Amuse

The “a-” prefix 1 intensifer is at work here, putting one intensely in the power of the muses.  OED notes that Shakespeare never used the word.  I find it notable that amusements end well before the capture in Mirkwood.

  • 01.020 Very amusing for me,
  • 04.013 and set dancing up by the roof to amuse them.
  • 06.071 and they soon had a plan which seemed to them most amusing.

“amuse, v.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2015. Web. 18 May 2015.

Amid

While OED does not specify which “a-” this is, it does tell us it’s from “on middan”, so my money is on preposition 1 (in the situation).

  • 03.050 Now they rode away amid songs of farewell
  • 10.037 amid scenes of astonishing enthusiasm.
  • 14.012 Amid shrieks
  • 14.043 amid the ruined piles of the old town.

“amid, adv. and prep.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2015. Web. 18 May 2015.

Amaze

I am fascinated to notice that in Chapter 17, amazement only occurs in companionship with confusion.  This is a use of “a-” prefix 1 – towards and therefore intensifier of the sensation of being in a maze.

  • 16.036 in amazement.
  • 17.009 with amazement and confusion.
  • 17.042 Amazement and confusion fell upon them all.

“amaze, v.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2015. Web. 18 May 2015.

Aloud

“Aloud” uses the “a-” preposition 1 meaning, in the situation of loudness.

  • 01.059 he said aloud.
  • 01.137 and accidentally said it aloud.
  • 05.063 he said aloud.
  • 06.088 and he found himself saying aloud:
  • 12.060 he said aloud.
  • 12.067 and Smaug laughed aloud.
  • 12.077 exclaimed Bilbo aloud,
  • 13.010 he squeaked aloud.
  • 13.033 They spoke aloud,
  • 13.040 Thorin!’ he cried aloud.

“aloud, adv. and adj.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2015. Web. 18 May 2015.

Aloft

“Aloft” for both Bilbo’s tiny light by which he finds the Arkenstone and for holding up the Arkenstone itself.  The “a-” comes from the old phrase ‘on loft” and the “a-” preposition 1 use, position within a situation: the object is in the situation of being up there in loftiness.  Or in the loft, if you prefer.

  • 13.018 start across the floor holding his tiny light aloft.
  • 17.008 and held aloft the jewel.

“a, prep.1.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2015. Web. 18 May 2015.

“aloft, adv. and prep.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2015. Web. 18 May 2015.

Allude

How interesting that we only see the word “allude” in one chapter!  This word uses the Latin prefix ad- ludere, “to play at” someone, “to imitate or mock”, and eventually as we use it, “to refer”.

  • 10.003 alluding to him chiefly with a curse
  • 10.036 no songs had alluded to him even

“allude, v.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2015. Web. 18 May 2015.

Alike

Gandalf says it with regard to Bilbo’s share of the troll treasure, a nice homey aphorism for coming home.  Our good friends at the OED report that “alike” probably has multiple sources.  The Scandinavian and German roots of the word use prefix 3 (“on” and “onto”), and the other source is Middle and obsolete Modern English “ylike”, the “y-” prefix indicating completeness being reduced to “a-” prefix 2.

  • 19.026 and share alike!

“a-, prefix2.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2015. Web. 18 May 2015.

“a-, prefix3.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2015. Web. 18 May 2015.

“alike, adv.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2015. Web. 18 May 2015.