Food Mini-Concordance

Here they are, all the food words in one post!  I’ve set this up now to catch all the posts about food as well.


There are rather over a gross of instances of the word “good” in The Hobbit, but for now we will focus on just one form, “goods”.  OED tells us that “good” as

III. A particular thing that is good or beneficial.

is rare in the singular, and that the usual use is in the plural form with a plural verb – “goods are” – although with a singular verb, as a collective noun, is acceptable although rare – “goods is”.

In fact the entire entry for “Good” is absolutely fascinating and a long, long rabbit hole down which to fall.  Goods can be commodities, livestock, acts of piety, and in our case, food.

  • 07.068 Or were you carrying lots of goods?
  • 09.018 and other goods,
  • 09.019 and other goods came up the rivers,
  • 10.009 and others they would fill with goods
  • 14.025 and goods
  • 14.042 but great store of goods he sent ahead by water.
  • 15.050 The price of the goods



“good, adj., n., adv., and int.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, September 2016. Web. 4 October 2016.


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.


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.