Tolkien Gateway

Uncommon words

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Many uncommon, archaic, and obsolete words are found in [[J.R.R. Tolkien]]'s works. At present the definition of these can be confusing and leads to misunderstanding the statement presented by Tolkien. For this reason, some glossary have been arranged for the readers*
 
Many uncommon, archaic, and obsolete words are found in [[J.R.R. Tolkien]]'s works. At present the definition of these can be confusing and leads to misunderstanding the statement presented by Tolkien. For this reason, some glossary have been arranged for the readers*
  
*(''Page numbers refer to'' [[The Book of Lost Tales Part 1]])
 
  
 
* '''abide''' - put up with, tolerate; await;
 
* '''abide''' - put up with, tolerate; await;
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* '''aloof''' - hanging over ones head
 
* '''aloof''' - hanging over ones head
 
* '''amiss''' - not as things should be
 
* '''amiss''' - not as things should be
* '''an''' - if, 63, 155, 165, 171, 183, 201, 204, 211, 221, 235
+
* '''an''' - if
 
* '''anon''' - soon; ever and anon often
 
* '''anon''' - soon; ever and anon often
 
* '''apace''' - quickly
 
* '''apace''' - quickly
 
* '''argent''' - silver
 
* '''argent''' - silver
* '''arrassed''' - covered with arras (rich figured tapestry), 6
+
* '''arrassed''' - covered with arras (rich figured tapestry)
 
* '''assuage''' - soften, lessen, soothe
 
* '''assuage''' - soften, lessen, soothe
* '''astonied''' - stunned, astonished, 124, 207
+
* '''astonied''' - stunned, astonished
 
* '''aught'''  - anything
 
* '''aught'''  - anything
 
* '''bade''' - old past tense of "bid", pronounced "bad"
 
* '''bade''' - old past tense of "bid", pronounced "bad"
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* '''barrel''' - the long, cylindrical part of a key
 
* '''barrel''' - the long, cylindrical part of a key
 
* '''baseborn''' - ignoble, illegitimate
 
* '''baseborn''' - ignoble, illegitimate
* '''bason''' formerly a common spelling of basin, 182 etc.
+
* '''bason''' formerly a common spelling of basin
 
* '''bay''' - (of a dog) bark or howl
 
* '''bay''' - (of a dog) bark or howl
 
* '''bebother''' - bring trouble upon
 
* '''bebother''' - bring trouble upon
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* '''belie''' - give a false impression
 
* '''belie''' - give a false impression
 
* '''benighted''' - in, or overtaken by, darkness
 
* '''benighted''' - in, or overtaken by, darkness
* '''bent''' - open place covered with grass, 27
+
* '''bent''' - open place covered with grass
 
* '''beset''' - attacked, assaulted by enemies
 
* '''beset''' - attacked, assaulted by enemies
 
* '''besom''' - a stiff broom made out of sticks and twigs
 
* '''besom''' - a stiff broom made out of sticks and twigs
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* '''bootless''' - useless. "Bootless is flight, they follow us with wings". <ref>Shakespeare, ''King Henry the Sixth'', part 3, act ii, scene iii</ref>
 
* '''bootless''' - useless. "Bootless is flight, they follow us with wings". <ref>Shakespeare, ''King Henry the Sixth'', part 3, act ii, scene iii</ref>
 
* '''bootless'''<sub>2</sub> - not having a shoe. <ref>[[The Hobbitonian Anthology]], pp. 115-117.</ref>
 
* '''bootless'''<sub>2</sub> - not having a shoe. <ref>[[The Hobbitonian Anthology]], pp. 115-117.</ref>
* '''brakes''' thickets, 113
+
* '''brakes''' - thickets
 
* '''brazen''' - made of brass
 
* '''brazen''' - made of brass
 
* '''brood''' - children
 
* '''brood''' - children
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* '''burnished''' - polished
 
* '''burnished''' - polished
 
* '''cairn''' - a mound of stones or rocks, used as a marker, memorial or tomb
 
* '''cairn''' - a mound of stones or rocks, used as a marker, memorial or tomb
* <span id="carcanet"></span>'''carcanet''' - jeweled necklace
+
* '''carcanet''' - jeweled necklace
 
* '''carouse''' - drink heavily
 
* '''carouse''' - drink heavily
 
* '''carven''' - old form of 'carved'
 
* '''carven''' - old form of 'carved'
 
* '''cataract''' - waterfall
 
* '''cataract''' - waterfall
 
* '''cesspool''' - a pool of waste-water or sewage
 
* '''cesspool''' - a pool of waste-water or sewage
* '''chalcedony''' - a precious form of quartz* onyx, agate and cornelian are all types of chalcedony
+
* '''chalcedony''' - a precious form of quartz onyx, agate and cornelian are all types of chalcedony
 
* '''champ''' - (of a horse) munch on the bit, showing eagerness
 
* '''champ''' - (of a horse) munch on the bit, showing eagerness
* '''charger''' large dish, 214
+
* '''charger''' large dish
 
* '''chime''' - agree with, be in harmony with
 
* '''chime''' - agree with, be in harmony with
 
* '''circlet''' - a thin band of precious metal, worn on the head
 
* '''circlet''' - a thin band of precious metal, worn on the head
* '''clamant''' - clamorous, noisy, 37
+
* '''clamant''' - clamorous, noisy
 
* '''clave''' - old past tense of cleave, in the sense 'stick, adhere'
 
* '''clave''' - old past tense of cleave, in the sense 'stick, adhere'
* '''clomb''' - old past tense of climb, 132
+
* '''clomb''' - old past tense of climb
 
* '''cloven''' - split into two
 
* '''cloven''' - split into two
 
* '''coëval''' - born at the same time
 
* '''coëval''' - born at the same time
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* '''concourse''' - large group of people; crowd
 
* '''concourse''' - large group of people; crowd
 
* '''confines''' - borders; borderlands
 
* '''confines''' - borders; borderlands
* '''confusticate''' - a nonsense word, probably not intended to have a meaning (though its Latin roots can be interpreted 'beat with a cudgel')
+
* '''confusticate''' - a nonsense word, probably not intended to have a meaning (though its Latin roots can be interpreted "beat with a cudgel")
* '''constellate''' formed into a constellation, 218
+
* '''constellate''' formed into a constellation
* '''cools''' - coolnesses, 75
+
* '''cools''' - coolnesses
 
* '''cony''' - rabbit
 
* '''cony''' - rabbit
 
* '''coomb''' - short valley in the side of a hill or mountain
 
* '''coomb''' - short valley in the side of a hill or mountain
 
* '''coop''' - cage, imprison
 
* '''coop''' - cage, imprison
* '''corbel''' basket, 208
+
* '''corbel''' basket
 
* '''corslet''' - a piece of armour covering the body, but not the arms or legs
 
* '''corslet''' - a piece of armour covering the body, but not the arms or legs
 
* '''cot''' - a small shelter; the origin of the word "cottage"
 
* '''cot''' - a small shelter; the origin of the word "cottage"
 
* '''counsels''' - words of advice
 
* '''counsels''' - words of advice
 
* '''covet''' - be jealous of, desire
 
* '''covet''' - be jealous of, desire
* '''covetice''' - (inordinate) desire, 126; covetousness, 161-2
+
* '''covetice''' - (inordinate) desire, covetousness
 
* '''cozen''' - lie to, cheat, deceive
 
* '''cozen''' - lie to, cheat, deceive
 
* '''craven''' - coward
 
* '''craven''' - coward
* '''crocks''' - items of crockery* plates, dishes, etc.
+
* '''crocks''' - items of crockery plates, dishes, etc.
 
