Exiles, Outcasts, and Orphans

I am listening to Verlyn Flieger’s lectures of the “Tolkien’s World of Middle Earth” course at Signum University.   I hope to showcase the marvelous words which she holds up for consideration.  Right there in Lecture 1, she exhorts us to look for exiles, outcasts, and orphans throughout Tolkien’s work.  I searched for every variation on exile, outcast, orphan, and widow.  Here we go:

1.017 and the unexpected luck of widows’ sons?
14.033 and aid for our widows
14.033 and orphans?’

Both “widow” and “orphan” are common words for our purposes; I’ll run and add them to the concordance.  Now it is for someone else to follow up with the other works!

Your word trivia for today is that “exile” has an obsolete meaning of  “Slender, shrunken, thin; diminutive.”  Thank you, OED, it’s nice to be back in your shelter.

“exile, adj. and adv.” OED Online, Oxford University Press, July 2018, http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/66233. Accessed 5 October 2018.

Happy Birthday, Oxford English Dictionary!

In honor of the ninety year anniversary of the publication of the first edition, the Oxford English Dictionary offers individual subscriptions for £90 or $90 during this celebratory year.  I gratefully accept!  My institution no longer can afford its OED subscription, so I have been foundering a bit.  What to do without access to my much loved resource?  With these happy news about the special price, I have obtained my own subscription for the year: let the birthday candles glow!

I dearly hope they have a hundred-and-eleventh birthday event as well…

Mister Baggins

One of the great pleasures I have taken in joining the ranks of Tolkien scholarship is meeting and working collegially with such wonderful folks as Emily Austin, a scholar and visual artist.  Ms. Austin is in the middle of a project considering when Bilbo is called “Mr. Baggins” in the narrative, and I think she has caught on to something.

Ms. Austin, here are all the instances of “Mr. Baggins” (or the possessive form, or “Mister Baggins”) in the work. I think that with the help of the Hobbit Paragraph Index, your instinct is going to pay off.  Look to see who is calling him that – is it almost always Gandalf?  and not the narrator?

If you’d like the list of “Baggins” with or without “Mister”, or the list of “Bilbos”, I am, dear friend, at your service.

  • 1.012 said our Mr. Baggins,
  • 1.016 Mr. Bilbo Baggins.
  • 1.017 that Mr. Baggins was not quite so prosy
  • 1.043 Throng!’ thought Mr. Baggins.
  • 1.050 but poor Mr. Baggins said he was sorry so many times,
  • 1.058 thought Mr. Baggins,
  • 1.083 and very quickly he was plain Mr. Baggins
  • 1.090 Gandalf, dwarves and Mr. Baggins!
  • 1.091 To the estimable Mr. Baggins,
  • 1.096 Then Mr. Baggins turned the handle
  • 1.099 and I chose Mr. Baggins.
  • 1.100 I have chosen Mr. Baggins
  • 2.004 “What message?” said poor Mr. Baggins
  • 3.016 What brings Mister Baggins
  • 4.042 and here’s Mr. Baggins: fourteen!
  • 4.045 said poor Mr. Baggins bumping up
  • 5.009 in Mr. Baggins’ place,
  • 5.019 I am Mr. Bilbo Baggins.
  • 6.006 leaving Mr. Baggins
  • 6.018 Mr. Baggins,’
  • 6.024 Mr. Baggins has more about him than you guess.’
  • 6.05 near Mr. Baggins’ hole at home,
  • 6.056 and give Mr. Baggins a hand up!’
  • 7.022 Don’t be a fool Mr. Baggins if you can help it;
  • 7.03 Come on Mr. Baggins!
  • 7.039 That is Mr. Baggins,
  • 7.079 that Mr. Baggins had been mislaid.
  • 7.088 Mr. Baggins saw then how clever Gandalf had been.
  • 7.121 and he poked Mr. Baggins’ waistcoat most disrespectfully.
  • 7.136 Mr. Baggins’ eyes are sharper than yours,
  • 7.142 and I am sending Mr. Baggins with you.
  • 7.149 Mr. Baggins.
  • 8.016 Mr. Baggins is talking about.’
  • 8.041 Poor Mr. Baggins had never had much practice
  • 8.062 I shall send Mr. Baggins alone first to talk to them.
  • 8.076 made a great difference to Mr. Baggins.
  • 8.104 but Mr. Baggins was
  • 8.125 From which you can see that they had changed their opinion of Mr. Baggins very much,
  • 8.127 Mr. Baggins?
  • 9.011 Poor Mr. Baggins –
  • 9.012 it would have to be done by Mr. Baggins,
  • 9.015 until in fact the remarkable Mr. Invisible Baggins
  • 9.036 said Mr. Baggins to himself.
  • 9.061 In this way at last Mr. Baggins came to a place
  • 10.004 It might have been some comfort to Mr. Baggins
  • 10.016 and Mr. Baggins.
  • 10.016 Mr. Baggins.
  • 10.023 and Mr. Baggins who has travelled with us out of the West.’
  • 10.040 though doubtless Mr. Baggins remained a bit of a mystery.
  • 10.045 dwarves, Mr. Baggins,
  • 11.013 Mr. Baggins had more than the others.
  • 12.002 Now is the time for our esteemed Mr. Baggins,
  • 12.026 Get inside Mr. Baggins12.036 Mr. Baggins?’
  • 12.078 Mr. Baggins’ one idea was to get away.
  • 12.092 Mr. Baggins!’
  • 12.095 Mr. Baggins,
  • 13.010 At length Mr. Baggins could bear it no longer.
  • 13.017 Mr. Baggins was still officially their expert burglar
  • 13.036 Mr. Baggins!’
  • 13.039 All the same Mr. Baggins kept his head
  • 16.014 Mr. Baggins,
  • 16.022 I am Mr. Bilbo Baggins,’
  • 16.043 Well done! Mr. Baggins!’
  • 19.037 The return of Mr. Bilbo Baggins
  • 19.037 before Mr. Baggins was
  • 19.042 that Mr. Baggins’ waistcoat was more extensive
  • 19.047 Mr. Baggins,


