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


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  • Updated 20 February 2007
  • Updates planned: 2


The original form of the name ‘Gamgee

Well-known though it is, the name 'Samwise Gamgee' would not have been recognised by the character who bore it. It is an anglicised version of Sam's original name, created by Tolkien using Old English equivalents to the elements of that name, which would actually have been Banazîr Galpsi, or 'Ban' for short.

The name 'Galpsi' was a contraction of an older form, 'Galbasi', referring to Hobbits who were resident in the village of Galabas. The anglicised version of the name follows a similar logic: 'Gamgee' is a contraction of 'Gammidgy', which relates to the village of Gamwich, where Sam's family originated.

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