Elf compounds

In comparing the hyphenated words, I have reached the elf compounds.  OED attests all of the words below.  Only “elf-fire” and “elf-friend” overlap with the elf compounds of The Hobbit!

I am particularly intrigued by words of elven persons.  OED has the compound with folk, girl, kingdom, lady, queen, and woman, while The Hobbit has guard, host, king, lord, maiden, and prince.

Now… you know me, Word Fans.  I dug a little deeper.  “Elven” is a noun, obviously, meaning a female elf, like fox/fixin and monk/minchin.  In its second meaning, however, it is a combining appositive or attributive form:

 2. Comb. (referring to a kind of imaginary being in the works of J. R. R. Tolkien).

and Elf-king is attested therein.

To be thorough, “elvish” is the OED’s adjective for elf, also spelled “elfish”.  Not “elven”.  That’s pure JRRT.

elf-arrow
elf-bolt
elf-bore
elf-castle
elf-child
elf-craft
elf-cup
elf-dance
elf-dart
elf-dock
elf-fire – found in The Hobbit
elf-flame
elf-flower
elf-folk
elf-friend – found in The Hobbit
elf-girl
elf-god
elf-horn
elf-house
elf-key
elf-kingdom
elf-knight
elf-knot
elf-lady
elf-land
elf-light
elf-like
elf-lock
elf-queen
elf-rod
elf-shoot
elf-shot
elf-speech
elf-stone
elf-stricken
elf-striking
elf-struck
elf-taken
elf-twisted
elf-wing
elf-woman
elf-wort

“elf, n.1.” OED Online, Oxford University Press, June 2017, http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/60431. Accessed 13 September 2017.

“elf-lock, n.” OED Online, Oxford University Press, June 2017, http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/60439. Accessed 13 September

“ˈelf-shoot, v.” OED Online, Oxford University Press, June 2017, http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/60441. Accessed 13 September 2017.

“ˈelf-shot, n.” OED Online, Oxford University Press, June 2017, http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/60442. Accessed 13 September 2017.

“ˈelven, n.” OED Online, Oxford University Press, June 2017, http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/60661. Accessed 13 September 2017.

“elvish, adj.” OED Online, Oxford University Press, June 2017, http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/60664. Accessed 13 September 2017.

Ordinal Directions

We have no cases of “northeast” or that lot, but look at our capitalizations!

  • 07.130 and then bore to the north-west.
  • 10.002 Its nearest neighbours to the North-East
  • 11.003 They made north-west,
  • 13.053 at the South-West corner of the Mountain.’
  • 16.004 coming from the North-East.
  • 17.046 rolling away to the South-East;

Roll

This very common word has joined the concordance in honor of its unusual use in the apple-barrel song of Chapter 9:

[09.049] Roll – roll – roll – roll,

roll-roll-rolling down the hole!

In the top line, the words “roll” are separated by spaces and hyphens, a repetitive phrase; but my goodness!  roll-roll-rolling has no spaces!  It is one word, and the OED assures us that the reduplicative is “a word form created by reduplication”.  I think that such a reduplicative even qualifies “roll-roll-rolling” as a vocable and sound play.

  • 01.066 Send them down the hall to roll!
  • 01.066 Send them down the hall to roll!
  • 02.070  and rolling nearly into the fire
  • 04.004  and go rolling
  • 04.036  and rolling
  • 04.043  – for dwarves can roll along at a tremendous pace,
  • 04.051  and the hobbit rolled off his shoulders into the blackness,
  • 06.040  rolled away from their feet;
  • 06.040  and rolling;
  • 06.065  and unless they rolled over quick they were soon all
  • 06.065  Very soon all about the glade wolves were rolling over
  • 07.035  He laughed a great rolling laugh,
  • 07.093  in rolling round drum-shaped sections of logs,
  • 07.094  Beorn in his deep rolling voice told tales
  • 07.099 and like a tide it roared and rolled;
  • 07.108  and had rolled down with a bump from the platform on to the floor.
  • 08.104  and rolled off the branch dead.
  • 08.108  that he just rolled off the branch
  • 09.048  they answered rolling the barrels to the opening.
  • 09.049  Roll – roll – roll – roll,
  • 09.049 roll-roll-rolling down the hole!
  • 09.054  was being rolled to the doors!
  • 09.055  the barrel rolled round
  • 09.059  roll off again
  • 09.060  a round-bellied pony that was always thinking of rolling on the grass.
  • 10.034  and it rolled loud
  • 12.076  The dragon rolled over.
  • 13.008  and rolled headlong into the hall!
  • 14.033  in the roll of the benefactors of our town;
  • 16.047  in turn rolled himself up
  • 17.040  Winter thunder on a wild wind rolled roaring up
  • 17.046  rolling away to the South-East;

 

“reduplicative, n. and adj.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, June 2017. Web. 5 September 2017.

Were-worm

This word escaped our original edition of the concordance because I lemmatized it under “worm”, a common word.  But now that we’re thinking about hyphens, I’ve returned to rescue this delightful word from the shadows.  If anyone knows of a good paper about were-worms, I would love to link it here –

  • 01.097 and fight the wild Were-worms

The word does not appear in OED.

Hobbit-smell

A one-of-a kind scent, I’m sure!  This tells us about the refinement of Smaug’s olfactory sense and the distance of Lonely Mountain from The Shire.

  • 12.062 that there was one smell he could not make out at all, hobbit-smell;

Although “Hobbit” is listed in OED – and an invention of Tolkien’s – no hyphenated forms are.

“hobbit, n.” OED Online, Oxford University Press, June 2017, http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/87449. Accessed 14 September 2017.

Hobbit-legs

This is one of the clearest clues that these hyphenated words are Tolkien’s putative translation artifacts.  If I were decsribing this scene about a person of my own species, I would say that the steps were not made, all the same, for a child’s legs, or for a middle-aged woman’s legs…

[13.044] The steps were not made, all the same, for hobbit-legs, and Bilbo was just feeling that he could go on no longer, when suddenly the roof sprang high and far beyond the reach of their torch-light.

I believe that “hobbit-legs” indicates a single word like “shank”, in Westron, meant to convey “the legs of a hobbit” – a very specialized word indeed.  The passage takes place as Bilbo and the dwarves clamber through the Mountain to the chamber of Thror.

  • 13.044 for hobbit-legs,

Although “Hobbit” is listed in OED – and an invention of Tolkien’s – no hyphenated forms are.

“hobbit, n.” OED Online, Oxford University Press, June 2017, http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/87449. Accessed 14 September 2017.