* '''culvert''' - a channel carrying water beneath a thoroughfare
 
* '''culvert''' - a channel carrying water beneath a thoroughfare
 
* '''cumbrous''' - awkward, inconvenient
 
* '''cumbrous''' - awkward, inconvenient
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* '''curdle''' - turn sour
 
* '''curdle''' - turn sour
 
* '''dainty''' - morsel, delicacy
 
* '''dainty''' - morsel, delicacy
* <span id="damask"></span>'''damask''' - steel and iron specially welded to make a serpentine pattern
+
* '''damask''' - steel and iron specially welded to make a serpentine pattern
 
* '''darkling''' - dark (poetical)
 
* '''darkling''' - dark (poetical)
 
* '''daunt''' - intimidate
 
* '''daunt''' - intimidate
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* '''dwimmer-crafty''' - skilled in the arts of magic
 
* '''dwimmer-crafty''' - skilled in the arts of magic
 
* '''eaves''' - the fringe of a forest (from the resemblance of the overhanging forest canopy to the eaves of a house)
 
* '''eaves''' - the fringe of a forest (from the resemblance of the overhanging forest canopy to the eaves of a house)
* '''eld''' - old age, 57, 247, 258
+
* '''eld''' - old age
 
* '''ell''' - a measure of length, usually equivalent to 45 inches or 114 cm
 
* '''ell''' - a measure of length, usually equivalent to 45 inches or 114 cm
 
* '''embattled''' - of a fortress, having battlements
 
* '''embattled''' - of a fortress, having battlements
* '''embattled'''<sub>2</sub> - of an army, fortified against attack (this is the dictionary definition, but in The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien's usage seems to mean simply "in battle")
+
* '''embattled'''<sub>2</sub> - of an army, fortified against attack (this is the dictionary definition, but in ''The Lord of the Rings'', Tolkien's usage seems to mean simply "in battle")
 
* '''embrasure''' - beveled door or window frame cut into a wall
 
* '''embrasure''' - beveled door or window frame cut into a wall
 
* '''encompass''' - surround
 
* '''encompass''' - surround
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* '''eyot''' - a small island, especially found in a river
 
* '''eyot''' - a small island, especially found in a river
 
* '''faggot''' - bundle of sticks used as firewood
 
* '''faggot''' - bundle of sticks used as firewood
* '''fain''' gladly, 41, 166; disposed, desirous, 218; fain of well-pleased with, 126, 235
+
* '''fain''' gladly; disposed, desirous; fain of well-pleased with
 
* '''falter''' - waver, lose courage
 
* '''falter''' - waver, lose courage
* '''fane''' temple, 33, 37
+
* '''fane''' temple
 
* '''fare''' - travel, go on a journey
 
* '''fare''' - travel, go on a journey
 
* '''fastness''' - secure fortress
 
* '''fastness''' - secure fortress
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* '''fender''' - a metal frame placed around a fireplace
 
* '''fender''' - a metal frame placed around a fireplace
 
* '''fetter''' - chain, shackle
 
* '''fetter''' - chain, shackle
* '''fey''' - 31. The old senses were ‘fated, approaching death; presaging death’. It seems very unlikely that the later sense ‘possessing or displaying magical, fairylike, or unearthly qualities’ (O.E.D. Supplement) was intended.
+
* '''fey''' -The old senses were ‘fated, approaching death; presaging death’. It seems very unlikely that the later sense ‘possessing or displaying magical, fairylike, or unearthly qualities’ (O.E.D. Supplement) was intended.
 
* '''field''' - background color on a flag or shield in heraldry.
 
* '''field''' - background color on a flag or shield in heraldry.
 
* '''figured''' - marked with drawings or writing
 
* '''figured''' - marked with drawings or writing
 
* '''firth''' - An inlet of the sea at a wide river estuary
 
* '''firth''' - An inlet of the sea at a wide river estuary
 
* '''flagon''' - large jug or mug, usually used to hold wine or beer
 
* '''flagon''' - large jug or mug, usually used to hold wine or beer
* '''flammifer''' - in Latin, flammifer means 'fiery', but Tolkien's usage is likely meant to suggest 'flame-bearer', as a reference to the blazing Silmaril borne by Eärendil.
+
* '''flammifer''' - in Latin, flammifer means "fiery", but Tolkien's usage is likely meant to suggest "flame-bearer", as a reference to the blazing Silmaril borne by Eärendil.
 
* '''flank''' - the exposed side of an attacking or marching army
 
* '''flank''' - the exposed side of an attacking or marching army
* '''flittermice''' - [[bats]], 34
+
* '''flittermice''' - [[bats]]
 
* '''flotsam''' - floating wreckage; flotsam and jetsam items washed up by the sea, or a flood (also used figuratively)
 
* '''flotsam''' - floating wreckage; flotsam and jetsam items washed up by the sea, or a flood (also used figuratively)
 
* '''flummoxed''' - bewildered, disconcerted
 
* '''flummoxed''' - bewildered, disconcerted
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* '''gloaming''' - the twilight of evening
 
* '''gloaming''' - the twilight of evening
 
* '''glower''' - scowl, frown
 
* '''glower''' - scowl, frown
* ''go'' - move, in the phrase all the creatures that go 247
 
 
* '''goggle''' - stare with round eyes
 
* '''goggle''' - stare with round eyes
 
* '''gorcrow''' - carrion crow
 
* '''gorcrow''' - carrion crow
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* '''hale''' - robust, strong of body
 
* '''hale''' - robust, strong of body
 
* '''hame''' - hide, pelt
 
* '''hame''' - hide, pelt
* '''hang''' - to leave food, especially game, in the open until it becomes 'high' or tender
+
* '''hang''' - to leave food, especially game, in the open until it becomes "high" or tender
 
