Tolkien Gateway

Potatoes

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|}}'''Potatoes''' or '''taters''' in [[Hobbitish]], were root vegetables that were apparently among the staple foods of the [[Hobbits]] ([[Hamfast Gamgee]] was recognized locally as an expert on growing potatoes).<ref>{{FR|I1}}</ref> [[Samwise Gamgee]] expected to find them in [[Ithilien]].<ref>{{TT|IV4}}</ref>
 
|}}'''Potatoes''' or '''taters''' in [[Hobbitish]], were root vegetables that were apparently among the staple foods of the [[Hobbits]] ([[Hamfast Gamgee]] was recognized locally as an expert on growing potatoes).<ref>{{FR|I1}}</ref> [[Samwise Gamgee]] expected to find them in [[Ithilien]].<ref>{{TT|IV4}}</ref>
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==Etymology==
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''[[Wiktionary:potato#English|Potato]]'' is a word of Spanish and Native American origins. The term ''[[Wiktionary:tater#English|tater]]'' seen to be used in [[Hobbitish]], represents UK slang.
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Since the potatoes are a New World plant (see below), it has been suggested that "potatoes" is perhaps a "translation" from a [[Westron]] name of a related but otherwise unrecorded plant of [[Third Age]] [[Middle-earth]].<ref name=Arda>{{webcite|author=Mark Fisher|articlename=Potatoes|website=EoA|articleurl=http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/p/potatoes.html}}</ref>
  
 
==Inspiration==
 
==Inspiration==
The existence of potatoes in the ancient European setting of [[Middle-earth]] is problematic since potatoes came from America only in the recent centuries. Tolkien avoided using foreign concepts and terms of English vocabulary such as Native American words. For example [[tomatoes]] were referred in the first edition of ''[[The Hobbit]]'' but removed in the second one.
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Fans have noticed that potatoes are a New World plant, not native to the Old World setting of [[Middle-earth]]. The [[pipe-weed]] (another New World plant) is referenced as having being brought from [[Númenor]] and fans have explored the possibility that this was also the case with potatoes.<ref name=Arda/><ref>[http://www.lotrplaza.com/archives/index.php?Archive=archive&TID=105560 Forum discussion] at LOTRplaza</ref><ref>[http://www.thetolkienforum.com/showthread.php?19248-Taters-in-Middle-Earth&s=cc49b7ac8285e2e4b34e52b0e19be48c Forum discussion] at the TolkienForum</ref>.  
  
The term "taters" is perhaps an attempt to 'anglicize' or 'Hobbitize' this word.
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See also [[tomatoes]]<ref>{{HM|AH}}</ref> concerning a similar apparent "paradox".
  
Conceivably, the roots named 'potatoes' in [[J.R.R. Tolkien|Tolkien]]'s work represent some other related root plant, or a crop brought east by the [[Númenóreans]] that later became extinct.
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{{references}}
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[[Category:Food]]
 
[[Category:Food]]
 
[[Category:Plants]]
 
[[Category:Plants]]

Latest revision as of 14:37, 1 September 2013

Potatoes
Other namesTaters
FamilyNightshades
LocationThe Shire
Potatoes or taters in Hobbitish, were root vegetables that were apparently among the staple foods of the Hobbits (Hamfast Gamgee was recognized locally as an expert on growing potatoes).[1] Samwise Gamgee expected to find them in Ithilien.[2]

[edit] Etymology

Potato is a word of Spanish and Native American origins. The term tater seen to be used in Hobbitish, represents UK slang.

Since the potatoes are a New World plant (see below), it has been suggested that "potatoes" is perhaps a "translation" from a Westron name of a related but otherwise unrecorded plant of Third Age Middle-earth.[3]

[edit] Inspiration

Fans have noticed that potatoes are a New World plant, not native to the Old World setting of Middle-earth. The pipe-weed (another New World plant) is referenced as having being brought from Númenor and fans have explored the possibility that this was also the case with potatoes.[3][4][5].

See also tomatoes[6] concerning a similar apparent "paradox".

[edit] References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Long-expected Party"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit"
  3. 3.0 3.1 Mark Fisher, "Potatoes" , Encyclopedia of Arda (accessed 28 July 2014)
  4. Forum discussion at LOTRplaza
  5. Forum discussion at the TolkienForum
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien; Douglas A. Anderson, (ed.), (2002) The Annotated Hobbit: Revised and Expanded Edition