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"My name is TOLKIEN (not -kein)"
J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 165.

A lot of people misspell "Tolkien" as Tolkein. This was already the case in Tolkien's time; several passages in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien show Tolkien's frustration about the matter.


Tolkien himself found one possible reason, in Letter 324, for this common mistake: association with yiddish. The name "Tolkien" is German of origin ("tollkühn" = "foolhardy"). At the time, Jewish names were often associated with German; as such, some people might have molded it after the German "-stein".

Notable occurences

External links