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Discussing: Meanings of Names

Meanings of Names

Okay, this is one of the places where I fall short, as some of you may know... heh. Obviously, linguistics was never my strong point...

The point is, while we may know the meanings of names for major characters, what about the obscure ones, such as Thorin, Smaug, etc.? These don't have Sindarin/Quenya elements- some of them are words from other languages, or real names, so on so forth. What do we do then, if Tolkien doesn't give the meaning of such a name? Do we extrapolate, or what?

 

 

Re: Meanings of Names

What do we do then, if Tolkien doesn't give the meaning of such a name? Do we extrapolate, or what?
If you can extrapolate from Tolkien's material, by all means do. There are characters where the names have no meaning, such as Bilbo, and those should be left blank.

If someone better at linguistics than you or me figures out meanings, he or she can always add it later.

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Meanings of Names

Well, these will be bits that get filled in around the edges, like the last nibbles at a Hobbit's feast.

Tolkien says this of Smaug's name:

"The dragon bears a name - a pseudonym - the past tense of the primitive Germanic verb Smugan, to squeeze through a hole: a low philological jest."

Letter 25, "To the editor of the 'Observer'", The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien

People who have access to materials like the Letters and HoMe will need to send in bits of info as they come across it, preferably with citation. This letter of JRRT's, byt he way, is a riot, done very early on and very tongue in cheek.

Toodles - Ang,
who has a chapter to prep before the evening is done

 

 

Re: Meanings of Names

There are two good sources for parsing Elvish names. There is a guide to common elements in Elvish names in the rear of the Silmarillion.

The other is hisweloke Sindarin - English and - French dictionaries. Unfortunately, they now limit it to 800 searches per day. Better to download the PDF dictionary.

http://www.geocities.com/almacq.geo/sindar/

If you want to look up a character's name, Encyclopedia of Arda has most that are translatable and is good at listing character's multiple names.

 

 

Re: Meanings of Names

If you want to look up a character's name, Encyclopedia of Arda has most that are translatable and is good at listing character's multiple names.

Thanks, Mike, this is most helpful. I am going to put together something on 'Resources for researchers' and this will go in. Anything else that should be included, let me know. I suspect we all have our favorites, and pooling them would be great.

So far I have some websites, and a list of keyboard shortcuts for diacriticals. Also, somewhere there is an online version of the Sil, which I downloaded as it is easier to search than my book, but I can't remember where I found it.

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Meanings of Names

I have some stuff on diacriticals in my folder on HA. I have a handy alt code cheat sheet with all the diacrits used in tolkien writing, and instructions on how to add an insert special character icon to Word taskbars.

Ang and Joan did a more comprehensive table of alt and html codes for diacriticals. That is in HASA Resources.

mk

 

 

Re: Meanings of Names

I have some stuff on diacriticals in my folder on HA. I have a handy alt code cheat sheet with all the diacrits used in tolkien writing, and instructions on how to add an insert special character icon to Word taskbars.

Ang and Joan did a more comprehensive table of alt and html codes for diacriticals. That is in HASA Resources


I may be looking in the wrong place. The only thing I find in HASA resources is the research article that has very brief general instructions about special characters, and seems to take steps I haven't found necessary.

I suspect we use the same cheat sheet, but I'd like to combine lists to make sure we have them all. So how do you add the insert special character icon? Is this a replacement for keyboard shortcuts?

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Meanings of Names

Look in HA:Files:Mike's Placeiacriticals.

The table Ang & Joan did is in resources somewhere. I should put my stuff in resources too.

 

 

Re: Meanings of Names

Look in HA:Files:Mike's Placeiacriticals.

The table Ang & Joan did is in resources somewhere. I should put my stuff in resources too


I am beta testing for the technologically impaired, and I'm failing.

I can't find a table in resources, just the one brief article, very general. And trying to use your table from HA files gets me interesting symbols, one for each digit typed, but not the diacritical I wanted. I have a Mac, if that makes any difference. My shortcuts are such things as: alt plus e, then let go and tap e. Maybe it only works on Macs.

