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suncrafter
8th June 2007, 04:39 AM
I've recently re-read "The Hobbit" (it's one of my favorite books).
Every once in a while I came to a word that I did not know the meaning.

Here is my list of words from "The Hobbit" that I did not know:

Prosy
- Dull; commonplace - arousing no interest, attention, curiosity or excitement.

Porter
- A dark beer resembling light stout, made from malt browned or charred by drying at a high temperature.

Bewuthered
- Appears to be a word unique to "The Hobbit". It's context would suggest it is synonymous with "Bewildered".

Palpitating
- To pulsate with unusual rapidity from exertion, emotion, disease, etc.; flutter: His heart palpitated wildly.

Flummoxed
- Confused; Perplexed

Bracken
- Type of fern or an area overgrown with ferns and shrubs.

Eyrie
- The nest of a bird, such as an eagle, built on a cliff or other high place.

Tuppence
- A very small amount.

Attercop
- A type of spider or a peevish, ill-natured person.

Tomnoddy
- A fool or a dunce.

Slowcoach
- Someone who moves slowly; a "slowpoke"

Turnkey
- A person who has charge of the keys of a prison; jailer.

Solemnities
- State or character of being solemn; earnestness; gravity; impressiveness: the solemnity of a state funeral.

Mattocks
- A digging tool with a flat blade set at right angles to the handle that can also be used as a weapon.

tkingdoll
8th June 2007, 04:42 AM
Tuppence is two pence. Otherwise your definitions are about right.

I'm suprised you haven't heard of some of these words. Palpitations are commonplace, as are slowcoaches and those easily flummoxed. Perhaps some of these are common in Britain but not elsewhere though.

I've never heard of Attercop outside of The Hobbit.

suncrafter
8th June 2007, 04:49 AM
Tuppence is two pence. Otherwise your definitions are about right.

I'm suprised you haven't heard of some of these words. Palpitations are commonplace, as are slowcoaches and those easily flummoxed. Perhaps some of these are common in Britain but not elsewhere though.

I've never heard of Attercop outside of The Hobbit.

Tuppence, in the context of the book, does not mean "two pence", but refers to just a "small amount".

Zep
8th June 2007, 06:04 AM
As in "It wasn't worth tuppence"??

brodski
8th June 2007, 06:12 AM
Porter
- A dark beer resembling light stout, made from malt browned or charred by drying at a high temperature. porter is making a bit of a comeback, very good style of beer, not as heavy as stout. I'd recommend trying it, St Peters Porter for preference :)


Bewuthered
- Appears to be a word unique to "The Hobbit". It's context would suggest it is synonymous with "Bewildered". It may be a Tolkinism, but the word has a well founded route- from "wuther" referring to rough, windy weather- as in Wuthering Heights ( house built on a windy moor). To be Bewuthered would be close to being "flustered"

tkingdoll
8th June 2007, 07:21 AM
Tuppence, in the context of the book, does not mean "two pence", but refers to just a "small amount".

I doubt that.

The etymology of the word is 'two pence'. And that's precisely what it meant in Tolkien's day in everyday usage. It still means that now although you hear it less in conversation that you used to.

Two pennies is a very small amount of money, so you could use that to describe a small amount of something else, I suppose, but it would be more likely you'd use it to imply tuppence worth of something, or an amount approximate to what tuppence could buy you. You would basically use it to denote the value you put on something. Tuppence is one of the lowest values you can put on a thing because it buys you very little.

If you give me the exact sentence in the book I will be a little clearer but I think it's extremely likely it's meant as a low monetary value or equivalent worth. For example "I don't give tuppence for his sort".

Mrs. Hmmphries
8th June 2007, 07:22 AM
Tuppence is two pence. Otherwise your definitions are about right.

I'm suprised you haven't heard of some of these words. Palpitations are commonplace, as are slowcoaches and those easily flummoxed. Perhaps some of these are common in Britain but not elsewhere though.

I've never heard of Attercop outside of The Hobbit.


No, as an American, I can vouch for the use of those words across the pond.

Piscivore
8th June 2007, 07:51 AM
Good on you, Sun, for looking them up instead of giving up on the book or just making something up. I've known a lot of people who have done one or the other.

And just wait until you read "A Clockwork Orange" :D

tkingdoll
8th June 2007, 07:58 AM
No, as an American, I can vouch for the use of those words across the pond.

What about "eee I am vexed!"?

Michael Redman
8th June 2007, 08:24 AM
Every once in a while I came to a word that I did not know the meaning.

