Linguimericks—Book ९१ SpecGram Vol CXCII, No 1 Contents Overheard in the Linguistics Student Lounge—Chesterton Wilburfors Gilchrist, IV

Lord of the Rhymes

Deedles D’Dee
... Son of Freedles Fr’Free
... Son of Peedles P’Pee

In Tolkien’s stories, a lot of the time,
Names alliterate and sometimes rhyme:
‘Eowyn’, ‘Eomer’; ‘Fili and Kili’;
‘Boromir’, ‘Faramir’. Some say it’s silly,

Especially when, in his very own name,
There’s very little that sounds the same:
‘John’, ‘Ronald’, ‘Reuel’ and surname ‘Tolkien’:
It’s one of the strangest names I’ve ever seen!

Admittedly there’s a repeated [r]
And a [l] x 3. But it’s very far
From ‘Thorin II, son of Thrain, son of Thror’
Or ‘Elrond and Elros’ and so many more.

And his children’s names don’t hang together
In any linguistic sense. Consider:
Not a jot of rhyme, not the least scintilla,
In ‘John’, ‘Michael’, ‘Chris’ and ‘Priscilla’.

(Of course I don’t mean or intend to say
That these names aren’t lovely in every way;
It’s just they’re linguistically not very near
To ‘Elladan and Elrohir’.)

And his brother, ‘Hilary Arthur Reuel’:
A sensible namebut not much fuel
In terms of rhyme or alliteration
To provide a decent explanation

For ‘Aragorn II son of Arathorn’
Or ‘Peregrin Took son of Paladin’.
Perhaps when all is said and done
There’s a little bit too much wordplay in

The names of the characters in middle-Earth.
Anyway, for what it’s worth,
I’d thought I query what is going on
With the names in the oeuvre of Ronald ...
... Son of Arthur ...
... Son of John.

LinguimericksBook ९१
Overheard in the Linguistics Student LoungeChesterton Wilburfors Gilchrist, IV
SpecGram Vol CXCII, No 1 Contents