letter 301.<BR><BR><strong>There were many Bagginses and Boffins</strong><BR><BR>In January of 1938, <em>The Observer</em> published a letter from a reader of <em>The Hobbit</em>, asking in a jocular manner for information about Tolkien's sources. Tolkien's reply was similar in its tone. In it he said of hobbits: "The full list of their wealthier families is: Baggins, Boffin, Bolger, Bracegirdle, Brandybuck, Burrowes, Chubb, Grubb, Hornblower, Proudfoot, Sackville, and Took." Letter 25. Contemporary letters to Allen & Unwin suggest that at this point he had completed only the first chapter of <em>LotR</em>. It will be seen however that the list of families had almost reached its final form; only "Goodbody" and "Brockhouse" are missing.<BR><BR><strong>Brockhouses</strong><BR><BR>In the "Guide to the names in the Lord of the Rings," Tolkien says: "Brock is an old word for the badger, still widely current in country speech up to the end of the nineteenth century. . . . Brock occurs in numerous place names, from which surnames are derived, such as Brockbanks. Brockhouse is, of course, feigned to be a hobbit name because the 'brock' builds complicated and well ordered underground dwellings or 'setts'." In Bk. VI, ch. 8 we have "Brockenbores" as the name of the refuge from which Fatty Bolger's guerilla band was smoked out by Sharkey's Men. And see the poem "The Adventures of Tom Bombadil," in which Tom has a run-in with "Badger-brock."
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Postby roaccarcsson » Wed Apr 28, 2004 7:50 pm

<strong>the Old Took himself had only reached 130</strong><BR><BR>The Old Took is mentioned in the opening pages of <em>The Hobbit</em> as the "head of the hobbits who lived across The Water, the small river that ran at the foot of The Hill." His numerous descendants who populate <em>LotR</em> are set out in detail in the notes to Bk I, ch. 2.
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Postby MithLuin » Sun May 02, 2004 6:31 pm

<strong>You don't belong here; you're no Baggins-you-you're a Brandybuck!</strong><BR><BR>Lobelia's strange insult is not entirely insulting, but it does reveal why she 'detested Frodo.' Frodo's mother was a Brandybuck, and after his parents' deaths he lived in Buckland at Brandy Hall. The only reason he is in Hobbiton at all is because Bilbo has adopted him. If Bilbo had not done this, surely Otho would have been his heir.<BR><BR><strong>fidgeting with something in his pocket.</strong><BR><BR>A few pages later, Frodo, speaking of his conversation with Lobelia, says, 'I nearly tried on Bilbo's ring. I longed to disappear.'<BR><BR>
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Postby roaccarcsson » Tue May 04, 2004 4:14 am

An addition to the opening note about "Bag End": The aunt to whom Tolkien refers in this note was Jane Neave, his mother's sister. See the Carpenter Biography at p. 106 (1st U.S. ed. 1977)<BR><BR><strong>trampling and trapessing all over the garden</strong><BR><BR>The <em>OED</em> defines "trapesing," with one "s," as "The action of the verb TRAPES." "Trapes," also spelled "traipse," is defined as "To walk in a trailing or untidy way." The <em>OED</em> goes on to say that "trapes/traipse" is pronounced as one syllable in "standard" English, but is a disyllable in many dialects. It appears from the spelling that the Gaffer would have made it two syllables.<BR><BR>The similarity between "trapessing" and 'tresspassing" may not be coincidence, al;though the connection is not certain. OED says that "The dialect forms trapass, traipass strongly recall O[ld]F[rench] trapasser, trapesser, trepasser, to pass over or beyond (see TRESPASS v., thought the senses do nor]t exactly fit."
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Postby roaccarcsson » Tue May 04, 2004 3:17 pm

