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@...>
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 thegentry.
> >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_.
> 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 ofAzir------> ---<http://www.io.com/~hmiller/lang/index.html>---
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