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Discussing: Merry aka "Holdwine"

Merry aka "Holdwine"

This is all that Enc. of Arda has to say about it:
"The name given to Meriadoc Brandybuck among the Rohirrim, and used by them to record his deeds in their annals. Its meaning is never given explicitly, but it seems to be something close to 'lover of burrows' (that is, a term with a similar meaning to 'hobbit'). "

What I need to know is:
- does anyone have an informed opinion about the accuracy of that etymology? HF, Dwim, our other AS scholars?
- is there any indication when the name was given to him? The only references I can find in LOTR are when Merry says farewell to Eomer and Eowyn before leaving Gondor, or in the Appendices.

Thanks for any help.



Re: Merry aka

does anyone have an informed opinion about the accuracy of that etymology?

I'm no scholar but in one of my Old English glossaries "hold" means loyal and "wine" means friend. So I think this is a title or honour - the equivalent of 'Elf Friend' I suppose - "Loyal Friend".

"Wine" is a common element in OE names. I'm trying to write a Rohirric OFC at the moment and she's called, at the moment anyway, Winfrith - friend of peace.

Hope that helps



Re: Merry aka

Greetings Forodwaith ~

I have to agree with Alawa. Poking around a couple on-line vocabulary lists, I find that definitely "hold" is Old English for "loyal" and "wine" is a form of "friend." (Another form is "freond.") So any other entymology given for "Holdwine" I would count suspect, unless someone can quote Tolkien stating otherwise. And actually, the thought of Merry being named "loyal friend" by the King of Rohan is quite a wonderful tribute, in my mind.

Hope this helps!
Cheers ~




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