The Cumbrian word “carrec” = “rock”.  Cumbrian was spoken between 500 and 1000 CE north and a bit east of Wales and is closely related to Welsh.  Elements of the Cumbric language can be found place names and family names, which we know Tolkien loved to study.

Word fans, like any good scholar I use Wikipedia only as a place to get the right keywords for deeper searches (or to answer simple everyday questions like “what is earwax?”).  Today, I am stumped for further sources and must give you what I have until a later day – a day when my Cumbric language and cultural history skills have a boost.  Comments with leads and clues are very welcome, and I will be carefully sifting my Philology class notes.

Here’s what we know:  Carrock Fell is a high ground in the lake district of Britain.  This fell is unusually rocky, geologically distinct from neighboring landmarks, topped by the remains of an Iron Age hill fort, and was climbed by Charles Dickens.

Castle Carrock is a village about five miles away which hosts the Music on the Mar festival and boasts a newly re-opened pub.  The village newsletter is available on the web, and I know what destination vacation has been added to my bucket list!

I have added the tag “British” to this word meaning British-not-English and wish a good morning to the kind folk of Castle Carrock.

  • 07.012 the Carrock I believe he calls it.
  • 07.015 And why is it called the Carrock?’
  • 07.016 He called it the Carrock,
  • 07.016 because carrock is his word for it.
  • 07.016 He calls things like that carrocks,
  • 07.016 and this one is the Carrock
  • 07.023 on the top of the Carrock at night watching the moon
  • 07.089 and of how they had all been brought to the Carrock,
  • 07.117 I followed these as far as the Carrock.
  • 07.117 to get from this bank to the Carrock by the ford,
  • 07.130 that joined the great river miles south of the Carrock.
  • 07.130 North of the Carrock
  • 07.130 for at a place a few days’ ride due north of the Carrock
  • 07.131 for a hundred miles north of the Carrock
  • 07.142 when we landed on the Carrock,’

“Castle Carrock Cumbrian Village.” N.p., n.d. Web.

“Carrock Fell.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 01 June 2015.


Uncanny – in meaning 4 “not to be trusted as being associated with supernatural arts or powers” – made perfect sense as the opposite of canny – “wise and safe and to be trusted.”  Gandalf is both uncanny and canny in these senses, as he is wise and eminently trustable and good.  This word is a Scottish regionalism and here I am eating another slice of humble pie, as the word is used not for low effect but by painting the picture with mystery and magic, to heighten the passages.

  • 04.002 for the echoes were uncanny,
  • 06.065 and uncanny fire.
  • 08.006 in the enormous uncanny darkness.

“unˈcanny, adj.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2015. Web. 20 May 2015.


I am learning humility.

The word “delve” is labelled by the OED as northern and Scottish – and right up against Wales, one source says it is specifically to dig two spades deep.  Clearly that’s a regional, parochial word, one which I should by my own arbitrary rule tag as “low”.  It’s also in the middle of a rather high-register poem in a position rhyming with “elves”, which by any first approximation should make it be tagged “high”.  I have tagged it both.

  • 01.078 And harps of gold; where no man delves

“delve, v.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2015. Web. 20 May 2015.