The first time we encountered this word, it applied to a tactile sensation, not gustatory, so I skimmed right past it, but now – bitterness we can taste.  That’s a food word to me!

  • 04.002 It was getting bitter cold up here,
  • 12.020 in size but provided with a bitter sword
  • 12.070 that your success has made you some bitter enemies?’
  • 13.051 A bitter easterly breeze blew with a threat of oncoming winter.
  • 14.034 and bitter words were shouted from many sides;
  • 14.038 for the night was bitter
  • 17.050 and bitter.
  • 18.018 This is a bitter adventure,


The container to hold liquids to be carried through the air and the container to hold air to be floated upon the water are the same word.  In these two uses, the former meaning applies.

  • 12.014 and vessels filled with a wealth that could not be guessed.
  • 14.011 Every vessel

“vessel, n.1.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, June 2016. Web. 4 July 2016.


“Crack” carries many different meanings in this work.  As I scan for food words past the thrush chapter, I can’t resist adding this sound word to our concordance.  Remember to separate sound-meanings of the words from crevice-meanings in your work.  I apologize – I seem to have been behyphenated.

  • 01.064 Chip the glasses and crack the plates!
  • 01.123 and cracking
  • 04.002 and the crack of stone.
  • 04.014 He dreamed that a crack
  • 04.015 A crack had opened at the back of the cave,
  • 04.016 and carried through the crack,
  • 04.017 The crack closed with a snap,
  • 04.019 Clap! Snap! the black crack!
  • 04.021 Swish, smack! Whip crack!
  • 04.023 and cracked their whips behind.
  • 05.129 he only just missed cracking his skull
  • 05.146 through the crack.
  • 06.022 which was only open a crack,
  • 06.028 he had nipped inside the crack,
  • 06.040 in a fearful confusion of slipping, rattling, cracking slabs
  • 06.052 like old gentlemen gone cracked
  • 06.078 till hair smells and skins crack,
  • 06.079 the lower branches cracked.
  • 07.067 a crack at the back of the cave opened;
  • 07.075 – and slipped inside the crack
  • 11.014 like a dark crack
  • 11.030 At that very moment he heard a sharp crack
  • 11.030 Crack!
  • 11.030 Crack!
  • 11.030 Crack!
  • 11.032 There was a loud crack.
  • 11.038 Long straight cracks appeared
  • 12.029 in through the crack they had left
  • 12.031 until dawn came pale through the crack of the door.
  • 12.101 the walls cracked


I’ve broken my search for food words just because I thought to myself why on earth didn’t I cover “ring” before with words like chance and fortune?  This one will be worth graphing with Lexos in the near future.

“Ring” the circular metal adornment comes from German roots having to do with roundness.  “Ring” the sonorous verb and accompanying sound word are a completely separate word from German roots with its own lovely history (in some places a weak verb, in others strong – ring, rang, rung).  The Careful Scholar will, of course, separate the jewelry from the sound when analyzing “ring” in the work.

  • 01.010 and blew out a beautiful grey ring of smoke
  • 01.025 there came a tremendous ring on the front-door bell,
  • 01.029 when there came another even louder ring at the bell.
  • 01.037 when loud came a ring at the bell again,
  • 01.037 and then another ring.
  • 01.047 Not a ring,
  • 01.123 and never enjoy a brass ring of it.
  • 04.013 and blew smoke rings,
  • 05.002 what felt like a tiny ring of cold metal lying on the floor of the tunnel.
  • 05.002 He put the ring
  • 05.062 There he found the ring he had picked up
  • 05.084 He had a ring,
  • 05.084 a golden ring,
  • 05.084 a precious ring.
  • 05.086 He wanted it because it was a ring of power,
  • 05.086 and if you slipped that ring on your finger,
  • 05.087 when such rings were still at large
  • 05.105 The ring felt very cold
  • 05.119 It seemed that the ring he had
  • 05.119 was a magic ring:
  • 05.122 and he had lost his ring.
  • 05.137 or a last trick of the ring
  • 05.138 and there was the ring still,
  • 05.149 They could not find Bilbo with the ring on,
  • 06.003 now he had the magic ring,
  • 06.005 He had still got the ring on,
  • 06.013 and slipping off the ring.
  • 06.015 and said nothing whatever about the ring;
  • 06.019 except about the finding of the ring
  • 06.050 Even magic rings are not much use against wolves –
  • 06.060 This glade in the ring of trees
  • 06.067 and looked down upon the ring of the Wargs,
  • 06.069 down, down towards the ring of the wolves
  • 06.072 Soon they had a ring of smoke
  • 06.072 a ring which they kept from spreading outwards;
  • 06.072 Outside the ring of dancing warriors with spears
  • 07.116 this is a splendid place for smoke rings!’
  • 07.116 he was so busy sending smoke rings
  • 08.058 and sitting on sawn rings of the felled trees
  • 08.059 and scrambled forwards into the ring
  • 08.063 Before he had time to slip on his ring,
  • 08.080 also Bilbo had slipped on his ring before he started.
  • 08.081 and ring or no ring
  • 08.081 and ring or no ring
  • 08.109 He had taken off his ring when he rescued Fili
  • 08.116 except to let the dwarves into the secret of his ring.
  • 08.118 He suddenly slipped on his ring,
  • 08.119 and burst through the ring.
  • 08.124 that they had come to the edge of a ring
  • 08.125 and the finding of the ring interested them so much
  • 08.125 with the ring
  • 08.125 and a magic ring –
  • 09.002 who popped on his ring
  • 09.011 never daring to take off his ring,
  • 09.017 One invisible ring was a very fine thing,
  • 09.026 in spite of his ring,
  • 09.063 Of course helped by his magic ring he got on very well at first,
  • 11.026 Since he has got an invisible ring,
  • 12.008 Then the hobbit slipped on his ring,
  • 12.040 I have got my ring
  • 12.044 and blessed the luck of his ring.
  • 12.096 of dwarf-linked rings
  • 13.008 Bilbo slipped on his ring
  • 13.008 ring or no ring.
  • 13.008 ring or no ring.
  • 13.035 clad in a coat of gold-plated rings,
  • 16.016 Bilbo put on his ring,
  • 16.020 and he slipped off his ring,
  • 17.049 Actually I may say he put on his ring early
  • 17.049 A magic ring of that sort is not a complete protection
  • 17.059 and they were forced into a great ring,
  • 18.008 Then Bilbo remembered his ring!
  • 18.009 hurriedly taking off the ring.
  • 18.023 and broke like a clap of thunder through the ring.
  • 19.039 His magic ring he kept a great secret,
  • 19.041 when there was a ring at the door.