... Porter
I just wept for you a little.

Marquis de Carabas
8th June 2007, 08:57 AM
Whenever I come upon a word whose meaning I know not, I assume it means "lactating goat". It makes reading much more fun.

Michael Redman
8th June 2007, 09:59 AM
Whenever I come upon a word whose meaning I know not, I assume it means "lactating goat". It makes reading much more fun.Let me play psychic: You substituted "lactating goat" for what you really think, because upon careful consideration you concluded that, had you told the honest truth, many JREFers would instantly have put you on their ignore lists, and a few might very well contact Homeland Security and/or CDC.

How was my reading?

Marquis de Carabas
8th June 2007, 10:21 AM
Let me play psychic: You substituted "lactating goat" for what you really think, because upon careful consideration you concluded that, had you told the honest truth, many JREFers would instantly have put you on their ignore lists, and a few might very well contact Homeland Security and/or CDC.

How was my reading?
Any JREFer who would put me on ignore for anything related to goats would have done so well before now.

boojum
8th June 2007, 12:59 PM
Good on you, Sun, for looking them up instead of giving up on the book or just making something up. I've known a lot of people who have done one or the other.

And just wait until you read "A Clockwork Orange" :D

Or "Flowers for Algernon"!

Madalch
8th June 2007, 02:51 PM
And just wait until you read "A Clockwork Orange"
I never read the book, but I saw the movie- all the non-English words were plainly derived from Russian, so my smattering of Ukrainian and my fluent wife saw me through the movie without a single term that confused me.

Mmmmm...moloko plus.

OT: When I was last in Kiev with my family, the brand of milk that we bought was called "Moo" (written in large letters on the carton). My daughter could read this easily enough to the boys (who were two at the time), so every breakfast time, the whole group of kids would start mooing. It was like teaching in Red Deer again.

Ryokan
8th June 2007, 03:26 PM
I've never heard of Attercop outside of The Hobbit.

Tolkien borrowed heavily from Scandinavian mythology, but he also borrowed a few words.

Beorn, who can change into a bear, has a name that's pronounced almost exactly like the Norwegian word for bear, bjørn.

As for attercop, the Norwegian word for spider is edderkopp. Edder means poison and kopp means, err, cup?

ETA: I looked up the ethymology of edderkopp, and kopp can apparantly also mean something thick and bloated. Probably an older word, as I've never heard kopp used that way.

fuelair
8th June 2007, 03:49 PM
What about "eee I am vexed!"?vexed, definitely. eee for Oh! not so much - though obvious from context.

Lensman
8th June 2007, 05:49 PM
As in, "eee, bah gum!" (eee by gum, probably means something like, "Oh, by god!")

suncrafter
8th June 2007, 07:28 PM
I doubt that.

The etymology of the word is 'two pence'. And that's precisely what it meant in Tolkien's day in everyday usage. It still means that now although you hear it less in conversation that you used to.

Two pennies is a very small amount of money, so you could use that to describe a small amount of something else, I suppose, but it would be more likely you'd use it to imply tuppence worth of something, or an amount approximate to what tuppence could buy you. You would basically use it to denote the value you put on something. Tuppence is one of the lowest values you can put on a thing because it buys you very little.

If you give me the exact sentence in the book I will be a little clearer but I think it's extremely likely it's meant as a low monetary value or equivalent worth. For example "I don't give tuppence for his sort".

I stand corrected.

Brainache
9th June 2007, 01:43 AM
I read somewhere that the term "Copper" or "Cop" meaning Police Officer comes from the old word for spider. Attercop is also apparently where the word "Cobweb" comes from.

joobie
13th June 2007, 06:08 PM
i usually hear that 'copper' and 'cop' came from the copper used for their badges...

bjornart
14th June 2007, 03:53 AM
i usually hear that 'copper' and 'cop' came from the copper used for their badges...

The actual etymology is that copper comes from the verb cop, making a copper a person who catches someone.

Brainache
14th June 2007, 11:07 AM
The actual etymology is that copper comes from the verb cop, making a copper a person who catches someone.

Is that verb "cop" related to attercop? A spider waiting to trap insects?

Caius Textor
16th June 2007, 08:40 PM
Tolkien borrowed heavily from Scandinavian mythology, but he also borrowed a few words.

Beorn, who can change into a bear, has a name that's pronounced almost exactly like the Norwegian word for bear, bjørn.

