From Tolkien Gateway
This article is about an Orkish word. For the orc from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, see Sharku.

sharkû is an Orkish word meaning "old man".[1][note 1] Modified to fit the Common Speech (and anglicized in The Lord of the Rings) it was rendered as "Sharkey", used by the Orcs and Men of Isengard as a nickname for their leader, the Wizard Saruman.[2]

Etymology[edit | edit source]

Andreas Möhn has suggested that sharkû might be derived from a hypothetical Mannish root ZAR. The ending could be identified with the ending seen in Tharkûn.[3]


  1. Robert Foster used the form sharkú in his Complete Guide to Middle-earth (see entry for Sharkey).