Tolkien Gateway


The Springle-ring was a dance of the Shire-hobbits. It was described as "a pretty dance, but rather vigorous" where dancers leaped up often.[1]

At Bilbo's Farewell Party, while Bilbo Baggins was giving his speech, many thought that he had just finished and the children started playing with their toy instruments; Everard Took and Melilot Brandybuck got on a table and started performing the dance shaking bells on their hands.[1]

The dance is also mentioned in the Bucklandish poem Bombadil Goes Boating, as the daughters of Farmer Maggot sing and dance to honor their guest Tom Bombadil.[2]

[edit] Etymology

The word springle has several meanings in English, but is also a dialect word for "nimble, active".[3] Tolkien commented that the name is made-up and ought to evoke the style of the dance.[4]

Robert Foster gives the erroneous translation "war-horse ring".[5][6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Long-expected Party"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, "Bombadil Goes Boating"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien; Christina Scull & Wayne G. Hammond (eds), The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, "Commentary"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings" in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion
  5. Robert Foster, The Complete Guide to Middle-earth, p. 363
  6. Cf. Forum discussion: "...although where this information proceeds from is not given ('springle' does not seem to be a synonym for 'war-horse' in any online dictionary)."