* '''harbour''' - succor, assistance
 
* '''harbour''' - succor, assistance
 
* '''hardly''' - with great difficulty
 
* '''hardly''' - with great difficulty
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* '''hobble''' - limp, walk with difficulty
 
* '''hobble''' - limp, walk with difficulty
 
* '''hock''' - the middle joint of a horse's or pony's leg
 
* '''hock''' - the middle joint of a horse's or pony's leg
* '''houseleek''' - a fleshy plant that grows on the walls and roofs of houses, 101
+
* '''houseleek''' - a fleshy plant that grows on the walls and roofs of houses
 
* '''hue''' - form or shape
 
* '''hue''' - form or shape
 
* '''hummock''' - a small hill or knoll (in The Lord of the Rings, "hummock" is used metaphorically to describe the shape made by the [[palantír]] beneath Gandalf's cloak)
 
* '''hummock''' - a small hill or knoll (in The Lord of the Rings, "hummock" is used metaphorically to describe the shape made by the [[palantír]] beneath Gandalf's cloak)
* '''hundredweight''' - the pun in Tolkien’s description of Bilbo’s 112th birthday as a “Hundredweight Feast” is based on the fact that “in Britain a hundredweight is 112 pounds.<ref>[[The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion|Companion]], p. 74. The reason for this is explained in [[The Hobbitonian Anthology]], pp. 160-164.</ref>
+
* '''hundredweight''' - the pun in Tolkien's description of Bilbo's 112th birthday as a "Hundredweight Feast" is based on the fact that in Britain a hundredweight is 112 pounds. <ref>[[Wayne G. Hammond]], [[Christina Scull]], ''[[The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion]]'', p. 74.<ref><ref>[[Mark T. Hooker]], ''[[The Hobbitonian Anthology]]'', pp. 160-164.</ref>
 
* '''hunter's moon''' -  the full moon of mid- to late October
 
* '''hunter's moon''' -  the full moon of mid- to late October
 
* '''hythe''' - a small harbour or haven, especially on a river
 
* '''hythe''' - a small harbour or haven, especially on a river
 
* '''ill''' - evil, wrong
 
* '''ill''' - evil, wrong
* '''inaureoled''' surrounded with a halo, 230 (the word is only recorded in the O.E.D. in a poem by Francis Thompson, 1897).
+
* '''inaureoled''' surrounded with a halo, (the word is only recorded in the O.E.D. in a poem by Francis Thompson, 1897).
* '''jacinth''' - blue, 27
+
* '''jacinth''' - blue
 
* '''jetsam''' - items thrown overboard from a ship, and later washed ashore
 
* '''jetsam''' - items thrown overboard from a ship, and later washed ashore
 
* '''keen''' - sharp
 
* '''keen''' - sharp
 
* '''kerb''' - a raised edge to a road or path
 
* '''kerb''' - a raised edge to a road or path
 
* '''kindle''' - set fire to, begin to burn
 
* '''kindle''' - set fire to, begin to burn
* '''lampads''' - 29. The word is only recorded in the O.E.D. (first used by Coleridge) of the seven lamps of fire burning before the throne of God in the Book of Revelation, iv.5.
+
* '''lampads''' - The word is only recorded in the O.E.D. (first used by Coleridge) of the seven lamps of fire burning before the throne of God in the Book of Revelation, chapter 4 verse 5.
 
* '''lave''' - wash, bathe
 
* '''lave''' - wash, bathe
 
* '''lay''' - a poem that is meant to be sung
 
* '''lay''' - a poem that is meant to be sung
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* '''lee''' - shelter, especially from wind and weather
 
* '''lee''' - shelter, especially from wind and weather
 
* '''leech''' - healer
 
* '''leech''' - healer
* '''leechcraft''' - the practice of magical medicine. The name is based on the Celtic word for ''stone''. The animal leech (Latin: ''sanguisuga'', literally: ''blood sucker'') is named for the healer (leech), rather than the other way around. <ref>[[The Hobbitonian Anthology]], pp. 165-172.</ref>
+
* '''leechcraft''' - the practice of magical medicine. The name is based on the Celtic word for ''stone''. The animal leech (Latin: ''sanguisuga'', literally: ''blood sucker'') is named for the healer (leech), rather than the other way around. <ref>[[Mark T. Hooker]], ''[[The Hobbitonian Anthology]]'', pp. 165-172.</ref>
 
* '''[[legendarium]]''' - term coined by Tolkien to mean [[Arda]], in all of its mythological entirety
 
* '''[[legendarium]]''' - term coined by Tolkien to mean [[Arda]], in all of its mythological entirety
* '''lets upon''' gives on to, opens on to, 237
+
* '''lets upon''' gives on to, opens on to
* '''lief''' gladly, willingly, 181; '''liever''' more gladly, more willingly, rather, 112, 181
+
* '''lief''' gladly, willingly
 +
* '''liever''' more gladly, more willingly, rather
 
* '''lissom''' - lithe, supple
 
* '''lissom''' - lithe, supple
 
* '''loath''' - reluctant
 
* '''loath''' - reluctant
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* '''loth''' - reluctant [a variation on loath above]
 
* '''loth''' - reluctant [a variation on loath above]
 
* '''louver''' - a domed structure built on a roof with side-openings to allow smoke to escape
 
* '''louver''' - a domed structure built on a roof with side-openings to allow smoke to escape
* '''lustihead''' vigour, 105
+
* '''lustihead''' vigour
 
* '''malefactor''' - one who commits an evil act
 
* '''malefactor''' - one who commits an evil act
 
* '''mantle''' - cloak, cover
 
* '''mantle''' - cloak, cover
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* '''mead''' - an alcoholic drink made from honey
 
* '''mead''' - an alcoholic drink made from honey
 
* '''mead'''<sub>2</sub> - meadow
 
* '''mead'''<sub>2</sub> - meadow
* '''meed''' - requital, 112
+
* '''meed''' - requital
 
* '''mere''' - lake or pond
 
* '''mere''' - lake or pond
 
* '''mew''' - a type of gull
 
* '''mew''' - a type of gull
 
* '''midge''' - tiny airborne biting insect; not unlike a mosquito, but much smaller
 
* '''midge''' - tiny airborne biting insect; not unlike a mosquito, but much smaller
* '''minished''' reduced, diminished, 165, 235
+
* '''minished''' reduced, diminished
 
* '''mischance''' - accident
 
* '''mischance''' - accident
 
* '''misgive''' - fill with doubt or suspicion
 
* '''misgive''' - fill with doubt or suspicion
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* '''obeisance''' - bowing or kneeling in submission
 
* '''obeisance''' - bowing or kneeling in submission
 
* '''oft''' - often
 
* '''oft''' - often
* '''or ... or''' either ... or, 137, 241
+
* '''or ... or''' - either ... or,
* '''or yet''' apparently means ‘already’, 185
+
* '''or yet''' - apparently means "already",
 
* '''ostler''' - stable-keeper
 
* '''ostler''' - stable-keeper
 
* '''ousel''' blackbird, 43 (now spelled ouzel, in Ring-ouzel and other bird-names).
 
