How to insult a spider.

J. R. R. Tolkien was a great lover of words. It showed both — in his extensive vocabulary and talent to choose words with great precision to make his texts come alive with various shades of lexical meanings. One of the most special traits of Tolkien’s writing was a mastery usage of archaic style. A particularly interesting example of obsolete vocabulary can be found in The Hobbit.

Read more

In the Land of Heroes: Tolkien, Kalevala and Finnish.

As a gifted and prolific philologist, J. R. R. Tolkien had great love of languages. During his life he studied many tongues of old: Gothic, Old English, Old Norse, and for Tolkien the languages were closely connected with the tales of the people who spoke them. Those tongues and tales influenced him, all in different ways, but one thing remains: Tolkien realised very well that language and mythology form one inseparable whole, and this interdependence permeates his own mythology of Middle-earth which rose out of his invented language.

Read more

Language notes /// On Galadriel.

Beautiful she is, sir! Lovely! Sometimes like

a great tree in flower, sometimes like a white

daffadowndilly, small and slender like. Hard as

di’monds, soft as moonlight. Warm as sunlight,

cold as frost in the stars. Proud and far-off as a

snow-mountain, and as merry as any lass

I ever saw with daisies in her hair in springtime.

(Two Towers, p. 357)

Read more

Language notes /// On Fëanor.

The matter of Elvish names is one of the most interesting ones in Tolkien’s Legendarium. The way of Elves’ giving names to their children presents a very thought-out system showing the depth of Elvish culture, the importance of family values to them and their skill in giving the names that capture the inner nature of a person. Let’s have a look at the story of Fëanor’s name and how it reflects his personality.

Read more