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  • Updated 30 June 2014
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The insulting surname given to Gríma

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A surname given to Gríma, counsellor to Théoden the King of Rohan, who was in fact a spy of Saruman.



Gríma's title in the language of the Rohirrim was wyrm-tunga, which is modernised as 'Wormtongue'. In fact Anglo-Saxon (used by Tolkien to represent the speech of Rohan) used wyrm for various types of creatures, from what we would today call 'worms' to snakes and even Dragons. The meaning intended by wyrm-tunga was actually 'snake' (suggesting deviousness and deceptiveness) rather than 'worm' in the modern sense, though actually either reading would suit Gríma's character.

See also...

Láthspell, Master, Pimple, Worm

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