The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dated from the foundation of Buckland in III 2340
Descended largely from the Fallohides
'March' means 'borderland'
'Buck' derives from Bucca (itself probably from Old English for 'he-goat')
Other names


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  • Updated 21 November 2011
  • This entry is complete

Marchbuck Family

A variation on the name ‘Brandybuck

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The Hobbits of the Shire did not (of course) speak any modern language, and so their original names would have been quite alien-sounding to us. For this reason, Tolkien replaced most of their original placenames and personal names with more modern-sounding equivalents.

For example, when a famous old Hobbit of the Zaragamba ('Oldbuck') clan founded a new land beyond the eastern border of the Shire, his family name was changed to Brandagamba, which we know by its more familiar translation, 'Brandybuck'. However, this isn't a literal translation, and the element branda properly meant 'borderland' in reference to the newly founded country of Buckland. Using the old English word 'march' for a border region, Tolkien suggests that 'Brandybuck' might in fact be more literally rendered as 'Marchbuck'.

See also...

Zaragamba Family

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