A thank-you to Tom Shippey!

  • 1.117   even a Hero.
  • 1.117   and in this neighbourhood heroes are scarce,
  • 3.032   and heroes of the North for ancestors,
  • 12.006   dwarves are not heroes,
  • 18.002   ‘At any rate I am not yet one of the fallen heroes;

Works Cited so Far For Hyphen Project

Good morning, Word Fans!

It will be my pleasure to talk about hyphens at the Tolkien in Vermont conference in early April with fellow scholars – perhaps I’ll see you there?  Folks can find my references right here for their convenience.  The slides are posted here as well.

Works Cited

Alden, L. F. S. “A Tolkien Concordance”. Words That You Were Saying: An adventure through the words of The Hobbit.  WordPress, 2015. https://wordsthatyouweresaying.blog/concordance/

Alden, L. F. S. “Hyphen Mini-Concordance”. Words That You Were Saying: An adventure through the words of The Hobbit.  WordPress, 2017. https://wordsthatyouweresaying.blog/2017/05/13/hyphen-mini-concordance/

Alden, L. F. S. “Uncommon Words Revealing Adventures in Mirkwood” Words That You Were Saying: An adventure through the words of The Hobbit. WordPress, 2015.  https://wordsthatyouweresaying.blog/2015/06/14/uncommon-words-revealing-adventures-in-mirkwood/

Burroughs, F. G., Jr. Old English. Bowdoin College. Autumn, 1984. Lecture.

Carroll, Lewis. Through the Looking-Glass. Project Gutenberg, 2016. E-book.

Drout, Michael. “Germanic languages allow compounding…” Michael Drout: Timeline.  Facebook, September 19, 2017.  Informal post with disclaimer.

Flieger, Verlyn (2002-01-28). Splintered Light: Tolkien’s World, Revised Edition (Kindle Locations 931-940). Kent State University Press. Kindle Edition.

GIMP: GNU Image Manipulation Program. Open source software. Web. https://www.gimp.org/

LeBlanc, M.D., Drout, M., Kahn, M., Kleinman, S. Lexomics Tools. Wheaton College, 2013.  Web. http://lexos.wheatoncollege.edu/

OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2015, http://www.oed.com. Various dates 2015-2017.

Olsen, Corey. Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012. Print.

Parsons, Catriona NicIomhar.   Gàidhlig Immersion Week. Colaisde na Gàidhlig.  August, 1996.  Lecture.

Tolkien, J. R. R.  A Secret Vice: Tolkien on Invented Languages, edited by Dimitra Fimi and Andrew Higgins. HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Tolkien, J. R. R. “On Faerie Stories.” The Tolkien Reader. New York: Ballantine Books, 1966 (first Printing). Print.

Tolkien, J.R.R. The Annotated Hobbit.  Revised and expanded edition annotated by Douglas A. Anderson. Houghton Mifflin Company. Boston. Print.

Tolkien, J.R.R. The Hobbit: or There and Back Again. The Children’s Book Club.

Tolkien, J.R.R. The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien. Edited by Humphrey Carpenter. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.