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Hobbit names (was Re: About dwarves and their connection with nordic myth ...)

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  • Jason Fisher
    ... No, no, I was referring to some of the first names, e.g., of the Meriadoc variety. I haven t done any systematic study of these names either, but my
    Message 1 of 5 , Dec 1, 2006
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      > Just enquiring about the last statement... .The hobbit names came
      > from the Continent? Bracegirdles, Proudfoot, Baggins are Continental
      > names? I've done any sort of name-study, esp of the hobbits, so I'm
      > curious.

      No, no, I was referring to some of the first names, e.g., of the "Meriadoc" variety. I haven't done any systematic study of these names either, but my recollection is of reading about this somewhere. Now, since I've stuck my neck out, hahae, I'll have to try and remember where that was. (And BTW, there are rumors that some of the surnames of the sort you mentioned above may have come from a Kentucky telephone book or something like that.)

      Jason Fisher

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • David Bratman
      ... Mis-memory of a statement that s probably not true in the first place. Guy Davenport, who wrote a couple articles in the 1970s, was the person who claimed
      Message 2 of 5 , Dec 1, 2006
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        At 03:51 PM 12/1/2006 -0800, Jason Fisher wrote:

        >And BTW, there are rumors that some of the surnames of the sort you
        >mentioned above may have come from a Kentucky telephone book or something
        >like that.

        Mis-memory of a statement that's probably not true in the first place. Guy
        Davenport, who wrote a couple articles in the 1970s, was the person who
        claimed to have found all the hobbit surnames in a pair of Kentucky
        telephone books. (He couldn't have in any Kentucky phone directories I've
        checked.) This he offered in support of his thesis that hobbits were
        inspired by tales of Kentucky country folk that Tolkien heard from his
        college aquaintance, Allen Barnett, a Rhodes scholar from Kentucky.

        Who can say what ingredients might have gone into the Cauldron of Story,
        but Barnett was far less important in Tolkien's life than Davenport (or
        Daniel Grotta, following him) assumed, and as for the suggestion that there
        actually is anything specifically Kentuckyesque about hobbits, that was
        addressed in the title of my paper that Merlin just cited:

        At 01:26 AM 12/2/2006 +0000, not_thou wrote:

        >Regarding Hobbit last names, David Bratman presented a very
        >entertaining paper at Birmingham in 2005 called "Hobbit Names Aren't
        >from Kentucky", noting the last names were generally English but
        >sometimes used more for sound than for sense, if I recall correctly.
        >Has / will that paper be published?

        What I said specifically was that Tolkien sometimes chose names more
        because of what meaning they suggested to the ear rather than on the basis
        of their actual etymology. For instance, as he observes in the
        Nomenclature, Chubb sounds like chubby, though it's actually apparently
        derived from the name of a fish.

        Some hobbit names exist in America, some don't, but none are particularly
        associated with Kentucky. There's more evidence, though scanty enough,
        that Tolkien chose some names because of the part of England that they're
        associated with, e.g. some of the Hobbiton-area names are Midlands names;
        names from farther off are from SE England or sometimes Yorkshire.

        If there is a Birmingham Proceedings, this paper should be in it. They
        have a copy.

        David Bratman
      • William Cloud Hicklin
        ... are particularly ... scanty enough, ... England that they re ... Midlands names; ... Yorkshire. Ethnically, the majority of the Appalachian hillfolk are of
        Message 3 of 5 , Dec 2, 2006
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          --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, David Bratman <dbratman@...>
          wrote:


          > Some hobbit names exist in America, some don't, but none
          are particularly
          > associated with Kentucky. There's more evidence, though
          scanty enough,
          > that Tolkien chose some names because of the part of
          England that they're
          > associated with, e.g. some of the Hobbiton-area names are
          Midlands names;
          > names from farther off are from SE England or sometimes
          Yorkshire.

