The Ring of Words: Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary

Tolkien’s most memorable work, on getting back from The Second Great War, was as an aide on the staff of the Oxford English Word reference. He later said that he had “learned more in those two years than in some other equivalent piece of his life.” The Ring of Words uncovers what his expert work on the OED meant for Tolkien’s imaginative utilization of language in his made-up world.
Here three senior editors of the OED offer an interesting investigation of Tolkien’s profession as an etymologist and enlighten his innovativeness as a word client and word maker. The focal point of the book is a magnificent assortment of “word studies” which will please the core of Ring fans and word sweethearts all over the place.

The editors view at the beginning of such Tolkienesque words as “hobbit,” “mithril, “Smeagol,” “Ent,” “halfling,” and “worm” (signifying “winged serpent”). Perusers find that a word, for example, “mathom” (anything a hobbit had no quick need for, however was reluctant to discard) was really normal in Early English, yet that “mithril,” then again, is a finished development (and the first “Elven” word to have a section in the OED). Furthermore, devotees of Harry Potter will be shocked to see that as “Dumbledore” (the name of Hogwart’s director) was a word utilized by Tolkien and numerous others (it is a lingo word signifying “honey bee”).


IMPORTANT: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Things to Do in Oxford

Oxford Hotels: The Randolph Hotel. How to Visit, When to Stay

The Randolph Hotel

The Randolph Hotel, situated in the heart of Oxford, stands as a distinguished landmark of the city, attracting guests from around the world.


Museums & Art Galleries

Antiques on High - Oxford Museums, Art Galleries and Antiques Shops

Antiques on High

Antiques on High is an antiques and art shop from Oxford founded in 1997 and open seven days a week. It has won several awards.

Aidan Meller Gallery - Oxford Museums and Art Galleries

Aidan Meller Gallery

Aidan Meller Gallery is one of Oxford’s longest-established specialist art galleries. They showcase modern, contemporary and old masters.

Historical Places

Oxford's Carfax Tower

Carfax Tower

Carfax Tower, in Oxford, is a 23-meter-high bell tower that used to belong to a 12th-century church. Here’s how to visit it (and why!).

24-26 Cornmarket Street. Image courtesy of Chuca Cimas.

24-26 Cornmarket Street, Oxford

24-26 Cornmarket Street, Oxford is a timber-framed building built in the late 14th century. It belonged to a wine merchant and was an inn.

Parks & Meadows

Punting on the Isis (River Thames) at Oxford.

The Isis (River Thames, Oxford)

The Isis is the name given to the part of the River Thames that flows through the city of Oxford, England. Here’s everything about it.

Shotover Country Park in Oxford

Shotover Country Park

Brasenose Wood is a woodland park featuring quiet walking paths and diverse flora. It’s also part of a larger nature reserve in Oxford.

Crocodiles of the World: The UK's Only Crocodile Zoo

Crocodiles of the World

Crocodiles of the World is a unique and fascinating attraction located in Oxfordshire and dedicated to crocodiles and their relatives.