“ring, n.1.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, June 2016. Web. 4 July 2016.

“ring, v.1.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, June 2016. Web. 4 July 2016.


What’s food for the ponies [11.013] is food for the blog:

  • 01.008 and the grass was very green.
  • 03.001 for there was plenty of grass,
  • 03.012 The last green had almost faded out of the grass,
  • 06.040 and the long grasses between the boulders,
  • 07.005 and wide grass lands,
  • 07.014 and then began to march through the long green grass
  • 07.032 trotted up across the grass
  • 07.101 The grasses hissed, their tassels bent,
  • 07.132 galloping wherever the ground was grassy
  • 07.133 and all the while they saw nothing save grass
  • 07.133 sticking up out of the long grass,
  • 08.076 as he wiped his sword on the grass
  • 09.060 a round-bellied pony that was always thinking of rolling on the grass.
  • 10.035 And grass beneath the sun;
  • 11.004 There was little grass,
  • 11.013 and there was some grass for their ponies.
  • 11.015 At last tired out they rested on the grass at its feet,
  • 11.016 and so at last without mishap they reached the little grassy bay.
  • 11.020 but they used to call the little grassy space
  • 11.023 in the centre of the grass
  • 11.028 in the grassy bay gazing at the stone,
  • 11.030 in the grass was an enormous thrush,
  • 12.022 of the grassy terrace
  • 12.029 His hot breath shrivelled the grass before the door,
  • 12.096 green as grass,
  • 12.101 the scorched grass,
  • 16.011 I would give a good deal for the feel of grass at my toes.’
  • 19.002 Here grass is still growing,
  • 19.012 Soft is the grass, and let foot be like feather!
  • 19.027 and there was much grass
  • 19.030 Over grass


Same Germanic base as “food” and sharing a family tree with “foster” and “fodder”!

  • 06.072 That fire they fed with leaves
  • 08.084 Been feeding none too well of late,
  • 09.053 Where the kine and oxen feed!
  • 10.016 when we are fed
  • 10.037 and fed
  • 16.005 How shall you be fed

“feed, v.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, June 2016. Web. 30 June 2016.

“food, n.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, June 2016. Web. 30 June 2016.


Oh, “apple” is an old word!  Very old!  “Apple’s” roots dig right down to the oldest forms of German – and with cognates (disputed, but at least good enough for OED to mention) from Old Irish to Polish. There’s even a second century (100s) inscription in Burgh-by-Sands, Cumberland (Cumbria), England suggesting that the British name of the place was Aballava, perhaps we would say Appleton?  In all these forms the word means  either an apple, an apple tree, any fruit from a tree, or any fruit-bearing tree.

And remember, “apple” in Celtic languages has a soft “v” sound instead of “p” and forms the plural with an “an” sound at the end.  “Avalon” is “Apple” Isle.

Hail, eldest of words, most delicious of fruits.

  • 09.037 butter, apples, and all sorts of things,
  • 10.014 I hope I never smell the smell of apples again!’ said Fili.
  • 10.014 To smell apples everlastingly when you can scarcely move
  • 10.014 but not an apple!’

“apple, n.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, June 2016. Web. 30 June 2016.