Tolkien was specially fond of Icelandic.
All the names of the dwarves were taken from lists of the Sagas. Really, all of them, no fun at all.

The men at lake Esgaroth (later ruled by Bard the Bowman) were supposed to represent the Norse.

I love that book, put it is really dangerous: if I start it, I just have to read all the way.

suncrafter
16th June 2007, 10:06 PM
Tolkien was specially fond of Icelandic.
All the names of the dwarves were taken from lists of the Sagas. Really, all of them, no fun at all.

The men at lake Esgaroth (later ruled by Bard the Bowman) were supposed to represent the Norse.

I love that book, put it is really dangerous: if I start it, I just have to read all the way.

Ya, it's a great book. But I could not help but notice that their were no females in it!

Gargoyle
17th June 2007, 04:58 AM
Tolkien borrowed heavily from Scandinavian mythology, but he also borrowed a few words.
...
As for attercop, the Norwegian word for spider is edderkopp. Edder means poison and kopp means, err, cup?

ETA: I looked up the ethymology of edderkopp, and kopp can apparantly also mean something thick and bloated. Probably an older word, as I've never heard kopp used that way.

Since I´m swedish, I recognice this "attercop" word too. The norwegian edderkopp seems to be closely related the swedish word etterkopp (old-fashioned and hardly in use today). My grandmother used it when I was a kid now and then, and I had forgotten it until I read it here! :eye-poppi

I have a theory (not much, but anyway I give it a try) about the "kopp" part.
It might derive from "kopparorm" (literally copper snake), in english Blindworm or Slow-worm. Maybe I´m right or maybe not...

So "etterkopp", as I understands it, is a fierce person or a person with malicious intentions. Besides poisonous snake, that is.

Jeff Corey
17th June 2007, 07:19 AM
I never read the book, but I saw the movie- all the non-English words were plainly derived from Russian, so my smattering of Ukrainian and my fluent wife saw me through the movie without a single term that confused me.

Mmmmm...moloko plus.

OT: When I was last in Kiev with my family, the brand of milk that we bought was called "Moo" (written in large letters on the carton). My daughter could read this easily enough to the boys (who were two at the time), so every breakfast time, the whole group of kids would start mooing. It was like teaching in Red Deer again.
Horrorshow slovos! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_to_Nadsat
Some of the words, like "tass" for glass, I could recognize from French or Spanish. Others like "yob" for boy were just backwards, and some I later found were Cockney rhyming slang.
Great book, even though I only read the US edition.

Caius Textor
17th June 2007, 08:41 AM
Ya, it's a great book. But I could not help but notice that their were no females in it!

Oh, please, pretty please, don´t go that way.

I´ve seen so many "discussions" on that subject to last for a lifetime. They usually start out fine and end up in a flame-war the bottomline of which is Tolkien being gay.

By the way, the first 4 times I read the book I didn´t notice that at all.

Darth Rotor
20th June 2007, 04:01 PM
Any JREFer who would put me on ignore for anything
Is an idiot. :cool:

DR

Dr Adequate
23rd June 2007, 01:48 PM
"Ātorcoppe" is Old English ("Anglo-Saxon"). "Ātor" means poison, "coppe" means "spider", as in, yes, "cobweb". It's cognate with the Norse word, not derived from it.

calebprime
23rd June 2007, 02:00 PM
Good on you, Sun, for looking them up instead of giving up on the book or just making something up. I've known a lot of people who have done one or the other.

And just wait until you read "A Clockwork Orange" :D

Then there's The Book of Dave by Will Self, which comes with a glossary in the back, to translate from Arpee to English.

I find it hard going, and I was wondering what the Brits here think of it.

gumboot
29th June 2007, 09:27 PM
Only thing I really have to add is that "mattocks" is plural of "mattock (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mattock)".

One thing I really do like about Tolkien is his use of english, and especially the authenticity of his etymology, which is not surprising, really.

What I really find fascinating is the relationship between the world of his three major works.

You'll notice in The Hobbit everywhere has very English names - "Laketown", "The Lonely Mountain", "The Shire", etc. Then with Lord of the Rings, in an effort to bridge between the world of The Hobbit and the world of The Silmarillion, he essentially renamed everything. So "Laketown" became Esgaroth and "The Lonely Mountain" becomes Erebor.

-Gumboot

gumboot
29th June 2007, 09:46 PM
On the matter of hard to read text, another good example is Lorna Doone. R D Blackmore uses authentic dialects for the characters, and some (notably John Fry and Betty) are almost impossible to understand.

-Gumboot