Forums » The Dwarves

Plural of Dwarf

    • 4416 posts
    November 6, 2016 6:11 PM PST

    I see some people here saying "Dwarfs" and others saying "Dwarves." Sometimes interchangeably. What's the logic there?


    This post was edited by Bazgrim at November 7, 2016 1:54 PM PST
    • 316 posts
    November 7, 2016 11:01 AM PST

    Dwarves or Dwarfs are both correct, that being said dawrf is the term used in real life as seen in all dictionaries. The Term Dwarve was a Typo from J.R.R Tolkien used in The Hobbit and LotR and has become since then a more modern term of the word.

    So it doenst matter.

     

    • 4416 posts
    November 7, 2016 1:56 PM PST

    Good to know! I personally prefer "Dwarves" (as does the forum creator, it seems). Not sure why, but it just feels right. Although I suppose "Dwarfs" would be the proper English way of saying it.

    • 323 posts
    November 7, 2016 4:27 PM PST

    Yarnila said:

    Dwarves or Dwarfs are both correct, that being said dawrf is the term used in real life as seen in all dictionaries. The Term Dwarve was a Typo from J.R.R Tolkien used in The Hobbit and LotR and has become since then a more modern term of the word.

    So it doenst matter.

     

    Yarnila, I was always under the impression that Tolkien created the word to better accomadate the English language. I've never heard the typo idea. Interesting info. Thanks.

    • 4416 posts
    November 8, 2016 11:16 AM PST

    Klumpedge said:

    Yarnila said:

    Dwarves or Dwarfs are both correct, that being said dawrf is the term used in real life as seen in all dictionaries. The Term Dwarve was a Typo from J.R.R Tolkien used in The Hobbit and LotR and has become since then a more modern term of the word.

    So it doenst matter.

     

    Yarnila, I was always under the impression that Tolkien created the word to better accomadate the English language. I've never heard the typo idea. Interesting info. Thanks.

    It does seem like kind of a strange "typo." It actually makes sense that it was done intentionally as a sort of phoenetic spelling because "dwarves" is just easier to say than "dwarfs." In my opinion anyway.

    • 79 posts
    December 9, 2016 10:27 AM PST

    Wikipedia - 

    "The original editor of The Hobbit "corrected" Tolkien's plural dwarves to dwarfs, as did the editor of the Puffin paperback edition of The Hobbit.  According to Tolkien, the "real 'historical'" plural of dwarf is dwarrows or dwerrows. He referred to dwarves as "a piece of private bad grammar".  In Appendix F of The Lord of the Rings it is explained that if we still spoke of dwarves regularly, English might have retained a special plural for the word dwarf as with goosegeese. Despite Tolkien's fondness for it, the form dwarrow only appears in his writing as Dwarrowdelf, a name for Moria.

    Tolkien used Dwarves, instead, which corresponds with Elf and Elves. In this matter, one has to consider the fact that the etymological development of the term dwarf differs from the similar-sounding word scarf (plural scarves). The English word is related to old The original editor of The Hobbit "corrected" Tolkien's plural dwarves to dwarfs, as did the editor of the Puffin paperback edition of The Hobbit. According to Tolkien, the "real 'historical'" plural of dwarf is dwarrows or dwerrows. He referred to dwarves as "a piece of private bad grammar". In Appendix F of The Lord of the Rings it is explained that if we still spoke of dwarves regularly, English might have retained a special plural for the word dwarf as with goose—geese. Despite Tolkien's fondness for it, the form dwarrow only appears in his writing as Dwarrowdelf, a name for Moria.

    Tolkien used Dwarves, instead, which corresponds with Elf and Elves. In this matter, one has to consider the fact that the etymological development of the term dwarf differs from the similar-sounding word scarf (plural scarves). The English word is related to old Norse dvergr, which, in the other case, would have had the form dvorgr. But this word was never recorded, and the f/g-emendation (English/Norse) dates further back in language history.

     dvergr, which, in the other case, would have had the form dvorgr. But this word was never recorded, and the f/g-emendation (English/Norse) dates further back in language history."

    • 79 posts
    December 9, 2016 10:30 AM PST

    I think this most represents the way we view the fantasy dwarf race - "He referred to dwarves as "a piece of private bad grammar".

    As long as it conveys our point we don't care how it comes out :)