Not Scottish but Irish in origin, I gave it the Scottish tag temporarily as “from within the United Kingdom, but alien”.  It means, of course, “little smithers”, particles or atoms, and has not been observed as a singular in the wild.

  • 12.101 in a jumble of smithereens,

“smithereens, n.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2015. Web. 1 June 2015.

“ˈsmithers, n.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2015. Web. 1 June 2015.


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.


Bilbo wishes confustication on the dwarves, dwarves wish the same on him.  OED calls this one colloquial and its etymology “Fantastic alteration of confound and confuse”, attested in the 1891 Farmer and Henley dictionary of American slang and… 1937, The Hobbit.  We may have just been handed our own silver platter as collateral, but that’s just fine with me.

  • 01.059 Confusticate and bebother these dwarves!’
  • 06.012 confusticate him!’
  • 08.064 Hi! hobbit, confusticate you,

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


This word is labeled “colloquial or vulgar” by the OED, so it earns the “low” tag, and the entry for its etymology is too fun not to share:

probably of English dialectal origin;  flummock slovenly person, also hurry, bewilderment, flummock to make untidy, disorder, to confuse, bewilder … The formation seems to be onomatopoeic, expressive of the notion of throwing down roughly and untidily; compare flump, hummock, dialect slommock sloven.

In our story, only beloved Bilbo is ever flummoxed.

  • 01.058 who was feeling positively flummoxed,
  • 01.090 he was so flummoxed.
  • 05.014 altogether flummoxed

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


Gollum has his own category of words, such as “iss” and “preciouss”, which would have been knocked out when the Python script eliminated The Ten Thousand most common words but for his speech impediment.  I have just crossed out another one which I believe deserves special mention.

Dursn’t is not simply the negative form of dare.  Google’s Ngram function reports that “dursn’t” and “dassn’t” were used in roughly the same proportion from 1800 until now – less than 20 times as frequently as “daren’t”.  Gollum uses a less common form, enhancing his hermit reputation.

  • 05.124 But we dursn’t go in,
  • 05.124 no we dursn’t.

I will find out if any of my local libraries subscribe to the OED on line in order to better research the antiquity of words.  If not, I will be taking advantage in May of the OED’s free 30 day trial – more answers then.

OED update!  The word history of “dare” is a fascinating rabbit hole and I highly recommend it as summer reading.  The letter S plays a merry game of hide-and-seek in this word.  “Durst” is given as a past tense, co-equal with “dared” and listed first which I believe means that it is attested as older – it’s also tagged as colloquial in some uses.  Is Gollum using it in the present tense?