The Yale was a region of lowlands that lay in the Eastfarthing of the Shire between the Bridgefields and the Marish. The road from Tuckborough emerged from the Woody End and descended into the Yale, on its way to join the Causeway at Stock.
David Salo has suggested that Yale represents an Old Hobbitish form *Geal, from Welsh iâl. This fits right in with Tolkien's comment to the Dutch Translator, Max Schuchart, that there were "'Celtic' elements in Buckland and East-farthing names."
Yale is of course a well known English surname derived from a Welsh place name. The modern meaning is "fertile upland", based on the location of the best known Yale, the commote of Iâl in Powys, the traditional home of the kings of Powys.
Other versions of the legendarium
The Yale appeared in the text, as well as in the A Part of the Shire map only after the second edition (1966); Tolkien himself had added the name on the map of his own copy of the (first edition) Fellowship of the Ring. Christopher Tolkien notes that in printings of the map the name is near a square mark, suggesting that the Yale is a settlement, possibly a misunderstanding.[note 1]
- "The Yale" on the Map is printed in black letters, like all settlements, instead of red letters that label regions.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Part of the Shire" map
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Three is Company"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix C, "Boffin of the Yale"
- David Salo, "Hobbitish Place-names" dated 23 November 1998, Elfling (accessed 9 March 2013)
- Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 93
- Mark T. Hooker, A Tolkienian Mathomium, pp. 42-47
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Return of the Shadow, "The Third Phase: XXII. New Uncertainties and New Projections, Notes", p. 387