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Meanings of Names

Perhaps you are going to have to make a Mac table. All my stuff isPC oriented. Take the html version of my cheat sheet and change the shortcuts. Those are all the diacrits you need for Tolkien. I got them by going through the indexes of Sil, UT and RoTK and writing down every one used. Macs also have a utility called popchar or something that allows you to insert special characters.

Some chgaracter sets have weird symbols instead of the diacrits. Try another font like Lucidia or Times.

 

 

Re: Meanings of Names

Here is the URL for the article I spoke of.

http://www.henneth-annun.net/members/resources/chapter_view.cfm?STID=399&SRID=57&SPOrdinal=1

It is listed with just Ang as the author. For some reason I thought they were both working on it. The numeric codes in it are the same as the alt codes on a PC. I think there is a way to use the numeric codes on a Mac too. I just don't know it.

 

 

Re: Meanings of Names

There is something of a misunderstanding going on here.

Diacritical marks are usually added to text documents when using a US keyboard by holding down the Alt key and then typing a four digit code into the numeric keypad. What you are doing is inserting directly into the docuemnt the ASCII code for that particular character.

Example: I want to type in an "e" with an umlaut, since I want to write Fëanor.

Hold down Alt
Type "0235" on the keypad
Release the Alt key.

In most text documents, you will see "ë". Now, on a Mac, you may need to hold down another key besides "Alt" to trigger the accented character. I suggest asking Dimmie or Dwim for the answer to that.

In HTML, when typing in forms and forum posts and the such, you are probably safe to do the Alt+4 keyboard manuever. The trouble comes with older browsers, which do not always recognize the ASCII code. Instead of the ASCII code, you use an HTML specific code that is very, very similar.

Type #& instead of holding down "Alt"
Omit the leading "0" and type the three trailing numbers
Indicate the end of the special character by typing a semicolon.

Thus I type "&#", then "235", then ";" to get ë . This WILL work on ANY keyboard and in ANY browser.

The table in the Research Articles section simply provides all the codes for the special characters. Print it out for a fast reference sheet.

Bottom line is, unless you have a keyboard that is set up to do diacriticals automatically, you will have to type in some kind of code.

Ang

 

 

Re: Meanings of Names

Found it. I think I must still be tired/braindead, I didn't check for additional chapters to the article. I don't know how to make those work on a mac, but by codes seem just as fast if not faster; so I'll stick with those. I will add the mac codes to the article. Does my shortcut work for a PC?
alt plus e, then let go and tap e.

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Meanings of Names

Thanks, Mike, for linking to the article.

Hold down Alt

Thanks for the reminder, Ang, and for the symbol codes. I was inserting symbols in Word and while it works, it was slow.


Ying

 

 

Re: Meanings of Names

Be careful with the Encyclopedia of Arda when you're working with Sil characters. It's incomplete at best, because it doen't make use of the additional material found in the various volumes of the HoMe, especially about the First Age Elves.
And sometimes the Encyclopedia is misleading. For instance: Finrod Felagund wasn't 'lost' in First Age 468, as the Encyclopedia states. He died.

Finch

 

 

Re: Meanings of Names

And what about partial meanings? I did the basic factsheet on Ancalimë, and I think the Silm lists meanings for "Anca", but not for limë.

 

 

Re: Meanings of Names

My two cents - If there is an obvious meaning that JRRT himself notes, that definitely goes in. If the name is simple to translate, do that, but indicate that *you* made the translation. Use the text box and identify what elements you used to translate. If it is difficult (as you note with Ancalimë), then I would not put it in the "meaning" box, but write in "See Below" and then give an explantion of what it might be.

This way, where JRRT is explicit , it is in. All other versions will be documented as to what it means. Also, it is a good idea to try to identify where you got the meaning. For example, I noted Frodo's name is "Wise through experience" and then gave the citation for it (from the Letters) in the text box.

The text boxes can hold up to 20 pages of content each, just like a story chapter, so wquite a bit can go in, but I'd suggest saving all but the factoids for the critical essay collections.

By the way, Aralanthiriel, I like the work you did on the articles for Denethor. These can start being put together now, and then the mechanisms for connecting them with the fact sheets and with timelines will be filled in behind them. With luck, we will get essay & article collections for each major character and a number of the minor ones.

Ang

 

 

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