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

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  • Updated 25 December 2014
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Old Entish

The ancient tongue of the Ents

The long, slow and resonant language used by the Ents. It was the habit of the Ents to string together descriptive words into a long chain of sound, so that names in Old Entish told the story of an object or person. A full conversation between Ents could thus take a considerable time, but this fitted the unhurried lifestyle of the Shepherds of the Trees.

The use of the word 'Old' in 'Old Entish' would normally imply that it represented a more ancient form of the Ents' language. In fact, this does not seem to be the case: Treebeard makes it clear that 'Old Entish' is the living language of the Ents, not a prior form. The tongue of the Ents is more commonly simply called 'Entish', so 'Old Entish' seems to be simply a longer name for the same language. The prefix 'Old' therefore appears to refer to the huge span of time over which Old Entish had been used, rather than indicating a different dialect or historical form.


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About this entry:

  • Updated 25 December 2014
  • Updates planned: 1

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