I dedicate the entry for this common word to Professor Verlyn Flieger, in honor of her gracious inspiration to all scholars.  It’s a noun, a verb, an adjective, an adverb, all of long lineage from Old English to Old Norse, but the OED says, ultimately, “of unknown origin”.

I am particularly enchanted by the use of the word in 07.022 – “In the name of all wonder…”  In Gandalf’s mind, at least, “all wonder” fits nicely into a phrase where we might call upon deity.

  • 01.017 Not the fellow who used to tell such wonderful tales at parties,
  • 01.046 and wondered what had happened,
  • 01.046 while he was wondering
  • 01.058 and was beginning to wonder
  • 01.122 and the toy market of Dale was the wonder of the North.
  • 01.125 I have often wondered about my father’s
  • 02.054 and wondering how to make owl-noises
  • 02.072 who was wondering where
  • 03.020 Most astonishing wonderful!
  • 03.036 I wonder?” said Thorin
  • 05.001 he wondered if he had;
  • 05.008 and recover wonderfully from falls
  • 05.013 but he was wondering a lot about Bilbo,
  • 05.084 very wonderful.
  • 05.105 I wonder?’ he said to himself,
  • 05.119 and wonder.
  • 06.003 He wondered whether he ought not,
  • 06.006 and wondering
  • 06.024 and the hobbit wondered if he guessed
  • 06.087 and wondered if he could hold on any longer.
  • 06.090 He wondered what other nonsense he had been saying,
  • 06.092 He had just strength to wonder
  • 07.022 and in the name of all wonder don’t mention the word furrier
  • 07.046 wondering what their names could be,
  • 07.093 for the convenience of the wonderful animals
  • 07.107 Bilbo wondered what it was,
  • 07.113 waited on by Beorn’s wonderful animals,
  • 07.122 nor did they have to wonder long where he had been or why he was so nice to them,
  • 08.041 All the time he was wondering whether there were spiders
  • 08.078 and he stood a long while wondering
  • 08.125 Indeed they really expected him to think of some wonderful plan for helping them,
  • 08.129 They wondered what evil fate had befallen him,
  • 08.145 he began to wonder what had become of his unfortunate friends.
  • 09.021 and wondered if it could be used for the escape of his friends,
  • 09.044 Small wonder if I fall asleep from weariness!’
  • 09.045 Small wonder,’
  • 09.051 He wondered what on earth would happen to them without him;
  • 09.057 Bilbo wondered what the dwarves were feeling
  • 09.058 and he wondered if he would die of it before the luck turned,
  • 10.036 The Wood-elves themselves began to wonder greatly
  • 10.043 and he wondered if Thorin was
  • 11.031 wondering what on earth was the matter;
  • 12.015 in the days when all the world was wonderful.
  • 12.020 and wondered why he had never blocked it up.
  • 12.068 He had never bothered to wonder
  • 12.076 and wonderful, indeed,’
  • 12.096 They wondered
  • 13.013 Now I wonder what on earth
  • 13.039 and he began to wonder nervously
  • 13.056 I wonder how many breakfasts,
  • 13.071 and wondered;
  • 14.020 in wonder
  • 15.049 yet he had an eye for many another wonderful thing
  • 16.003 wondering what would happen,
  • 16.036 whose eyes were used to things of wonder and beauty,
  • 16.040 The Elvenking looked at Bilbo with a new wonder.
  • 16.040 But I wonder if Thorin Oakenshield will see it so.
  • 16.046 and wondered anxiously
  • 17.003 Wondering,
  • 17.010 But wonder overcame him
  • 17.065 Many wondering eyes looked up,
  • 18.002 Now I wonder what has happened?’
  • 18.014 I began to wonder if even your luck would see you through!
  • 19.037 it was a great deal more than a nine days’ wonder.

“wonder, n.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, June 2017. Web. 5 September 2017.

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