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Re: [mythsoc] Lucas and Tolkien

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  • Larry Swain
    ... And Old English gets orc from Latin orcus , a name for Pluto and the underworld, and more generally death. There is also the related orca , generally
    Message 1 of 11 , May 20 9:00 AM
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      > > Wasn't "Orc" based on "Uruk" or "Erech", ancient Middle-Eastern names?
      >
      > No. Orc is an Old English word for demon. Uruk and Erech are names that
      > appear in Middle-earth, but Tolkien probably didn't get them from Middle
      > Eastern sources either. Erech in Tolkien has nothing to do with orcs, as
      > far as I know.


      And Old English gets "orc" from Latin "orcus", a name for Pluto and the underworld, and more generally death. There is also the related "orca", generally in classical Latin "whale", but can come to mean anything monstrous in some medieval Latin texts.

      Erech in Tolkien may be influenced by the name's appearance in the King James Bible, particularly in the tale of nations in Genesis 10.

      Uruk as an historical name is equivalent with Erech, i. e. Iraq. However, in Tolkien if one posits Qenya yrch for orc, than a form in Black Speech or even in Common would be uruk. But I'm sure Carl or others who know the languages of Tolkien better than I can help us with that one. But I see a philological connection there for what its worth. I don't think Tolkien's uruk had anything to do with historical Uruk=Erech=Iraq.

      Larry Swain

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