* '''ousel''' blackbird, 43 (now spelled ouzel, in Ring-ouzel and other bird-names).
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* '''pinion''' - a bird's wing, and especially the tip
 
* '''pinion''' - a bird's wing, and especially the tip
 
* '''plash''' - splash
 
* '''plash''' - splash
* '''pleasance''' - "A pleasure-ground, usually attached to a mansion; sometimes a secluded part of a garden, but more often a separate enclosure laid out with shady walks, trees and shrubs..." (O.E.D.) This sense is present in pleasa(u)nces 75, 125, but in rest and pleasance 69 the sense is "enjoyment, pleasure"; in nor did he have lack of pleasance 64 either meaning may be intended, but I think probably the former.
+
* '''pleasance''' - "A pleasure-ground, usually attached to a mansion; sometimes a secluded part of a garden, but more often a separate enclosure laid out with shady walks, trees and shrubs..." (O.E.D.)  
 
* '''portage''' - transporting a boat overland
 
* '''portage''' - transporting a boat overland
 
* '''pled''' old past tense of plead, 186
 
* '''pled''' old past tense of plead, 186
* '''plenilune''' - the time of full moon, 231 (see Letters p. 310).
+
* '''plenilune''' - the time of full moon (see ''[[Letters]]'' p. 310).
 
* '''portent''' - omen, sign
 
* '''portent''' - omen, sign
 
* '''postern''' - a back- or side-entrance
 
* '''postern''' - a back- or side-entrance
* '''pricks''' - (spurs his horse), rides fast, 122. [[Oromë]] pricks over the plain echoes the first line of The Faerie Queene, A Gentle Knight was pricking on the plaine.
+
* '''pricks''' - (spurs his horse), rides fast. [[Oromë]] pricks over the plain echoes the first line of The Faerie Queene, A Gentle Knight was pricking on the plaine.
 
* '''profound''' - deep
 
* '''profound''' - deep
 
* '''prosy''' - dull, contented with the commonplace
 
* '''prosy''' - dull, contented with the commonplace
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* '''raiment''' - clothing
 
* '''raiment''' - clothing
 
* '''rearguard''' - that part of an army set to cover its rear ranks, especially in retreat
 
* '''rearguard''' - that part of an army set to cover its rear ranks, especially in retreat
* '''recked''' - troubled, cared, 200
+
* '''recked''' - troubled, cared
* '''rede''' - counsel, advice, 156, 203, 245; plan, 201; redes counsels, 126
+
* '''rede''' - counsel, advice; plan; redes counsels
 
* '''redound''' - contribute to, advance
 
* '''redound''' - contribute to, advance
 
* '''redress''' - setting right
 
* '''redress''' - setting right
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* '''rick''' - a stack, especially of hay
 
* '''rick''' - a stack, especially of hay
 
* '''rill''' - a small stream
 
* '''rill''' - a small stream
* '''rondured''' - (in '''golden-rondured''') 28. Rondure "circle, rounded form"; rondured is not recorded.
+
* '''rondured''' - (in '''golden-rondured'''). Rondure "circle, rounded form"; rondured is not recorded.
 
* '''rude''' - simple, primitive
 
* '''rude''' - simple, primitive
 
* '''rue''' - regret, repent of
 
* '''rue''' - regret, repent of
 
* '''rumour''' - sound
 
* '''rumour''' - sound
* '''ruth''' - matter of sorrow, calamity, 207; distress, grief, 214; remorse, 217; in the greatest ruth was that to [the [[Valar]]] thereafter 235 the sense is unclear* ‘matter of sorrow or regret’, or possibly "harm, ill".
+
* '''ruth''' - matter of sorrow, calamity; distress, grief; remorse
 
* '''sable''' - heraldic term for black
 
* '''sable''' - heraldic term for black
 
* '''sallow''' - having yellow or pale brown skin
 
* '''sallow''' - having yellow or pale brown skin
* '''saps''' - deep diggings, 111
+
* '''saps''' - deep diggings
* '''sate''' - old past tense of sit, 56, 112, 169, 203, 213, 217
+
* '''sate''' - old past tense of sit
 
* '''save''' - except
 
* '''save''' - except
* '''seamews''' - seagulls, 133
+
* '''seamews''' - seagulls
* '''selenites''' - inhabitants of the Moon, 231
+
* '''selenites''' - inhabitants of the [[Moon]]
 
* '''semblance''' - appearance
 
* '''semblance''' - appearance
 
* '''shade''' - ghost or phantasm
 
* '''shade''' - ghost or phantasm
* '''shallop''' - 215. This word had precise applications to particular kinds of boat, but here apparently means ‘open boat propelled by oars and sail’.
+
* '''shallop''' - This word had precise applications to particular kinds of boat, but here apparently means "open boat propelled by oars and sail".
 
* '''shank''' - leg; especially that part between the knee and ankle
 
* '''shank''' - leg; especially that part between the knee and ankle
* '''share''' - 27, 32. share=ploughshare, but used here of the blade of a scythe.
+
* '''share''' - share=ploughshare, but used here of the blade of a scythe.
 
* '''sheaf''' - bundle or cluster of stalks
 
* '''sheaf''' - bundle or cluster of stalks
 
* '''shoal''' - a particularly shallow part of a river- or sea-bed
 
* '''shoal''' - a particularly shallow part of a river- or sea-bed
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* '''shun''' - refuse
 
* '''shun''' - refuse
 
* '''sister-son''' - nephew
 
* '''sister-son''' - nephew
* '''sledge-blows''' blows as of a sledge, a large heavy hammer, 79
+
* '''sledge-blows''' blows as of a sledge, a large heavy hammer
 
* '''slot''' - track followed by a hunter
 
* '''slot''' - track followed by a hunter
 
* '''slowcoach''' - someone who moves slowly, or is often late
 
* '''slowcoach''' - someone who moves slowly, or is often late
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* '''sortie''' - an attack launched by a besieged force
 
* '''sortie''' - an attack launched by a besieged force
 
* '''spinney''' - group of trees, or small wood
 
* '''spinney''' - group of trees, or small wood
* '''sprent''' past participle of the lost verb sprenge ‘sprinkle, scatter’, 215
+
* '''sprent''' - past participle of the lost verb sprenge "sprinkle, scatter"
* '''sprite(s)''' spirit(s), 75, 100, 124, 213
+
* '''sprite(s)''' - spirit(s)
 
