So, yesterday's post about bumblebees reminded me of one point I forgot to mention, that the genus name for bumblebees is BOMBUS. I've always wondered if this might have been an element in Bombadil's name, but never followed up on it because I can't see the application.
However, thinking about Tolkienesque names reminded me of the amusement and sympathy I felt when watching the last debate as the two exhausted candidates struggling to both remember and then pronounce the name of the new Russian president who's replacing Putin. When I saw his name in print a few days later I at once realized we now, for the first time so far as I am aware, have a world leader who shares a surname with one of Tolkien's characters.* For 'Medvedev' is simply 'Medved' + the nominclative suffix '-ev', and 'Medved' is just a slightly different spelling of MEDWED. And Medwed is, of course, the original name of the character now more familiar as BEORN. Medwed's appearance in the draft of THE HOBBIT marked one of the very rare usages of a Slavic name by Tolkien, and Medved+ev is a pretty good parallel to Beorn+ing, the name applied in latter days for 'the people of Beorn'.
*I know one of the Sackvilles was pretty prominent in English politics back in Elizabeth's days, being in what we wd call her cabinet, but he never rose to head of state.
1 day ago