It’s an Olllld English word, first meaning “a torch” and then the fire on the torch, related to many Germanic words bound together by the sense of “shiny”. I am tempted to try “blazin'” as my new enthusiasm-communicating word.

“blaze, n.1.” OED Online, Oxford University Press, June 2020, Accessed 10 July 2020.

See how sparingly JRRT uses it! See how it anchors the very pivot point of the book!

[17.041] ‘Halt!’ cried Gandalf, who appeared suddenly, and stood alone, with arms uplifted, between the advancing dwarves and the ranks awaiting them. ‘Halt!’ he called in a voice like thunder, and his staff blazed forth with a flash like the lightning. ‘Dread has come upon you all! Alas! it has come more swiftly than I guessed. The Goblins are upon you! Bolg of the North is coming, O Dain! whose father you slew in Moria. Behold! the bats are above his army like a sea of locusts. They ride upon wolves and Wargs are in their train!’

• 1.079 The trees like torches blazed with light.
• 6.058 with eyes blazing
• 6.078 till beards blaze, and eyes glaze;
• 7.084 and the forest beginning to blaze
• 8.063 he stumbled forward into the full blaze of the fire
• 8.070 There’s a regular blaze of light
• 12.022 and up he soared blazing into the air
• 12.027 at any moment he might come blazing down
• 14.013 the dragon’s wrath blazed to its height,
• 17.041 and his staff blazed forth

One thought on “Blaze

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