Awake

Of all our “a-” words, our very last is one of the mysteries.  The “a-” is not likely to be the intensifier preposition 1, but its true root is hard to disentangle from the distinct verb “awaken” or the obscure word of parallel meaning, “awecche.”

  • 07.108 It was full morning when he awoke.
  • 08.065 and when he was awake he was not pleased at all.
  • 14.041 for they thought that war was awakening again,

“awake, v.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2015. Web. 18 May 2015.

“† aˈwecche, v.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2015. Web. 18 May 2015.

Astride

In this example of “a-” preposition 1, Bilbo is definitely not in the position of striding across his barrel.

  • 09.056 even if he had managed to get astride his barrel,

“astride, adv., prep., and adj.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2015. Web. 18 May 2015.

Astray

This is mostly likely to be “a-” preposition 1, in the situation of straying.  In this case, it is said of good plans.

  • 04.003 and of good friends like Elrond go astray sometimes

“astray, adv.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2015. Web. 18 May 2015.

Ashore

Thorin and Company only move ashore – “a-” preposition 1, in a situation – during the barrel adventure.

  • 09.059 close ashore at one point
  • 09.062 and waded ashore,
  • 09.066 If they had come ashore
  • 10.012 and helped ashore

“ashore, adv.2.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2015. Web. 18 May 2015.

Annoy

Such an everyday thing as annoyance is not seen from the moment the dwarves enter the barrels until Bilbo is safely home in Bag-End.  This is a case of “an-” prefix 1, a particle handy for forming verbs, adverbs, and prepositions.

  • 01.058 and annoyed.
  • 01.142 (which annoyed Bilbo very much),
  • 02.034 was most annoying.
  • 02.108 and very annoyed:
  • 03.018 or get annoyed with them.
  • 05.098 But Bilbo was annoyed at the delay.
  • 07.018 and you must be careful not to annoy him,
  • 08.049 We are quite annoyed enough with you as it is.
  • 09.034 and also rather annoyed.
  • 19.035 as Bilbo noticed with annoyance.

“annoy, v.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2015. Web. 18 May 2015.

Amuse

The “a-” prefix 1 intensifer is at work here, putting one intensely in the power of the muses.  OED notes that Shakespeare never used the word.  I find it notable that amusements end well before the capture in Mirkwood.

  • 01.020 Very amusing for me,
  • 04.013 and set dancing up by the roof to amuse them.
  • 06.071 and they soon had a plan which seemed to them most amusing.

“amuse, v.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2015. Web. 18 May 2015.