anonymous asked:

First off, your work is incredible and it's obvious the love and care you put into it, so well done for such commitment and effort! My question is: I'm trying to find a term of endearment (lover/spouse/partner) to use -I wanted to take into account that different cultures can have different or 'special' terms that fit into that culture. E.g. In Thai: Chang Noi (little elephant). As they're special animals to Thai people, bringing luck. What would be a Dwarvish equivalent of this in your opinion?

Thank you for those kind words.

What an interesting question indeed, thank you so much for that!
Every culture indeed has their own terms of endearment, so I have no doubt the dwarves would have their own.

When we look at the cultures from all over the world for inspiration we see these terms of endearment are (most of the time) related to either body parts, animals, food, valuables, tiny or round things, and of course the sweet and cute (and at times somewhat nauseating)…. So let’s look at each of these and find some dwarvish terms of endearment, shall we?

A) Body Parts

Real world examples:
In English we might say “sweet cheeks”. Another one is “My heart”, one you’ll find in many languages.  The Irish say “mo chuisle”, meaning “my pulse”. While the Greek say Μάτια μου (matia mou) or ματάκια μου (matakia mou), meaning “my little eyes”.  The Swedish say “sötnos”, meaning “sweet nose”.

If we translate such concepts to the dwarves we would be looking at body parts that have real meaning in their culture. I can’t think of any body part (or accessory to the body for that matter) more meaningful for a dwarf than their beard, they are all (even the females) born with one after all.

So, what about:

zêzantê*” “My first hair” -  you are so important to the dwarf he/she puts you on the same level of importance as their first (beard) hair, what an honour.
targel” “beard of all beards” – if that isn’t a compliment among dwarves I don’t know what is.

or what about… “hulwultarg” “Sweet beard” – the dwarvish version of “sweet cheeks”. (Thorin’s beard strikes as a “sweet beard”… one for the ladies)

* Note: In Neo-Khuzdul the order of nouns and adjectives is usually noun followed by adjective, however these terms of endearment can be seen as “titles”, hence the order of such words will be reversed in Khuzdul (example: zirak gamil (old master) vs “Gamil Zirak” (“ (the) Old-master”)

B) Animals

Real world examples:
Russian lovers call each other “dove”, golubchik (masc) or golubushka (fem), while in Brazil a “gato” or “gata” (cat) is slang for a handsome or pretty person. In German you’ll find “Häschen” (little hare), “Bärchen” (little bear), “Mäuschen” (little mouse), “Rehlein” (little deer), and Spätzchen (little sparrow).  While in Arabic one may hear عيون غزال (ywn ghzal), meaning  “eyes of a gazelle”.

We know from lore that dwarves didn’t have a connection with animals like most speaking peoples of Middle Earth had. Most dwarves considered animals “beings with a purpose”… either to ride, produce food, deliver messages, etc. . Though at times friendship could grow between them, it was a rare event.
There is no animal more praised by dwarves than the Raven however, one who they had a long standing relationship with. Granted, this wasn’t a relationship of love, but more of professional mutual convenience. Still the respect they had for these animals was very great, hence:

kurkarukê” “my tiny raven”

or perhaps…. “gultalut” “tiny boar” (I believe I recall someone once suggesting this would be the term of endearment Dáin used with his cousin Thorin, a fun idea)

C) Food

Real world examples:
In English we say sweet pea, peaches, pumpkin, muffin, cupcake, sugar and of course sweetie-pie, cutie-pie, honey-pie, pookie-pie… (hmm, such pie lovers… I’m beginning to suspect the first English speaking Romeos were hobbits).

The French say “mon petit chou” or “my little cabbage”, while the indonesians say “buah hatiku”, meaning “fruit of my heart”. Italians at times call their loved one “fragolina” (little strawberry).  In Spain a “media naranja” is your “other half”, but is more literally half of an orange!

Looking at some of the things the dwarves of Thorin’s company ask Bilbo to bring them in the Hobbit we could come up with the following:

tablkasabê” “my apple-pie”

kafhfantsadzê” “my coffee bean”

hulwulkasab” “sweet cake”

D) Valuables

Real world examples:
The Dutch “schatje”, or the Flemish version of it “schatteke”, mean “my little treasure”.

Now if there is something dwarves know everything about it is hoarding treasure.

In addition, their love is a fiercely jealous one (”a fierce and jealous love, the desire of the hearts of the dwarves”), so what about:

bunnanunê” “my tiny treasure”

rakl-gunru” “precious property” (word of warning - to be used very carefully)

mamamshul-‘ibinê” “my hoarded gem”

sanzigil-kaiku” “mithril chuck”

‘ibinê” “my gem”

E) The round or tiny

Real world examples:
The Flemish “mijn bolleke”, meaning “my little round thing” is no exception. In some countries roundness is greatly emphasized in loving affections, like in Ecuador where you would call your girlfriend “gorda” (fat girl) and boyfriend “gordo” (fat boy).

The French go for the tiny “ma puce”, meaning “my flea”. And the Italians (always eager to outdo the French), will go even tinier than fleas and lovingly say “microbino mio” (my little microbe). Persians believe you can be so cute that you are in fact smaller than a mouse. So small that you can lovingly say “moosh bokhoradet” or “may a mouse eat you”.

Dwarves can indeed become very round (obese) when they become very rich. So I have no doubt dwarves can relate to the endearing terms related to volume, seeing that it may even be a status symbol in their culture.

finitkutnanzâg” “wide belt” (likely for the males this one)

duftûnayê” “my fat lady” (word of warning – I take no responsibility whatsoever if you use this and end up with a black eye or some missing teeth) duftûnê” being the male version.

F) The somewhat nauseating….

Words like “sweetheart”, or “snuchums” are (for some) on the very edge of what the stomach can tolerate.

“Cariad”, the Welsh for “sweetheart”, or the Spanish “amorcito” (“my little love”) may be on the right side of that edge (depending on your personal taste of course).

Let’s think of a few Dwarvish alternatives:
thundanûd” “tiny embrace” (incidentally also means “tiny arms”)
merlar” “supreme love”
marali “ “element of (the) love (passion)”
‘ukrad” “greatest heart”

and let’s not forget the somewhat naughty…

There are terms of endearment reserved for more private intimate moments. Dwarves would be no different; in fact considering their jealous love and fondness of secrecy I believe some of these could even be quite popular behind closed doors.

‘arsûn” (“hot one”, “he that is hot”), “ ‘arsûna” being the female version. (I couldn’t help throwing in the above picture of our resident “hot dwarf” for the fans out there you are welcome ladies.)

amrâlul-kakhaf” “lovely bottom”

galthûn” (”delicious one”, he that is delicious), or “galthûna” (f)

mamahmarlûna”  “she who has been made love to”, “mamahmarlûn” being the male version of this.

I hope that answers your question Anon.

Ever at your service,

The Dwarrow Scholar