J.R.R. Tolkien Glossary

bandy to exchange back and forth. (The Lord of the Rings)

bane a curse, the cause of destruction. (The Lord of the Rings)

barrow an ancient grave formed of a mound of earth and stones. (The Lord of the Rings)

baying barking. (The Hobbit)

the Black Land Mordor. (The Lord of the Rings)

the Blessed Realm the land to which all the elves may sail, leaving Middle-earth and its troubles; also called the Undying Lands. (The Lord of the Rings)

blown blossomed. (The Lord of the Rings)

bollards wooden posts used to secure ropes, as in tying up a boat. (The Lord of the Rings)

braces suspenders; straps hung over the shoulders to hold up pants. (The Hobbit)

bracken a large, coarse fern. (The Hobbit)

brakes an area of rough, overgrown land; a thicket. (The Lord of the Rings)

brands flaming sticks or torches. (The Lord of the Rings)

buckler a small shield. (The Lord of the Rings)

butteries pantries or storerooms. (The Lord of the Rings)

cairn a heap of stones, intended as a marker. (The Lord of the Rings)

carrion dead meat or flesh. (The Lord of the Rings)

cask a barrel, usually holding wine. (The Hobbit)

charnel associated with dead bodies or bones. (The Lord of the Rings)

cleave to split or pass through by cutting. (The Hobbit)

clemency mercy. (The Lord of the Rings)

close secretive. (The Lord of the Rings)

cloud-wrack remnants of clouds. (The Lord of the Rings)

confusticate flabbergast. (The Hobbit)

conies rabbit furs. (The Hobbit)

copper a large boiler for heating water or cooking. (The Lord of the Rings)

cordial a stimulating drink. (The Lord of the Rings)

dark lantern a lantern that can be closed to block the light. (The Lord of the Rings)

doom fate or destiny. (The Lord of the Rings)

dotard a senile person. (The Lord of the Rings)

doughty brave. (The Lord of the Rings)

dryad a nature spirit or wood nymph. (The Lord of the Rings)

eddying moving in a circular current like a whirlpool. (The Hobbit)

elanor a small yellow flower growing in Lothlórien. (The Lord of the Rings)

elevenses British term for a midmorning snack. (The Lord of the Rings)

ells a measurement of just under four feet. (The Lord of the Rings)

embrasure an opening in a wall or parapet to allow the firing of missiles. (The Lord of the Rings)

embroiled involved in conflict. (The Lord of the Rings)

Eorlingas the warriors of Rohan. (The Lord of the Rings)

esquire a candidate for knighthood or knight in training. (The Lord of the Rings)

eyot a small island. (The Lord of the Rings)

eyrie a bird's nest on a cliff or mountaintop. (The Hobbit)

fathom six feet; used for measuring depth. (The Lord of the Rings)

fawn to behave abjectly in order to receive favor. (The Lord of the Rings)

fell fierce or terrible, sinister, deadly. (The Lord of the Rings)

fen a swamp or bog. (The Lord of the Rings)

fey marked for death; also marked by otherworldliness. (The Lord of the Rings)

flaxen pale yellow, similar to flax. (The Lord of the Rings)

flint material used for producing a spark. (The Hobbit)

flummoxed confused. (The Hobbit)

foiled spoiled a plan, prevented a plan from being successfully enacted. (The Hobbit)

fortnight a period of two weeks. (The Hobbit)

the Four Farthings divisions of the Shire, similar to counties. (The Lord of the Rings)

furrier a fur dealer; one who makes, repairs, or cleans fur garments. (The Hobbit)

gaffer old man. (The Lord of the Rings)

gainsaid contradicted. (The Lord of the Rings)

Galadrim the elves of Lothlórien. (The Lord of the Rings)

gammers old women. (The Hobbit)

gangrels vagrants. (The Lord of the Rings)

garner to collect or gather; also what has been collected. (The Lord of the Rings)

ghylls a deep, rocky ravine; gully. (The Lord of the Rings)

gibbet gallows; scaffolding for hanging criminals. (The Lord of the Rings)

glade an open space surrounded by woods. (The Hobbit)

glede a hot coal or ember. (The Lord of the Rings)

goblin another word for orc; a race of evil creatures who live underground and fear the daylight. (The Lord of the Rings)