          Ethnically, the majority of the Appalachian hillfolk are of
          Lowland Scots origin, by way of Ulster. There is a certain
          admixture of English, but that comes from those regions
          which were heavily Puritan in the 17th century: the fen
          country and East Anglia.
        • Lezlie
          Golly you mean Pippin wasn t named for an apple? Lezlie
          Message 4 of 5 , Dec 4, 2006
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            Golly <smile> you mean Pippin wasn't named for an apple? <wicked grin>
            Lezlie

            --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "William Cloud Hicklin" <solicitr@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, David Bratman <dbratman@>
            > wrote:
            >
            >
            > > Some hobbit names exist in America, some don't, but none
            > are particularly
            > > associated with Kentucky. There's more evidence, though
            > scanty enough,
            > > that Tolkien chose some names because of the part of
            > England that they're
            > > associated with, e.g. some of the Hobbiton-area names are
            > Midlands names;
            > > names from farther off are from SE England or sometimes
            > Yorkshire.
            >
            > Ethnically, the majority of the Appalachian hillfolk are of
            > Lowland Scots origin, by way of Ulster. There is a certain
            > admixture of English, but that comes from those regions
            > which were heavily Puritan in the 17th century: the fen
            > country and East Anglia.
            >
          • Elizabeth Hardy
            As a Kentuckian myself, I have never encountered any individuals with Hobbit names, but as a scholar of Appalachian culture as well as an Inkling scholar, I
            Message 5 of 5 , Dec 15, 2006
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              As a Kentuckian myself, I have never encountered any individuals with Hobbit names, but as a scholar of Appalachian culture as well as an Inkling scholar, I have long been intrigued by the connections between Appalachian people and Hobbits (we keep to ourselves, are wary of strangers, have strong ties to the land, are family-oriented, enjoy both alcohol and tobacco, pratice cooking and eating as arts, are highly traditional, resist change, etc.), but these are likely the result of the historicial connections with the early settlers of Appalachia and their cousins back in Britain. Appalachian people are like hobbits because the people who inspired the hobbits were the kin of the first Appalachian settlers. We have also had a long and unpleasant relationship with industrialists whom many of us regard as characters as shady as Saruman!
              (Our terrain is, of course, more rugged than the Shire. I now live in the shadow of Grandfather Mountain, which could easily harbor orcs.)
              Elizabeth
              David Bratman <dbratman@...> wrote:
              At 03:51 PM 12/1/2006 -0800, Jason Fisher wrote:

              >And BTW, there are rumors that some of the surnames of the sort you
              >mentioned above may have come from a Kentucky telephone book or something
              >like that.

              Mis-memory of a statement that's probably not true in the first place. Guy
              Davenport, who wrote a couple articles in the 1970s, was the person who
              claimed to have found all the hobbit surnames in a pair of Kentucky
              telephone books. (He couldn't have in any Kentucky phone directories I've
              checked.) This he offered in support of his thesis that hobbits were
              inspired by tales of Kentucky country folk that Tolkien heard from his
              college aquaintance, Allen Barnett, a Rhodes scholar from Kentucky.

              Who can say what ingredients might have gone into the Cauldron of Story,
              but Barnett was far less important in Tolkien's life than Davenport (or
              Daniel Grotta, following him) assumed, and as for the suggestion that there
              actually is anything specifically Kentuckyesque about hobbits, that was
              addressed in the title of my paper that Merlin just cited:

              At 01:26 AM 12/2/2006 +0000, not_thou wrote:

              >Regarding Hobbit last names, David Bratman presented a very
              >entertaining paper at Birmingham in 2005 called "Hobbit Names Aren't
              >from Kentucky", noting the last names were generally English but
              >sometimes used more for sound than for sense, if I recall correctly.
              >Has / will that paper be published?

              What I said specifically was that Tolkien sometimes chose names more
              because of what meaning they suggested to the ear rather than on the basis
              of their actual etymology. For instance, as he observes in the
              Nomenclature, Chubb sounds like chubby, though it's actually apparently
              derived from the name of a fish.

              Some hobbit names exist in America, some don't, but none are particularly
              associated with Kentucky. There's more evidence, though scanty enough,
              that Tolkien chose some names because of the part of England that they're
              associated with, e.g. some of the Hobbiton-area names are Midlands names;
              names from farther off are from SE England or sometimes Yorkshire.

              If there is a Birmingham Proceedings, this paper should be in it. They
              have a copy.

              David Bratman





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