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  • proper n. Alternative spelling of middle-earth.

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  • the Earth, world in which corporal begins live; between the sky world and the underworld.
    J.R.R. Tolkien's 'Middle Earth' "is ... not my own invention. It is a modernization or alteration ... of an old word for the inhabited world of Men, the oikoumene: middle because thought of vaguely as set amidst the encircling Seas and (in the northern-imagination) between ice of the North and the fire of the South. O. English middan-geard, mediaeval E. midden-erd, middle-erd. —J.R.R. Tolkien, Letters, no. 21110
    It occurs in Early Modern English as a development of the Middle English word middel-erde (cf. modern German Mittelerde), which developed in turn from Old English middan?eard (the g being soft, i.e. pronounced like y in "yard". By the time of the Middle English period, middangeard was being written as middellærd, midden-erde, or middel-erde. A slight difference of wording, but not general meaning, had taken place as middangeard properly means "middle enclosure" instead of "middle-earth". Nevertheless middangeard has been commonly translated as "middle-earth" and Tolkien followed this course. Tolkien first encountered the term middangeard in an Old English fragment he studied in 1914:
    Éala éarendel engla beorhtast / ofer middangeard monnum sended.
    Hail Earendel, brightest of angels / above the middle-earth sent unto men.
    This quote is from the second of the fragmentary remnants of the Crist poems by Cynewulf. - source wikipedia

    August 2, 2009

  • oikoumene?

    January 21, 2008

  • I was suspecting that... very cool. Anyway, thanks for the quality comment.

    January 18, 2008

  • Thanks, VanishedOne. That's more or less what I thought. I'd like there to be an inner and outer earth, too, but that's more Alice in Wonderland / HG Wells than good old JRR.

    January 18, 2008

  • This is supposed to be a quotation from one of Tolkien's letters. (I grabbed it from Wikipedia.)

    Middle-earth is ... not my own invention. It is a modernization or alteration ... of an old word for the inhabited world of Men, the oikoumene: middle because thought of vaguely as set amidst the encircling Seas and (in the northern-imagination) between ice of the North and the fire of the South. O. English middan-geard, mediaeval E. midden-erd, middle-erd. Many reviewers seem to assume that Middle-earth is another planet!

    January 17, 2008

  • Ah, but check out middle-earth (and colleen's Lord of the Rings list). It's all about the hyphens. ;-)

    January 17, 2008

  • Poor little Wordie is just over a year old. It has only just started tottering off towards the outskirts of the English language.

    January 17, 2008

  • It is odd that this was unlisted. Well, it is now. I always wondered whether there was an upper earth and a lower earth, or an inner earth and an outer earth, too? I mean, middle with respect to what?

    January 17, 2008

  • I'm really surprised no one has listed this. Anyway, a mythical land in which takes place the story of The Lord of the Rings.

    January 17, 2008