Goblins grotesque, malicious creatures. (The Hobbit)

gorse a spiny shrub with yellow flowers. (The Lord of the Rings)

graybeards old men. (The Hobbit)

the Great River the river Anduin; largest river in Middle-earth. (The Lord of the Rings)

halfling another term for hobbit. (The Lord of the Rings)

hart male red deer, usually over five years old. (The Hobbit)

haywards local officials in charge of pastures and fences. (The Lord of the Rings)

headstall part of bridle which goes around the head. (The Lord of the Rings)

helm a position of control. (The Hobbit)

hemlock-umbels umbrella-shaped flower clusters of the hemlock tree. (The Lord of the Rings)

hind female red deer. (The Hobbit)

hoard a supply stored up or hidden away. (The Hobbit)

hollow a small valley. (The Lord of the Rings)

holm-oak an evergreen oak tree. (The Lord of the Rings)

huorn a partially awake tree. (The Lord of the Rings)

ilexes a holm-oak or holly tree. (The Lord of the Rings)

ironmongery something made of metal, such as armor. (The Lord of the Rings)

kerb restraint. (The Lord of the Rings)

kine cattle. (The Lord of the Rings)

lair den; refuge or hiding place. (The Hobbit)

larch a deciduous tree of the pine family. (The Hobbit)

larder pantry; a place where food is stored. (The Hobbit)

laved washed. (The Lord of the Rings)

league a distance of roughly three miles. (The Lord of the Rings)

livery the uniform of the servants of a nobleman. (The Lord of the Rings)

loth reluctant. (The Lord of the Rings)

malediction curse. (The Lord of the Rings)

mallorn a tree unique to Lothlórien; its leaves turn gold in the fall but do not drop until spring, when the tree puts on yellow flowers. (The Lord of the Rings)

the Mark another term for the country of Rohan. (The Lord of the Rings)

mathom hobbit term for an old item that no one remembers the use of, but no one wants to throw away. (The Lord of the Rings)

mead meadow. (The Lord of the Rings)

Mearas the horses of Rohan, an especially intelligent breed. (The Lord of the Rings)

mere a lake or pool. (The Lord of the Rings)

mirth joy, playfulness. (The Hobbit)

moot an assembly convened for discussion and decision making. (The Lord of the Rings)

mould rich, crumbling soil. (The Lord of the Rings)

muff a warm tubular covering for the hands. (The Hobbit)

necromancer an evil wizard specializing in death magic. (The Lord of the Rings)

niggard stingy. (The Lord of the Rings)

the Nine the Nazgûl, most powerful servants of Sauron; also refers to the rings of men, which enslaved them. (The Lord of the Rings)

oast a kiln for drying hops. (The Lord of the Rings)

oliphaunt a large predecessor to an elephant. (The Lord of the Rings)

ostler a groom or stableman at an inn. (The Lord of the Rings)

palantìr one of eight crystal balls, linked to each other, that enable communication across great distances. (The Lord of the Rings)

pallid pale and weak. (The Hobbit)

parley an exercise in diplomacy; a talk with the goal of resolving conflict. (The Hobbit)

penthouse a small shed attached to a building. (The Lord of the Rings)

phial alternate spelling of vial; a small bottle. (The Lord of the Rings)

pipeweed a dried plant similar to tobacco. (The Lord of the Rings)

plundered/plunderers to take by force; to rob or loot; those who take by force, rob, or loot. (The Hobbit)

portage carrying boats around an obstacle, such as rapids. (The Lord of the Rings)

portcullis an iron grating hung over a gateway and lowered between grooves to prevent passage. (The Hobbit)

porter a person who carries burdens or baggage. (The Hobbit)

proffered to present or offer. (The Lord of the Rings)

