Bilbo utters the funniest shriek of the whole novel –

  • 01.092 he began to feel a shriek coming up inside,
  • 01.095 but one shriek like that
  • 04.036 shrieking and skriking,
  • 04.037 before the sword shrieking into the darkness.
  • 04.048 and Beater!” they shrieked;
  • 05.076 shrieked Gollum,
  • 05.093 shrieked Gollum.
  • 05.130 All at once there came a blood-curdling shriek,
  • 05.132 then they’ll have heard his shrieking
  • 06.068 shrieking back to their caves,
  • 14.012 Amid shrieks
  • 14.023 With a shriek that deafened men,
  • 18.021 or driving them down shrieking


Most uses of rustle seem full of danger and adventure in The Hobbit, but the mention in Chapter 2 is comical:

[02.039] …and do what they could they made a deal of rustling and crackling and creaking (and a good deal of grumbling and dratting), as they went through the trees in the pitch dark

  • 02.039 they made a deal of rustling
  • 08.037 A few leaves came rustling down
  • 12.008 hear the rustle of the whispering voices of the others just outside.
  • 13.001 and rustled in the tunnel.
  • 14.040 Leaves rustled


Only in Mirkwood do we find the word ruffle – once as the sound of feet among the leaves (as in ruffles and flourishes) and once as in disturbed smoothness – within five paragraphs of one another.

  • 08.037 Their feet ruffled
  • 08.042 ruffled here and there by the breeze;

“ruffle, n.4.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2015. Web. 29 May 2015.

“ruffle, v.1.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2015. Web. 29 May 2015.

“ruffle, v.3.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2015. Web. 29 May 2015.


The last roaring is part of a magnificent image of Beorn:

The roar of his voice was like drums and guns; and he tossed wolves and goblins from his path like straws and feathers. He fell upon their rear, and broke like a clap of thunder through the ring.

  • 01.079 The pines were roaring on the height,
  • 07.099 and like a tide it roared and rolled;
  • 10.006 like a distant roar.
  • 12.021 roaring like thunder underground,
  • 12.029 with a noise like a roaring wind.
  • 12.031 they could hear the roar of the flying dragon grow
  • 12.101 they heard the roar
  • 14.011 before the roar of Smaug’s terrible approach grew loud,
  • 14.013 Roaring he swept back over the town.
  • 14.024 The lake roared in.
  • 17.040 Winter thunder on a wild wind rolled roaring up
  • 17.051 there rose from across the valley a deep-throated roar.
  • 18.023 The roar of his voice was like drums


Shivers down our spines?  High-register word!

  • 02.072 than he gave an awful howl.
  • 02.080 It made him howl,
  • 04.012 The wind was howling
  • 04.033 The Great Goblin gave a truly awful howl of rage
  • 04.036 howls, growls and curses;
  • 04.044 and howls
  • 06.049 All of a sudden they heard a howl away down hill,
  • 06.049 a long shuddering howl.
  • 06.049 It was wolves howling at the moon,
  • 06.056 for there were howls all round them now,
  • 06.058 howling into the clearing.
  • 06.065 while those that were burning were running about howling
  • 06.067 and hear the howling
  • 06.070 and howling round the trunks,
  • 06.082 There was a howl of anger
  • 07.132 in which there came the howl of hunting wolves
  • 17.048 and howls rent the air afar.
  • 17.059 The bodyguard of Bolg came howling against them,