As of this writing, more than fifty per cent of the concordance, over 811 words, have more than the scantest entries. Fewer than 811 entries have the “brief” tag.
In my mission to identify which hyphenated words are Tolkien original compositions, I have use the Oxford English Dictionary’s word on whether something like “Moss-green” is only ever found as “mossgreen” or “moss green” and if the hyphenated form is not attested, I’ve given it the “JRRT” tag.
Further, if the hyphenated form is found in OED, but the only example is from Tolkien’s work, I’m giving him credit for putting together this form as his own intentional style.
“Mountain-king“, however, has three examples, one of which is Tolkien’s and one of which comes earlier.
I would love to hear from you, Word Fans! This is the type of art-work that has crept into what I thought would be the cut-and-dry list-making of this project.
Thanks for your notes, Word Fans – I have reached clarity. Since the other examples of “Mountain king” do not have the hyphen (unbehyphenated?), I am giving JRRT credit for an original-ish spelling.
I must express again my gratitude to the Community College System of New Hampshire for providing OED access to all students, staff, and faculty. Without this support, I couldn’t do this work. It’s not a huge cost… but it’s a real cost, and I am grateful.
Tolkien uses nine “forest-” compound words, of which three are attested in OED – forest-floor, forest-path, and forest-road.
OED has 61 “forest-” compound words, by the way:
forest red gum
“forest, n.” OED Online, Oxford University Press, June 2017, http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/73187. Accessed 13 September 2017.
In comparing the hyphenated words, I have reached the elf compounds. OED attests all of the words below. Only “elf-fire” and “elf-friend” overlap with the elf compounds of The Hobbit!
I am particularly intrigued by words of elven persons. OED has the compound with folk, girl, kingdom, lady, queen, and woman, while The Hobbit has guard, host, king, lord, maiden, and prince.
Now… you know me, Word Fans. I dug a little deeper. “Elven” is a noun, obviously, meaning a female elf, like fox/fixin and monk/minchin. In its second meanning, however, it is a combining appositive or attributive form:
2. Comb. (referring to a kind of imaginary being in the works of J. R. R. Tolkien).
and Elf-king is attested therein.
To be thorough, “elvish” is the OED’s adjective for elf, also spelled “elfish”. Not “elven”. That’s pure JRRT.
elf-fire – found in The Hobbit
elf-friend – found in The Hobbit
“elf, n.1.” OED Online, Oxford University Press, June 2017, http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/60431. Accessed 13 September 2017.
“elf-lock, n.” OED Online, Oxford University Press, June 2017, http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/60439. Accessed 13 September
“ˈelf-shoot, v.” OED Online, Oxford University Press, June 2017, http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/60441. Accessed 13 September 2017.
“ˈelf-shot, n.” OED Online, Oxford University Press, June 2017, http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/60442. Accessed 13 September 2017.
“ˈelven, n.” OED Online, Oxford University Press, June 2017, http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/60661. Accessed 13 September 2017.
“elvish, adj.” OED Online, Oxford University Press, June 2017, http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/60664. Accessed 13 September 2017.
My next task, friends, is to edit each of the hyphenated words – I’ll be going in order – to let you know what OED says of them. Please feel free to read along as your fancy is struck.
We have no cases of “northeast” or that lot, but look at our capitalizations!
- 07.130 and then bore to the north-west.
- 10.002 Its nearest neighbours to the North-East
- 11.003 They made north-west,
- 13.053 at the South-West corner of the Mountain.’
- 16.004 coming from the North-East.
- 17.046 rolling away to the South-East;