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General Information
LocationEastfarthing, the Shire

Dwaling was a village in the far Northern parts of the Eastfarthing of the Shire, just north of the hills of Scary.[1]

[edit] Etymology

Dwaling seems to be a dialectal form of dwelling.

In a note to translators, Tolkien said, but without making clear if it was his intended meaning, that Dwaling "should be" a regular toponymic formation of a settlement's name, "the descendants of Dwale". Dwale would be a nick-name of one particular Hobbit, and the name was derived from Old English dwale, "dull".[2]

It is notable that dull and dwale (Gothic: dwals "fool") are cognates of Tol- in Tolkien (German: tollkühn, "foolhardy").[3] Tolkien himself has translated his own name into Gothic as Dwalakōneis.[2][4]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Part of the Shire" map
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Undated note part of Nomenclature, cited in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. lviii
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 165, (undated, written June 1955), p. 218
  4. Mark T. Hooker, A Tolkienian Mathomium, pp. 49-52