Talk:Gamgee Family

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What is the meaning of the word "Longfather" as the title of the family tree? Is it something like a nickname of Samwise, or his family? Sage 16:02, 8 August 2019 (UTC)

It has to mean 'ancestor, forefather' even if it doesn't seem to appear in the OED. The word is also used in the text:

  • 'I would have things as they were in all the days of my life,' answered Denethor, 'and in the days of my longfathers before me: to be the Lord of this City in peace, and leave my chair to a son after me, who would be his own master and no wizard's pupil. But if doom denies this to me, then I will have naught: neither life diminished, nor love halved, nor honour abated.' (The Pyre of Denethor)
  • Faramir: 'But since things must now be done otherwise, using the authority of the Steward, I have today brought hither from Rath Dínen the crown of Eärnur the last king, whose days passed in the time of our longfathers of old.' (The Steward and the King)

Might be Tolkien's own word, perhaps a translation from OE, but I can't find any references. --Tik 06:28, 21 August 2019 (UTC)

My guess is the latter. He liked to backform words from OE and it fits the rural nature of the Gamgees. --Ederchil (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 07:19, 21 August 2019 (UTC)

Some new information: in Philoloblog the word is told to be derived by Tolkien from Old Norse langfeðgar 'paternal ancestors' (see also The Vikings of Bjornstad), and the word seems to be still in use in Icelandic. In OE 'grandfather, ancestor' is eald-fæder. If Tolkien had taken it from there, he would probably have translated *oldfather. (By the way, as the word is used by Denethor and Faramir, it is not quite rural in essence.) --Tik 17:08, 21 August 2019 (UTC)