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any names in Tolkien's work starting with J or X? Did he exclude J due to his first initial? Who knows? Or Jesus?

smoofzilla

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curious about the absence of names starting with J - prove me wrong please I'm trying to find one - as well as X... I can't seem to find them.
 

Galin

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"Jolly" Cotton :)

Galin "Ando"
 
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smoofzilla

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Yes I am sure it may be a rune but specifically the start of a name? I wonder if he intentionally omitted these letters as the initials of important first names. Jolly is certainly up there with strange names like Olorin or Peregrin...!
 

Galin

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Yes, I was only joking about the X shaped rune.

Ando
 

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Jolly's real name was "Wilcome" -- at least in "translation", and the nickname had the same meaning as Meriadoc's -- in fact, Tolkien used the same word, "jolly", in describing the meaning of the short form, "Merry" (Westron Kali, "an abbreviation of the now unmeaning Buckland name Kalimac").

The only point being that it's a common sort of nickname, differing from Elvish Olorin, or Frankish- or Gothic-derived Hobbit names like Peregrin, in that it's in line with the low mimetic world of the Shire. In fact, all the Cottons mentioned in the Scouring chapter are referred to by their nicknames.

Does anyone know if Tolkien indicated definitely that Sam's family were Harfoots? If so, the Cottons were likely to be too.

The author clearly had fun playing with these names, "an all too fatal attraction"; Sam's cousin Hal allowed him to introduce a slightly naughty play on words, for instance, which apparently almost no one caught. :)
 

smoofzilla

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Well apparently you have caught it, but I have not (regarding Hal?) :p
But what do you think of my postulation, that an importantly named individual initialed J was intentionally ommited to avoid any correlation to religious figures or his own first name? It seems rather odd that its the only letter in the alphabet other than X to not have a "fancy", although I would think X is less of a concern.
Unless "J" was "X"ed..! :p
 

Galin

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There's also Jago and Jesamine (see Boffin Of The Vale, Appendix C).

Galin Unbanned
 
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smoofzilla

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That is commendable although they had no main role in the tale, it is still worthy of note. Thank you!
For me the oddity remains that in the main narrative a name ending in these letters are absent. But, you have certainly made me feel better about the absence of the letter J so far. Actually, my sister's friend had stolen my old John Howe LOTR books, and never returned The Hobbit either. I left my LOTR in China coincidentally, that hotel maid or her family may be highly amused: those giant skypscrapers where reminiscent of the Twin Tower with its blinking red lights, but the people are very nice in China. I kind of freaked out and rushed outta China leaving the books there (on purpose)! Not to mention three boxes of South Africa Red Bush Tea not found elsewhere in the world :p
 

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I was hoping one of our language experts would jump in here, but they seem to be having a slap-fest on another thread, so I'll venture to say that, if I understand correctly, the J-sound appeared only in Westron, which is "translated" as English. Therefore it's unsurprising to find a few Shire names starting with J, but not elsewhere (I assume you are still talking about starting, not "ending" as you wrote above.

In any event, I seriously doubt it was to avoid "John" or "Jesus"; Tolkien would certainly be aware the latter name was a translation of Yeshua, etymologically the same as Joshua. And typologically also, but that's another matter.

On Hal, his name comes up in the Menippean conversation in The Green Dragon, cited by Sam as the eyewitness for 'these tree-men, these giants, as you might call them'.

Ted Sandyman is skeptical: 'Your Hal's always saying that he's seen things; and maybe he sees things that ain't there.' And so on.

At one point, Sam retorts that 'you can't deny that others besides our Halfast have seen queer folk crossing the Shire'. There are two little jokes here: one being that "Halfast" is, IIRC, an Old English word meaning "steady and reliable" -- which the preceeding conversation has gone some way to undermining.

The one I alluded to earlier is the other: we'd normally pronounce it as "Hal-fast", but it's also possible to divide the word differently, with the first syllable pronounced as English "half". :)
 
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Galin

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I was hoping one of our language experts would jump in here, but they seem to be having a slap-fest on another thread, so I'll venture to say that, if I understand correctly, the J-sound appeared only in Westron, which is "translated" as English. Therefore it's unsurprising to find a few Shire names starting with J, but not elsewhere (I assume you are still talking about starting, not "ending" as you wrote above.

Hmm. Do we know the sound as in "jolly" [ʤ] appeared in Westron? Or in Hobbitish Westron? Generally speaking (and not that you said otherwise in any case), I would say that Tolkien's translation-thingy need not relate to sounds.

If Tolkien had chosen to call Merry "Jolly" in the book instead of Merry, his real (short) name would/could still be Kali, for example. That said, even if that makes sense, I'm no expert in Westron phonology . . . so I'll shut up now.

🐾
 
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A note in the Appendices says "j represents the sound of English j". If he had later thoughts about this, I don't have access to them at the moment.
 

Galin

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A note in the Appendices says "j represents the sound of English j". If he had later thoughts about this, I don't have access to them at the moment.

Ahh . . . excellent note of a note S-ES! I obviously don't write enough (any) Westron in Tengwar! And if JRRT had any later thoughts about this and didn't publish them . . . then it don't matter to me. And after getting off my lazy *%#, I also found (according to J. Allen), that the Westron name for the tengwa "Anga" is Jé.

Galin
 

Galin

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Surely you jest :)

By the way, S-eS, I didn't mean to imply you had merely assumed j existed in Westron due to Tolkien's translation conceit. In case you inferred this.
I edited my above post in any case.

And in case Ando reads it at some point!
 

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