Tolkien Gateway


"Dark Wood"? According to Tolkien (Nomenclature), dim is here used in its older meaning 'obscure, secret' (see: Reader's Companion, p. 768 cf. p. 533). --Tik 18:25, 12 January 2008 (EST)

Hm, good question. I'm not a linguist, but here is the full quote from The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion: "...dim is still current in English (but here used in an older sense "obscure, secret")..." I'm not sure if Hammond and Scull are saying "here" means in the text or in current English. Another reference seems to be in The Lost Road and Other Writings, it is described as "DEM- sad, gloomy. Ilk. dimb sad (cf. Dimbar); dim gloom, sadness (*dimbē); dem sad, gloomy (*dimbā)." The only mention of "dark" I can find is in Tolkien's description of Dimholt as "wood of dark trees at entrance to the Dark Door" (Nomenclature) --Hyarion 03:19, 15 January 2008 (EST)
But Dimholt is all English (translated from Rohirric), and the Sindarin dim (cf. LR, p. 354) is only a homonym. Here is the passage (written by Tolkien himself in the Nomenclature, RC 768) in its entirety: "Dimholt. Wood of dark trees at the entrance to the Dark Door. The name is given in the form of the language of Rohan and so should be retained unchanged, though dim is still current in E. (but here used in an older sense 'obscure, secret'), and holt is in occasional poetic use." - Now, it seems to me that Dimholt in modern English should - according to JRRT - be understood as "obscure, secret wood" instead of "dim wood". Or should it? --Tik 03:47, 15 January 2008 (EST)