Back to it!

Friends, to my surprise there are fewer than 200 instances of lie, lies, lying, lain, lied, lay, lays, laying, or laid. I’ve corralled them all, and I feel that I must go with much deliberation through the list. I like knowing that you’re on this journey with me. If I have missed a Modern English form of any of the three words under consideration (“lie” as in down, “lay”, and “lie” as in prevaricate), please do remind me.

New meditations

Friends, I’m delighted to announce that the meditation manual is available which accompanies the days from Imbolc (tonight or tomorrow or next week, depending on your calendar; or in August, depending on your hemisphere) to Ostara (the spring equinox).

This time of the year is difficult for me, and I imagine it is for many. Will you join me on our meditations and walks and imaginings? Our Morning Meanders are available through Kindle.

Resting for a couple of weeks

Word Fans, you know how much I want to sort these words! Some of you also know how I need to honor the darkest days with rest (and fish and berries and a cave). I’m going to not push myself to do lie/lay/lie until I have the time to make it a pleasure – resting for the holy days of darkness.

Until seeing,


Friends, this is “lie” as in “lie down” because the next line of the song is “There lay they long” and, as we all know, “lay” is the past tense of “lie”.

It’s going to take me the whole weekend, at least, to sort out Lie/Lay/Lie among the words of the Hobbit, so meanwhile for your pleasure, here’s the video on the topic that I made for my wonderful students:

I. 1. a. intransitive. Of persons or animals: To be in a prostrate or recumbent position. Formerly also with reflexive pronoun.

“lie, v.1.” OED Online, Oxford University Press, December 2019, Accessed 6 December 2019.


Someone – not I – should make a little frequency distribution chart of who is being referred to with each of these 110 instances. I double-dog-dare you.

My own students, please take note (colleagues, do as you please!!!):

Man was considered until the 20th cent. to include women by implication, though referring primarily to males. It is now frequently understood to exclude women, and is therefore avoided by many people.

“man, n.1 (and int.).” OED Online, Oxford University Press, December 2019, Accessed 5 December 2019.

• 1.007 was an old man with a staff.
• 1.012 pretending to take no more notice of the old man.
• 1.012 But the old man did not move.
• 1.017 Not the man that used to make
• 1.078 And harps of gold; where no man delves
• 1.078 Was sung unheard by men or elves.
• 1.080 And men looked up with faces pale;
• 1.098 that there was a man of the sort
• 1.099 You asked me to find the fourteenth man for your expedition,
• 1.099 Just let any one say I chose the wrong man or the wrong house,
• 1.109 and men of Dale.’
• 1.122 and treated with great reverence by the mortal men,
• 1.123 from men
• 2.036 when Balin, who was always their look-out man, said:
• 2.115 nor by any smith among men
• 3.032 and the first men
• 4.003 since the dragons had driven men from the lands,
• 5.008 that men have mostly never heard or have forgotten long ago.
• 5.054 man at table sitting on a stool,
• 5.129 No great leap for a man,
• 6.014 of a look-out man who let people walk right into them
• 6.061 like men do on horses.
• 6.062 bold men had of late been making their way back into it from the South,
• 6.095 anywhere near where men lived.
• 7.021 a man that calls rabbits conies,
• 7.022 sometimes he is a great strong black-haired man with huge arms
• 7.022 Others say that he is a man
• 7.022 descended from the first men who lived
• 7.023 and as a man he keeps cattle and horses
• 7.034 Standing near was a huge man with a thick black beard
• 7.036 of the man’s brown tunic.
• 7.038 growled the man.
• 7.042 Goblins?’ said the big man less gruffly.
• 7.044 said the man leading the way through a dark door
• 7.069 The big man was frowning at first,
• 7.070 in my merry men,
• 7.122 or to take vengeance on the men
• 8.131 and after the coming of Men they took ever more
• 9.006 he told his men to unbind them,
• 9.018 or from the vineyards of Men
• 9.019 It seemed a town of Men still throve there,
• 10.007 not a town of elves but of Men,
• 10.008 But men remembered little of all that,
• 10.009 Soon men would come up from the South
• 10.028 and with six men about them he led them over the bridge
• 10.033 of the Men of the Lake,
• 10.041 and wiser than the men of the town,
• 11.001 but none of the men of the town would stay with them
• 12.005 the look-out man,
• 12.015 since Men changed the language
• 12.032 that men had come up from the river and the lake
• 12.084 The Men of Dale used to have the trick
• 12.084 to fly to the Men of the Lake
• 12.103 but if you are not one of those men of the Lake,
• 13.048 wide enough for many men abreast.
• 14.002 The men of the lake-town Esgaroth
• 14.012 and the shouts of men
• 14.013 if it had not been for the grim-voiced man
• 14.016 Already men were jumping
• 14.016 Now men cursed their names.
• 14.023 With a shriek that deafened men,
• 14.031 and have not endured the rule of mere fighting men.
• 14.032 We have had enough of the old men
• 14.033 I am the last man
• 14.035 if he could but find the men.
• 14.037 unless it was to call loudly for men to bring him fire
• 14.038 Men spoke of the recompense for all their harm
• 14.042 and the men
• 14.043 and with him were some men of crafts
• 14.044 But all the men of arms
• 15.017 in battle with the men of Esgaroth
• 15.019 By the lake men murmur
• 15.020 he is a grim man but true.
• 15.020 and men
• 15.031 Before long they could see that both men of the lake armed
• 15.046 A tall man stood forward,
• 15.048 the dwellings of the men of Esgaroth,
• 15.050 no man has a claim,
• 15.053 with armed men at my gate.
• 15.056 for the comfort of the men of the Lake.’
• 16.006 and snow will bite both men
• 16.042 As they passed through the camp an old man,
• 17.003 before whom an old man wrapped
• 17.008 and at the same moment the old man opened the casket
• 17.016 The old man with the casket
• 17.032 Trumpets called men
• 17.044 and Men
• 17.045 and themselves to man the great spurs
• 17.048 on the Eastern spur were men
• 17.048 and some of the nimblest of men
• 17.048 A few brave men were strung before them
• 17.051 and beside them came the men of the Lake with long swords.
• 17.054 and men,
• 17.057 and Men!
• 17.059 lay many men
• 17.059 and upon either side men
• 18.005 Suddenly he was aware of a man climbing up
• 18.007 said the man halting
• 18.010 said the man striding forward.
• 18.012 said the man,
• 18.013 The man was swift
• 18.021 and men on either side of the valley
• 18.043 in man’s shape,
• 18.051 and men came from far
• 18.051 so that men went abroad without fear.
• 18.051 the men of his line had the power of taking bear’s shape,
• 18.051 and some were grim men
• 19.002 With strength that men trusted
• 19.043 and men had gathered to him
• 19.043 and men.