promontory a high point of land or rock projecting into water or over lowland. (The Hobbit)

quailed cowered or shrank in fear. (The Lord of the Rings)

quays docks or landing places on a waterway. (The Hobbit)

queer strange or odd. (The Lord of the Rings)

quoits a game in which a ring of iron or rope is thrown at an upright pin; similar to the game of pitching horseshoes. (The Hobbit)

railing scolding. (The Lord of the Rings)

rowan an ash tree. (The Lord of the Rings)

runes characters from the alphabets used by the Germanic peoples from the third to the thirteenth centuries. (The Hobbit)

sentinels soldiers charged with guarding. (The Hobbit)

the Seven the rings of the Dwarves, cursed by Sauron. (The Lord of the Rings)

shingly overlapping in rows. (The Hobbit)

short commons minimal rations. (The Hobbit)

sleeping-draught a sleeping potion. (The Hobbit)

sloe the purple fruit of the blackthorn tree, similar to a plum. (The Lord of the Rings)

slot the trail of an animal. (The Lord of the Rings)

sluice an artificial watercourse, or the gate that regulates it. (The Lord of the Rings)

smials tunnels. (The Lord of the Rings)

smote attacked, especially to kill or severely injure. (The Lord of the Rings)

smote hit (past tense of smite, to hit). (The Hobbit)

sortie a raid or foray, particularly of troops coming out from a defensive position. (The Lord of the Rings)

spinney a small woodland. (The Lord of the Rings)

staggerment amazement, confusion. (The Hobbit)

stonecrop a creeping evergreen sedum with yellow flowers. (The Lord of the Rings)

stud a male breeding horse. (The Lord of the Rings)

sword-thain a military retainer or servant. (The Lord of the Rings)

tamarisk a narrow-leaved desert shrub or tree. (The Lord of the Rings)

terebinth a small tree that yields turpentine. (The Lord of the Rings)

the Third Age the time of the story, beginning with the Isildur's defeat of Sauron and ending with the destruction of the One Ring. (The Lord of the Rings)

thongs a strip of leather or hide. (The Hobbit)

the Three the rings of the elves, never touched by Sauron. (The Lord of the Rings)

throng a crowd; a large number of people. (The Hobbit)

tilth cultivated land. (The Lord of the Rings)

tinder a flammable substance that can be used as kindling. (The Hobbit)

tippet a fur shoulder cape, often with hanging ends. (The Hobbit)

tor hill. (The Lord of the Rings)

toss-pot a drunkard. (The Hobbit)

trowels hand tools for spreading mortar. (The Lord of the Rings)

turnkey the person in charge of the keys to a prison. (The Hobbit)

turves plural of turf; pieces of sod grass. (The Lord of the Rings)

unsullied unsoiled, clean, pure. (The Lord of the Rings)

Uruk-hai name of the orcs of Saruman; they have human blood, are especially large, and can endure daylight. (The Lord of the Rings)

wains wagons. (The Lord of the Rings)

warg a large, intelligent, evil wolf. (The Lord of the Rings)

watercourse any waterway, such as a stream or river. (The Hobbit)

waxing moon the growing moon during the second quarter of its phases, between half and full. (The Lord of the Rings)

waybread a nutritious and filling bread made for traveling. (The Lord of the Rings)

weapontake muster, or assemblage of armed men. (The Lord of the Rings)

weskit waistcoat, vest. (The Lord of the Rings)

whortleberry European blueberry. (The Lord of the Rings)

wight a supernatural creature, usually applied here to the ghost haunting a barrow. (The Lord of the Rings)

will-o'-the-wisp a flickering light that leads travelers astray. (The Lord of the Rings)

withy-path a winding path lined with willow trees. (The Lord of the Rings)

wold hilly countryside. (The Lord of the Rings)

wont habit. (The Lord of the Rings)

wraith a phantom or ghost; an undead specter. (The Lord of the Rings)

Yule-tide the Christmas holiday season. (The Hobbit)