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Immortal. In Middle-earth c. III 1000 to 3 November III 3019 (c.2,000 years)
Originated in Isengard, where it gave rise to the form 'Sharkey', later used in the Shire
'old man'
Other names
Title of


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  • Updated 15 December 2008
  • This entry is complete


‘Old Man’

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"'All my people used to call me that in Isengard, I believe. A sign of affection, possibly.'"
Saruman's view of his nickname
from The Return of the King VI 8
The Scouring of the Shire

One of the very few fragments of the Orkish language to survive, sharkû is interpreted as meaning 'old man'. In the more familiar form 'Sharkey' it was used by the Orcs and Men of Isengard to refer to their leader, the Wizard Saruman. When he went north to the Shire, he took the name with him, and it became common parlance among the ruffians known as 'Sharkey's Men'.

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