Way to go, Queen B. Thanks.<BR><BR>Here's some more from the Family Trees:<BR><BR><strong>he had tended the garden at Bag End for forty years, and had helped old Holman in the same job before that</strong><BR><BR>On the next page, the Gaffer says that Holman was "my dad's cousin." This would be Holman Greenhand, b. 1292, son of Halfred Greenhand. Halfred's sister Rowan was the Gaffer's grandmother, having married Hob Gammidge the Roper. See "The Longfather-tree of Master Samwise" in Appendix C.<BR><BR><strong>But old Rory Brandybuck was not so sure.</strong><BR><BR>Rorimac Brandybuck, son of Gorbadoc, was Master of Buckland at this time. He was about 99, having been born in 1302; he died in 1408, before the main action of <em>LotR</em> begins, leaving the title of Master to his son Saradoc.<BR><BR><strong>he said to his daughter-in-law, Esmeralda</strong><BR><BR>Esmeralda Brandybuck, neé Took, was the wife of Saradoc and mother of Meriadoc. "Esmeralda" is the Medieval Latin word from which English "emerald" is derived, by way of French "emeraude."<BR><BR>
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Postby Alberich » Tue May 04, 2004 4:06 pm

According to the American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 'traipse' is "perhaps ultimately from Old French trespasser, to trespass"
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Postby roaccarcsson » Wed May 05, 2004 11:54 am

Alberich, thanks. The derivation tresapss > traipse certainly seemed likely to me, but I thought it was not in OED. On going back I find that the possible connection is discussed, in little bitty type which I had overlooked. I have edited my post.
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Postby Queen_Beruthiel » Wed May 05, 2004 4:38 pm

I just spotted this:

And there was also one last surprise, in honour of Bilbo, and it startled the hobbits exceedingly, as Gandalf intended. The lights went out. A great smoke went up. It shaped itself like a mountain seen in the distance, and began to glow at the summit. It spouted green and scarlet flames. Out flew a red-golden dragon...

Smaug!
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Postby roaccarcsson » Fri May 07, 2004 3:20 pm

There is an enormous amount to be said about Sam and the Gaffer. I have been debating for days about how to put it all together. It looks as though the only way I will ever get any of it up is to put it up piecemeal (and let Queen B., lucky her, deal with the problem of organization).

Gaffer Gamgee appears in almost the earliest of the many drafts of this chapter, as reproduced in HoME v. VI. The story had reached Rivendell before a new revision added the first name "Ham."

Sam had not appeared at all until this point; Frodo, who had been called "Bingo," was accompanied by a constantly shifting group of his younger relatives, Tooks, Brandybucks and Bolgers. "Sam Gamgee" is written in the margin of the same page of notes where Tolkien evidently recorded the final decision to change Bingo to Frodo. HoME v. VI at 221.

In constructing Sam's family tree, Tolkien illustrated the process by which "by-names" - names attached to an individual designating apperance, residence, occupation, etc. - became surnames inherited by children to whom they did not apply, and then might undergo phonetic changes that might obscure their origin. Thus "Hamfast of Gamwich" was the father of "Wiseman Gamwich," who was the father of "Hob Gammidge," who was the father of "Hobson Gamgee," who was the father of the Gaffer. To the extent that the Shire represents rural England in about 1900, this is anachronistic; surnames had become universal in most of England by the end of the Middle Ages.

It seems likely that Tolkien assumed at the outset that "Sam" was short for "Samuel" (as is usual in English-speaking countries). In the earlier manuscripts, a number of characters have names unambiguously derived from the Bible, notably "Barnabas Butterbur" and "Tobias Hornblower"; Tolkien is still calling Butterbur "Barnabas" while working on what the first draft of "The King of the Golden Hall." HoME v. VII at p. 448.

At some point, Tolkien evidently realized that the hobbits had no equivalent of the Bible, so that names derived from it could not be fitted into the fiction that LotR was translated from the Westron. As he said in Appendix VI:
I have not used names of Hebraic or similar origin in my transpositions. Nothing in Hobbit-names corresponds to this element in our names. Short names such as Sam, Tim, Tom, Mat were common as abbreviations of actual Hobbit-names, such as Tomba, Tolma, Matta and the like.