* '''stead''' - place, position
 
* '''stead''' - place, position
 
* '''stem''' - block, hold back
 
* '''stem''' - block, hold back
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* '''strand''' - shore, shoreline, especially a beach
 
* '''strand''' - shore, shoreline, especially a beach
 
* '''stricken''' - struck; (as an adjective) damaged, broken
 
* '''stricken''' - struck; (as an adjective) damaged, broken
* '''suaded''' - persuaded, 69, 181
+
* '''suaded''' - persuaded
 
* '''succour''' - give aid
 
* '''succour''' - give aid
 
* '''sunder''' - divide, separate
 
* '''sunder''' - divide, separate
Line 404: Line 403:
 
* '''trammels''' - nets, traps
 
* '''trammels''' - nets, traps
 
* '''traverse''' - travel through or across
 
* '''traverse''' - travel through or across
* '''trillups''' - 115, '''trillaping''' 117. This word is not recorded in any dictionary available to me.
+
* '''trillups''', '''trillaping''' - Unknown
 
* '''trove''' - found treasure
 
* '''trove''' - found treasure
 
* '''truncheon''' - a wooden shaft used as a weapon, or part of a weapon
 
* '''truncheon''' - a wooden shaft used as a weapon, or part of a weapon
Line 415: Line 414:
 
* '''twine''' - twist strands together into a rope
 
* '''twine''' - twist strands together into a rope
 
* '''umbel''' - long flower, as in hemlock or parsley
 
* '''umbel''' - long flower, as in hemlock or parsley
* '''unblazoned''' - an heraldic term* plain, undecorated
+
* '''unblazoned''' - an heraldic term, plain, undecorated
* '''umbraged''' - (in '''wide-umbraged''') 27, 32. Umbraged ‘shaded, shadowed’, but here in the sense ‘shadowing’, ‘casting a shade’.
+
* '''umbraged''' - (in '''wide-umbraged''') Umbraged "shaded, shadowed", but here in the sense "shadowing", "casting a shade".
 
* '''ungentle''' - rough, coarse
 
* '''ungentle''' - rough, coarse
 
* '''unquiet''' - anxious, concerned
 
* '''unquiet''' - anxious, concerned
Line 439: Line 438:
 
* '''waylay''' - intercept, prevent from going forward
 
* '''waylay''' - intercept, prevent from going forward
 
* '''wayward''' - uncontrollable, unpredictable
 
* '''wayward''' - uncontrollable, unpredictable
* '''web(s)''' - woven fabric, 56, 74, 101 (also used in senses "webbed feet" 137, ‘cobwebs’ 78, etc.)
+
* '''web(s)''' - woven fabric
 
* '''wellnigh''' - almost, very nearly
 
* '''wellnigh''' - almost, very nearly
* '''weregild''' - a payment in compensation for a death (literally "man-gold")
+
* '''weregild''' - a payment in compensation for a death (literally "man-money")
 
* '''wheedle''' - coax, persuade
 
* '''wheedle''' - coax, persuade
 
* '''whelm''' - engulf, cover
 
* '''whelm''' - engulf, cover
Line 448: Line 447:
 
* '''wherefore''' - for what (or which) reason
 
* '''wherefore''' - for what (or which) reason
 
* '''whet''' - sharpen
 
* '''whet''' - sharpen
* '''whickering''' - 231 (whickering sparks). The verb whicker meant to laugh or titter, or of a horse to whinny, but the O.E.D. cites a line from Masefield ''the wall-top grasses whickered in the breeze'', and the 1920 Supplement to the Dictionary gives a meaning "to make a hurtling sound", with a single citation where the word is used of a thunderbolt "whickering through the sky". In the 1962 version of The Man in the Moon the word flickering occurs in this verse.
+
* '''whickering''' - The verb whicker meant to laugh or titter, or of a horse to whinny, but the O.E.D. cites a line from Masefield ''the wall-top grasses whickered in the breeze'', and the 1920 Supplement to the Dictionary gives a meaning "to make a hurtling sound", with a single citation where the word is used of a thunderbolt "whickering through the sky". In the 1962 version of ''[[The Man in the Moon]]'' the word flickering occurs in this verse.
* '''whitethorn''' - hawthorn, 77
+
* '''whitethorn''' - hawthorn
 
* '''whither''' - to which place
 
* '''whither''' - to which place
* '''wildered''' - perplexed, bewildered, 181, 183, 199, 262
+
* '''wildered''' - perplexed, bewildered
 
* '''wile''' - trick, deceit
 
* '''wile''' - trick, deceit
 
* '''wizened''' - of shriveled appearance
 
* '''wizened''' - of shriveled appearance
Line 458: Line 457:
 
* '''worrit''' - worry
 
* '''worrit''' - worry
 
* '''worst''' - defeat
 
* '''worst''' - defeat
* '''wrack''' - devastation, ruin, 198 (cf. (w)rack and ruin).
+
* '''wrack''' - devastation, ruin, (cf. (w)rack and ruin).
 
* '''wrack'''<sub>2</sub> - clouds being driven by a strong wind?
 
* '''wrack'''<sub>2</sub> - clouds being driven by a strong wind?
 
* '''wraith''' - ghost, apparition
 
* '''wraith''' - ghost, apparition

Revision as of 13:10, 29 July 2009

Many uncommon, archaic, and obsolete words are found in J.R.R. Tolkien's works. At present the definition of these can be confusing and leads to misunderstanding the statement presented by Tolkien. For this reason, some glossary have been arranged for the readers*


