The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien


About this entry:

  • Updated 16 July 2007
  • Updates planned: 2


A variation on the Shire month of Blotmath

Blotmath was the eleventh month of the Shire Calendar, and derives ultimately from the Old English blótmónaþ. That word translates literally as 'sacrifice-month', because the Saxons would make sacrifices in the hope of lessening the hardship of winter. The Old English words for 'sacrifice' (blót) and 'blood' (blód) seem to be etymologically connected, and the variant pronunciation Blodmath (which would be 'blood-month') reflects this connection.

Of course, there's no implication that the Shire-hobbits themselves took part in sacrifices of any kind: Blodmath and its related names are merely taken from the Old English calendar as a convenient translation for the actual Westron names that would be used in the Shire itself.

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