It seems likely that this "discovery" can be dated to about May of 1944, when Tolkien wrote to Christopher:
Sam by the way is an abbreviation not of Samuel but of Samwise (the Old E. for Half-wit) as is his father's name the Gaffer (Ham) for O.E. Hamfast or Stayathome.

Letter 72.

An online dictionary of Old English (published in 1916) defines sámwís as "stupid, dull, foolish." Here is a link to the page containing the entry:

http://penguin.pearson.swarthmore.edu/~scrist1/scanned_books/png/oe_clarkhall/b0249.png

(Note that some of the words shown there start with sám- while others begin with sam-, with a short "a." (The dictionary uses a macron to indicate vowel length, but this character is not available here.) The root sám- meant "half," like Latin semi-, of which it is a cognate. Sam- with a short "a" meant "together.")

Hámfæst also appears in the dictionary, where it is defined as "resident, settled in or owning a house."

http://penguin.pearson.swarthmore.edu/~scrist1/scanned_books/png/oe_clarkhall/b0145.png

The "King's Letter" to Sam, contained in the rejected Epilogue to LotR, renders "Samwise" into Sindarin as Perhael. Per evidently means "half," as in perian "Halfling." King Elessar says in the letter that Sam's name should rather be Panthael, "Full-wise." HoME, v. IX, at pp. 128-33.

[I will keep editing this post to add new material until it gets added to the master.]
Last edited by roaccarcsson on Fri May 14, 2004 7:08 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby Queen_Beruthiel » Fri May 07, 2004 4:18 pm

There is an enormous amount to be said about Sam and the Gaffer.


What about Gandalf? :shock:

I don't know where to start!
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Postby roaccarcsson » Sun May 09, 2004 2:24 pm

Well, I don't think everything about Gandalf has to be in one place. The logical place for the stuff about his ultimate origins, it seems to me, is at his reappearance in Bk III ch 5.

I will try to put up some stuff this evening on the name "Gandalf."
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Postby roaccarcsson » Mon May 10, 2004 3:08 pm

Tolkien took the name "Gandalf" from the Old Norse poem called Völuspá, the "Song of the Sybil" or "The Seeress's Prophecy"). The name occurs in a list of names of Dwarves (the "Dvergatal)," from which all the Dwarf-names in The Hobbit are taken. Here is the line in which the name occurs:

Vigr og Gandálfr, Vindálfr, Þorinn.

"Þorinn" is Thorin; the Old Norse alphabet uses the runic character "Þ," called "thorn," to represent the sound written "th" in English. The "-r" at the end of the first three names in the line is the inflectional ending for the nominative case in most masculine nouns (cognate with "-us" in Latin). In other words, the name would be written Gandálfr in Old Norse if the person was the subject of the sentence ("Gandalf hewed the Balrog"); if he were the object of the sentence ("The Balrog clutched Gandalf"), the name would be written Gandálf without the "-r." For masculine nouns ending in "-n," the "-r" is "assimilated" and appears as a doubled "-nn," as in Þorinn. It is usual to drop the inflectional endings (and the diacritical marks indicating vowel length), as Tolkien does, when writing Old Norse names in English. Og in the quoted line means "and," so the line would be translated "Vig and Gandalf, Vindalf, Thorin."

"Gandalf" also appears in Heimskringla, Snorri Sturluson's legendary history of the kings of Norway, as a the name of a petty king conquered by Harald Fairhair in his successful campaign to unify Norway under his rule. Haralds saga harfagra, chs. 1 & 2. Tolkien certainly knew Heimskringla, but it seems unlikely that this "Gandalf" had anything to do with the wizard. The author explicitly stated that Völuspá was his source for the name. See Letter 297, Letters at p. 383 (1st U.S. ed.).
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Postby Queen_Beruthiel » Mon May 10, 2004 4:06 pm

Arrghhhhhh!!!!!

I can't edit properly! This new format is evil. Evil, I tell you! :x
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