  • abide - put up with, tolerate; await;
  • abjure - renounce, turn away from
  • abroad - in the open, at large
  • adamant - diamond, or (more generally) any very hard substance
  • afield - away, especially from home
  • aforetime - in earlier times
  • aghast - terrified, amazed
  • agin - a dialect word meaning "against", "next to"
  • aloof - hanging over ones head
  • amiss - not as things should be
  • an - if
  • anon - soon; ever and anon often
  • apace - quickly
  • argent - silver
  • arrassed - covered with arras (rich figured tapestry)
  • assuage - soften, lessen, soothe
  • astonied - stunned, astonished
  • aught - anything
  • bade - old past tense of "bid", pronounced "bad"
  • baldric - a shoulder-belt for carrying horns, swords, etc
  • bannock - flat bread-cake
  • barrel - the long, cylindrical part of a key
  • baseborn - ignoble, illegitimate
  • bason formerly a common spelling of basin
  • bay - (of a dog) bark or howl
  • bebother - bring trouble upon
  • befall - happen, occur
  • belie - give a false impression
  • benighted - in, or overtaken by, darkness
  • bent - open place covered with grass
  • beset - attacked, assaulted by enemies
  • besom - a stiff broom made out of sticks and twigs
  • besotted - made drunk
  • besotted2 - obsessed, entranced
  • besought - old past tense of beseech
  • bier - platform for carrying a coffin or body
  • billow - (large) wave
  • bivouac - temporary camp, without tents
  • blazoned - painted or inscribed (an heraldic term)
  • bond - storage of wine, etc, until duty has been paid; out of bond released from this
  • booby - stupid person
  • boon - favour, gift
  • bootless - useless. "Bootless is flight, they follow us with wings". [1]
  • bootless2 - not having a shoe. [2]
  • brakes - thickets
  • brazen - made of brass
  • brood - children
  • brood2 - related creatures
  • brook - tolerate, accept
  • buckler - a small round shield, held in one hand
  • bulwark - a defensive structure
  • burg - a fortress, or a fortified town
  • burgeon - come forth, bud, begin to grow quickly
  • burnished - polished
  • cairn - a mound of stones or rocks, used as a marker, memorial or tomb
  • carcanet - jeweled necklace
  • carouse - drink heavily
  • carven - old form of 'carved'
  • cataract - waterfall
  • cesspool - a pool of waste-water or sewage
  • chalcedony - a precious form of quartz onyx, agate and cornelian are all types of chalcedony
  • champ - (of a horse) munch on the bit, showing eagerness
  • charger large dish
  • chime - agree with, be in harmony with
  • circlet - a thin band of precious metal, worn on the head
  • clamant - clamorous, noisy
  • clave - old past tense of cleave, in the sense 'stick, adhere'
  • clomb - old past tense of climb
  • cloven - split into two
  • coëval - born at the same time
  • cob - spider (the name survives in the term 'cobweb')
  • coffer - strongbox, especially for holding valuables
  • comely - pleasant-looking
  • commons - shared food; short commons insufficient food
  • compass - accomplish, achieve
  • conclave - a meeting, or the place where a meeting is held
  • concourse - large group of people; crowd
  • confines - borders; borderlands
  • confusticate - a nonsense word, probably not intended to have a meaning (though its Latin roots can be interpreted "beat with a cudgel")
  • constellate formed into a constellation
  • cools - coolnesses
  • cony - rabbit
  • coomb - short valley in the side of a hill or mountain
  • coop - cage, imprison
  • corbel basket
  • corslet - a piece of armour covering the body, but not the arms or legs
  • cot - a small shelter; the origin of the word "cottage"
  • counsels - words of advice
  • covet - be jealous of, desire
  • covetice - (inordinate) desire, covetousness
  • cozen - lie to, cheat, deceive
  • craven - coward
  • crocks - items of crockery plates, dishes, etc.
  • culvert - a channel carrying water beneath a thoroughfare
  • cumbrous - awkward, inconvenient
  • cunning-handed - deft, artful, dexterous
  • curdle - turn sour
  • dainty - morsel, delicacy
  • damask - steel and iron specially welded to make a serpentine pattern
  • darkling - dark (poetical)
  • daunt - intimidate
  • declaim - speak or recite passionately
  • deem - consider, conclude
  • defile - ruin, corrupt
  • defray - pay for
  • dell - small valley
  • descry - catch sight of, especially something difficult to see
  • devices - things, especially situations, devised or engineered
  • dingle - deep hollow, usually shaded with trees
  • dissemble - hide one's true intentions
  • divers - numerous and various
  • dolven - delved, dug out
  • doom - fate (as opposed to modern usage, doom in this sense is not necessarily bad)
  • dotard - a person who has lost their wits, especially through old age
  • doughty - strong, powerful
  • draught - drawing or pulling force
  • draught2 - a drink drawn from a barrel or storage jar
  • drear - dismal, gloomy
  • dregs - sediment found at the bottom of wine, tea, etc. To "drink to the dregs" is to completely drain a cup or (metaphorically) fully involve oneself
  • dry - (of bricks or stone) laid without mortar
  • durstn't - dare not
  • dwimmer-crafty - skilled in the arts of magic
  • eaves - the fringe of a forest (from the resemblance of the overhanging forest canopy to the eaves of a house)
  • eld - old age
  • ell - a measure of length, usually equivalent to 45 inches or 114 cm
  • embattled - of a fortress, having battlements
  • embattled2 - of an army, fortified against attack (this is the dictionary definition, but in The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien's usage seems to mean simply "in battle")
  • embrasure - beveled door or window frame cut into a wall
  • encompass - surround
  • ere - before
  • errantry - journeying in search of adventure
  • espy - catch sight of
  • essay - attempt
  • esteem - consider to be of worth; esteem too lightly underestimate
  • et - a variation of "ate", common in British rural dialects
  • etten - eaten - see "et"
  • ewer - large, wide-mouthed water jug
  • eyot - a small island, especially found in a river
  • faggot - bundle of sticks used as firewood
  • fain gladly; disposed, desirous; fain of well-pleased with
  • falter - waver, lose courage
  • fane temple
  • fare - travel, go on a journey
  • fastness - secure fortress
  • fawn - cringe, grovel
  • fealty - allegiance and service to a lord
  • feign - pretend
  • fell - merciless, terrifying
  • fell2 - animal's hide
  • fell3 - moorland hill
  • fender - a metal frame placed around a fireplace
  • fetter - chain, shackle
  • fey -The old senses were ‘fated, approaching death; presaging death’. It seems very unlikely that the later sense ‘possessing or displaying magical, fairylike, or unearthly qualities’ (O.E.D. Supplement) was intended.
  • field - background color on a flag or shield in heraldry.
  • figured - marked with drawings or writing
  • firth - An inlet of the sea at a wide river estuary
  • flagon - large jug or mug, usually used to hold wine or beer
  • flammifer - in Latin, flammifer means "fiery", but Tolkien's usage is likely meant to suggest "flame-bearer", as a reference to the blazing Silmaril borne by Eärendil.
  • flank - the exposed side of an attacking or marching army
