Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: CHAT: Dwarfs/dwarves (was Re: The pitfall of Chinese/Mandarin)

From:Michael Poxon <m.poxon@...>
Date:Tuesday, December 11, 2001, 23:02
Some interesting etymologies lie behind Dwarf and Hobbit: the term Hobbit
actually occurs in an eighteenth-century work by M.A.Denham about British
fairy traditions; and Tolkien pluralised dwarf as dwarves due to its
Germanic antecedents, which possessed a rounded final -w (possibly something
like *dwarg(w)) - witness his other compounds such as "Dwarrowdelf" and
modern German Zwerg. There is a Northumbrian brownie figure (rather
malignant) called a Duergar, which must also come from the same root.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Herman Miller" <hmiller@...>
To: <CONLANG@...>
Sent: Monday, December 10, 2001 4:46 AM
Subject: CHAT: Dwarfs/dwarves (was Re: The pitfall of Chinese/Mandarin)

> On Sat, 8 Dec 2001 22:04:11 +1100, Tristan Alexander McLeay > <anstouh@...> wrote: > > >The plural of `dwarf' is correctly `dwarfs', Tolkien was weird in Lotr. > >And I've got nothing wrong with dwarfs, but I'm not to fond of the
> >I keep my iron around me ;) Yes, very much prejudiced against the lords > >and ladies, thanks in part to Terry Pratchett's _Lords and Ladies_. > > > >Tristan > > The plural of "dwarf" _was_ correctly "dwarfs" (still by far the most > common form in the phrase "white dwarfs", an astronomical term, and in the > title "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"), but Tolkien redefined the > standard. Google shows 134,000 matches for "dwarves" as opposed to 251,000 > for "dwarfs" (including 19,500 references to "white dwarfs", 11,900 "brown > dwarfs", 2,240 "red dwarfs", and 65,900 "seven dwarfs"). "Dwarves" is > common enough that it's listed as an alternative to "dwarfs" in the > American Heritage dictionary (although not attributed to Tolkien). > > (Naturally, Tolkien _is_ noted for coining the word "hobbit", but oddly > enough, "orc" isn't even in the dictionary! This is odd, since "hobbit" is > used almost exclusively to refer to genuine Tolkien hobbits -- imitations > are called "halflings" -- but "orc" is commonly used in RPGs.) > > -- > languages of
Azir------> ---<>---
> hmiller (Herman Miller) "If all Printers were determin'd not to print
> email password: thing till they were sure it would offend no
> \ "Subject: teamouse" / there would be very little printed." -Ben