  • flittermice - bats
  • flotsam - floating wreckage; flotsam and jetsam items washed up by the sea, or a flood (also used figuratively)
  • flummoxed - bewildered, disconcerted
  • footpad - a thief (historically, a "footpad" was a highwayman who had no horse)
  • forbear - hold back from
  • forebode - foresee (especially something that is evil)
  • forespeak - foretell, predict
  • foreswear - swear not to do something
  • forgo - let go, do without
  • forlorn - abandoned, desolate
  • forsake - desert, turn away from (the past tense is forsook)
  • forsooth - in truth, actually
  • fortnight - a period of two weeks
  • fosse - a defensive trench or ditch
  • founder - sink, after taking on water
  • fraught - full (of)
  • freshet - a stream, or (strictly) a flood of fresh water
  • furlong - one eighth of a mile (220 yards), or about one fifth of a kilometre
  • gaffer - a word meaning both "old man" and "foreman"* its use as the nickname of Hamfast Gamgee is probably mean to combine both meanings.
  • gainsay - contradict
  • gallop - boil and bubble
  • game - crippled
  • gammer - old woman
  • garth - an enclosed garden or yard
  • ghyll - deep ravine
  • gibbet - A gallows built to display the body of an executed criminal
  • gimlet - A sharp boring tool, similar in general design to a corkscrew; see like gimlets see sharply
  • girdle - belt or cord used especially to confine clothing
  • girdle2 - something which surrounds or encircles; girdle of Arda the central regions of Arda, equidistant from the far north and south
  • girt - bound or attached with a belt
  • glede - burning coal or cinder
  • gloaming - the twilight of evening
  • glower - scowl, frown
  • goggle - stare with round eyes
  • gorcrow - carrion crow
  • graven - engraved, carved
  • greened - made green from the mosses and lichens on a tree's trunk
  • grot - old form of "grotto"; an ornamental or picturesque cavern
  • guileful - treacherous, deceitful
  • gunwale - the top edge of a boat's side, pronounced (and sometimes spelt) 'gunnel'
  • habergeon - a mail-coat without sleeves
  • hale - robust, strong of body
  • hame - hide, pelt
  • hang - to leave food, especially game, in the open until it becomes "high" or tender
  • harbour - succor, assistance
  • hardly - with great difficulty
  • hardly2 - only just
  • harry - ravage
  • haste - hurry, rush
  • hauberk - mail-coat
  • headstall - a covering for a horse's head, used as an alternative to bridle and bit
  • hearken - listen, pay attention
  • heed - thought, consideration
  • heedless - careless of danger
  • hence - from here
  • hew - chop, slice
  • hither - to here, to this place; hither and thither in various directions
  • hither2 - nearer, closer
  • hoar - grey- or white-haired
  • hobble - limp, walk with difficulty
  • hock - the middle joint of a horse's or pony's leg
  • houseleek - a fleshy plant that grows on the walls and roofs of houses
  • hue - form or shape
  • hummock - a small hill or knoll (in The Lord of the Rings, "hummock" is used metaphorically to describe the shape made by the palantír beneath Gandalf's cloak)
  • hundredweight - the pun in Tolkien's description of Bilbo's 112th birthday as a "Hundredweight Feast" is based on the fact that in Britain a hundredweight is 112 pounds. Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag
  • hunter's moon - the full moon of mid- to late October
  • hythe - a small harbour or haven, especially on a river
  • ill - evil, wrong
  • inaureoled surrounded with a halo, (the word is only recorded in the O.E.D. in a poem by Francis Thompson, 1897).
  • jacinth - blue
  • jetsam - items thrown overboard from a ship, and later washed ashore
  • keen - sharp
  • kerb - a raised edge to a road or path
  • kindle - set fire to, begin to burn
  • lampads - The word is only recorded in the O.E.D. (first used by Coleridge) of the seven lamps of fire burning before the throne of God in the Book of Revelation, chapter 4 verse 5.
  • lave - wash, bathe
  • lay - a poem that is meant to be sung
  • league - a measure of distance, usually considered to be equivalent to three miles
  • leaguer - an encampment or encampments, especially for defensive purposes
  • leave - permission
  • lee - shelter, especially from wind and weather
  • leech - healer
  • leechcraft - the practice of magical medicine. The name is based on the Celtic word for stone. The animal leech (Latin: sanguisuga, literally: blood sucker) is named for the healer (leech), rather than the other way around. [3]
  • legendarium - term coined by Tolkien to mean Arda, in all of its mythological entirety
  • lets upon gives on to, opens on to
  • lief gladly, willingly
  • liever more gladly, more willingly, rather
  • lissom - lithe, supple
  • loath - reluctant
  • lob - spider (seen, for example, in the name Shelob)
  • loth - reluctant [a variation on loath above]
  • louver - a domed structure built on a roof with side-openings to allow smoke to escape
  • lustihead vigour
  • malefactor - one who commits an evil act
  • mantle - cloak, cover
  • mar - spoil or damage beyond repair
  • march - share borders
  • marchwarden - border guard
  • mark - notice, detect
  • marshal - place in proper order
  • mattock - a primitive weapon, originally a farming tool, perhaps best described as a double-headed battle-hoe
  • maw - jaws and throat, especially of a ferocious animal
  • mayhap - perhaps
  • mead - an alcoholic drink made from honey
  • mead2 - meadow
  • meed - requital
  • mere - lake or pond
  • mew - a type of gull
  • midge - tiny airborne biting insect; not unlike a mosquito, but much smaller
  • minished reduced, diminished
  • mischance - accident
  • misgive - fill with doubt or suspicion
  • moonshine - fantastic ideas
  • muster - collect, assemble
  • nethermost - lowest, deepest
  • nicety - precision, exactness; weigh to a nicety measure exactly
  • nigh - near; well nigh, wellnigh almost, very nearly
  • nightshade - probably simply "darkness" (the literal use of this word appears to be unique to Tolkien - in * historical English, it is only used figuratively as the name of a poisonous plant)
  • noisome - foul-smelling, poisonous
  • nook - corner, recess
  • obeisance - bowing or kneeling in submission
  • oft - often
  • or ... or - either ... or,
  • or yet - apparently means "already",
  • ostler - stable-keeper
  • ousel blackbird, 43 (now spelled ouzel, in Ring-ouzel and other bird-names).
  • oust - take possession of another's lands, property, title, etc.
  • outworn - exhausted
  • overbear - defeat by weight of numbers
  • pallid - pale
  • panoply - full suit of armour
  • parapet - defensive wall built to protect troops
  • parley - discuss terms of peace or cease-fire
  • passward - something granting passage of a guard
  • pate - head, mind
  • pent - restricted, confined
  • penthouse - the area beneath a sloping roof, especially as a later extension to an existing building
  • perforce - having no choice, being forced
  • pinion - a bird's wing, and especially the tip
  • plash - splash
  • pleasance - "A pleasure-ground, usually attached to a mansion; sometimes a secluded part of a garden, but more often a separate enclosure laid out with shady walks, trees and shrubs..." (O.E.D.)
  • portage - transporting a boat overland
  • pled old past tense of plead, 186
  • plenilune - the time of full moon (see Letters p. 310).
  • portent - omen, sign
  • postern - a back- or side-entrance
  • pricks - (spurs his horse), rides fast. Oromë pricks over the plain echoes the first line of The Faerie Queene, A Gentle Knight was pricking on the plaine.
  • profound - deep
  • prosy - dull, contented with the commonplace
  • provender - food
  • puissant - powerful, influential
  • purloin - steal
  • quaff - drink deeply
  • quail - give way to, be intimidated by
  • raiment - clothing
  • rearguard - that part of an army set to cover its rear ranks, especially in retreat
  • recked - troubled, cared
  • rede - counsel, advice; plan; redes counsels
  • redound - contribute to, advance
  • redress - setting right
  • reft - past tense of the old word reave, to take by force
  • rent - past tense of rend, to tear or split
  • repair - go often
  • respite - relief, calm interval
  • revelry - merrymaking
  • rick - a stack, especially of hay
  • rill - a small stream
  • rondured - (in golden-rondured). Rondure "circle, rounded form"; rondured is not recorded.
  • rude - simple, primitive
  • rue - regret, repent of
  • rumour - sound
  • ruth - matter of sorrow, calamity; distress, grief; remorse
  • sable - heraldic term for black
  • sallow - having yellow or pale brown skin
  • saps - deep diggings
  • sate - old past tense of sit
  • save - except
  • seamews - seagulls
  • selenites - inhabitants of the Moon
  • semblance - appearance
  • shade - ghost or phantasm
  • shallop - This word had precise applications to particular kinds of boat, but here apparently means "open boat propelled by oars and sail".
  • shank - leg; especially that part between the knee and ankle
  • share - share=ploughshare, but used here of the blade of a scythe.
  • sheaf - bundle or cluster of stalks
  • shoal - a particularly shallow part of a river- or sea-bed
  • shore - slice, tear (an old past tense of "shear")
  • shun - refuse
  • sister-son - nephew
  • sledge-blows blows as of a sledge, a large heavy hammer
  • slot - track followed by a hunter
  • slowcoach - someone who moves slowly, or is often late
  • sluggard - slow or lazy person
  • smite - strike, attack (the past tense is smote)
  • snuff - sniff deeply
  • sojourn - temporary stay
  • sooth - true, truthful
  • sortie - an attack launched by a besieged force
  • spinney - group of trees, or small wood
  • sprent - past participle of the lost verb sprenge "sprinkle, scatter"
  • sprite(s) - spirit(s)
  • stead - place, position
  • stem - block, hold back
  • stock - the trunk or stump of a tree; stock and stone inanimate things
  • stoop - in falconry, to swoop on prey
  • straightway - immediately, directly
  • strait - narrowly confining
  • straitly - narrowly, tightly
  • strand - shore, shoreline, especially a beach
  • stricken - struck; (as an adjective) damaged, broken
  • suaded - persuaded
  • succour - give aid
  • sunder - divide, separate
  • surname - an additional name indicating some quality or ability (as distinct from modern usage, surname in this context has no connection with family)
  • sward - region of short grass, lawn
  • swart - dark-skinned
  • swarthy - dark-skinned
  • swath - a strip of grass that has been flattened or mown
  • swoon - faint
  • tarn - mountain lake
  • tarry - pause, wait
  • thanksgiving- festival of giving thanks, as in a prayer
  • thenceforward - from that time on
  • thither - to or in that place
  • thraldom - slavery
  • thrall - slave
  • thrawn - twisted, misshapen
  • thrawn2 - obstinate, stubborn
  • throe - violent agony
  • throve - old past tense of 'thrive'
  • thwart - foil, stop
  • tidings - news
  • tipsy - slightly drunk
  • tithe - one tenth
  • toils - trap, snare
  • toothsome - pleasantly appetising
  • tors - rocky hill-tops
  • toss-pot - drunkard
  • tracery - complex interlinked ornamentation
  • traffic - trade
  • trammels - nets, traps
  • traverse - travel through or across
  • trillups, trillaping - Unknown
  • trove - found treasure
  • truncheon - a wooden shaft used as a weapon, or part of a weapon
  • tryst - an arranged meeting; break tryst fail to attend a tryst
  • tumult - noisy disturbance
  • tunic - a loose, short-sleeved garment
  • tuppence - two pence, a very small amount of money; not care tuppence have no interest
  • turnkey - jailer
  • tussock - clump of grass
  • twine - twist strands together into a rope
  • umbel - long flower, as in hemlock or parsley
  • unblazoned - an heraldic term, plain, undecorated
  • umbraged - (in wide-umbraged) Umbraged "shaded, shadowed", but here in the sense "shadowing", "casting a shade".
  • ungentle - rough, coarse
  • unquiet - anxious, concerned
  • unsated - unsatisfied
  • unsullied - pure, uncorrupted
  • upbraid - criticise
  • upheave - push or force upwards
  • vale - the valley of a river
  • varmint - pest, bothersome person or animal
  • vassal - servant, bondsman
  • vie - struggle with, be rival to
  • vigil - watchfulness; hold vigil make devotion
  • viol - an old instrument, usually with six strings, similar to a violin but held in a vertical position like a 'cello
  • waif - homeless person
  • wain - wagon; The Wain the constellation of the Plough or Big Dipper
  • wan - pale
  • wards - the "teeth" of a key
  • ware - old form of aware
  • waver - shimmer, flicker
  • waver2 - show indecision
  • wax - grow stronger; increase
  • waylay - intercept, prevent from going forward
  • wayward - uncontrollable, unpredictable
  • web(s) - woven fabric
  • wellnigh - almost, very nearly
  • weregild - a payment in compensation for a death (literally "man-money")
  • wheedle - coax, persuade
  • whelm - engulf, cover
  • whence - from where
  • whereat - for which reason
  • wherefore - for what (or which) reason
  • whet - sharpen
  • whickering - The verb whicker meant to laugh or titter, or of a horse to whinny, but the O.E.D. cites a line from Masefield the wall-top grasses whickered in the breeze, and the 1920 Supplement to the Dictionary gives a meaning "to make a hurtling sound", with a single citation where the word is used of a thunderbolt "whickering through the sky". In the 1962 version of The Man in the Moon the word flickering occurs in this verse.
  • whitethorn - hawthorn
  • whither - to which place
  • wildered - perplexed, bewildered
  • wile - trick, deceit
  • wizened - of shriveled appearance
  • wold - an upland region of moorland
  • wont - customarily, regularly; wont to err thus regularly make mistakes of this kind
  • worrit - worry
  • worst - defeat
  • wrack - devastation, ruin, (cf. (w)rack and ruin).
  • wrack2 - clouds being driven by a strong wind?
  • wraith - ghost, apparition
  • wreathe - engulf, surround (especially of vapour or fire)
  • wrest - take by force
  • writhen - writhing, twisting
  • wroth - angry
  • yammer - wail, weep
  • yoke - wooden harness for oxen; under the yoke under complete control
  • yonder - over there
  • yore - long ago
  • zenith - highest point

References

  1. Shakespeare, King Henry the Sixth, part 3, act ii, scene iii
  2. The Hobbitonian Anthology, pp. 115-117.
  3. Mark T. Hooker, The Hobbitonian Anthology, pp. 165-172.