View Poll Results: How do you pronounce Tolkien's last name?
TOL-kin, TOL-ken, emphasis on the first syllable 104 63.80%
tol-KEEN, tol-KEE-en, emphasis on other than the first syllable 35 21.47%
Other 24 14.72%
Voters: 163. You may not vote on this poll

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#1
Old 11-11-2011, 03:01 PM
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Author name pronunciation poll: Tolkien

How do you pronounce the name of the great J.R.R. Tolkien?

Poll to follow.
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#2
Old 11-11-2011, 03:14 PM
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Despite what my friend says, about how he heard him pronounce his own name on a tape, I pronounce it:

"token" like a game token.
#3
Old 11-11-2011, 03:28 PM
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Three syllables, with the emphasis on the first, which wasn't an option in the poll.
#4
Old 11-11-2011, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Three syllables, with the emphasis on the first, which wasn't an option in the poll.
So would that be TOLL-key-in, TALL-key-in, toll-KEY-in, tall-KEY-in, or something else?
#5
Old 11-11-2011, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skald the Rhymer View Post
So would that be TOLL-key-in, TALL-key-in, toll-KEY-in, tall-KEY-in, or something else?
The first one.

Edit:

Actually no. TOLL-key-en.

Last edited by amanset; 11-11-2011 at 03:50 PM.
#6
Old 11-11-2011, 03:53 PM
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Other: TOLL-kane
#7
Old 11-11-2011, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koeeoaddi View Post
Other: TOLL-kane
I don't see how you get that. The digraph "ei" is often pronounced like the diphthong ending "day" and "they," but I can't think of a single word in which "ie" is pronounced that way.
#8
Old 11-11-2011, 03:58 PM
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TOL-kin. Maybe just between that and TOL-keen, but closer to TOL-kin.
#9
Old 11-11-2011, 04:03 PM
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I voted "Other" as neither "kin" nor "ken" are correct.
it's (very approximately)
TOLL - keen
#10
Old 11-11-2011, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Three syllables, with the emphasis on the first, which wasn't an option in the poll.
Bah, a three-syllable-but-emphasis-on-the-first was supposed to be one of the examples for that option.
#11
Old 11-11-2011, 04:11 PM
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TOLL-key-uhn is how I've always heard it, so I voted "other."
#12
Old 11-11-2011, 04:11 PM
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According to this thread on The Tolkien Forum, where the same question is discussed, the prevailing consensus seems to be TOL-kin or TOL-keen (two syllables, not three, with accent on the first). Many of the posters there cite a letter written by Tolkien in which the author himself seems to clarify this. There is also a mention of standard German pronunciation, where "ie" is pronounced like English "ee"
#13
Old 11-11-2011, 04:17 PM
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Stressed Tol, but long kien. Maybe equal stress sometimes?

Actually, very like "Toll keen" come to think of it, but not separated into different words.

Last edited by foolsguinea; 11-11-2011 at 04:19 PM.
#14
Old 11-11-2011, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skald the Rhymer View Post
I don't see how you get that. The digraph "ei" is often pronounced like the diphthong ending "day" and "they," but I can't think of a single word in which "ie" is pronounced that way.
Beats me. Willful mispronunciation? Nah. What's left of my Philly accent? Probably not. My 9th grade English teacher? Well, that was the first time I heard the name pronounced, so it must be Mr. Redican's fault.
#15
Old 11-11-2011, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMalion View Post
Despite what my friend says, about how he heard him pronounce his own name on a tape
And that was?
#16
Old 11-11-2011, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sage Rat View Post
And that was?
Throat-Warbler Mangrove. (Come on, you knew someone was going to do it.)

I say TOL-kin, myself.
#17
Old 11-11-2011, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sage Rat View Post
And that was?
He said that the professer pronounced his own name "toll-keen".

But in my 13 year old head he had a silent "L" as in Sherlock Holmes.

And thats the way I likes it.

Last edited by BMalion; 11-11-2011 at 06:16 PM.
#18
Old 11-11-2011, 06:16 PM
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I've always pronounced it Toll-kin, but the Brits I know use Toll-keen. But then again they also say Van Goff for the painter.
#19
Old 11-11-2011, 06:23 PM
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TOLL-key-en. This is how it's usually pronounced in Sweden.
#20
Old 11-11-2011, 07:35 PM
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I didn't know it was a German name.
#21
Old 11-11-2011, 07:37 PM
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The Tolkien Professor says "TOLL-keen". I'd always pronounced it with 3 syllables (TOL-key-inn, with the last two syllables kinda elided together).

Change is hard.
#22
Old 11-11-2011, 07:42 PM
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TOL-kee-EN
#23
Old 11-11-2011, 08:08 PM
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TOLL-kin
#24
Old 11-11-2011, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
I didn't know it was a German name.
I thought it was Elvish.
#25
Old 11-11-2011, 09:46 PM
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Other - TOL-kee-en is how I say it. But my Webster's Bio Dictionary says two syllables, accented on the first.
#26
Old 11-12-2011, 01:20 AM
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I heard Christopher, Tolkien's son, say that the pronunciation was Toll-keen, with equal accent on each syllable. In this video, Adam, Tolkien's grandson, says the word "Tolkien" at 1:50:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=DFcjBzP7H-E
#27
Old 11-12-2011, 07:25 AM
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"Tol-KEE-en" or "Tol-KEE-in" when I think about it, "TOL-kin" when I just say it offhand...and with my accent, they slur together to almost the same thing anyway, to a listener.
#28
Old 11-12-2011, 08:24 AM
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Jay Are Are Tee
#29
Old 11-12-2011, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMalion View Post
I thought it was Elvish.
Ladies and gentlemen, Elvish has left the building.
#30
Old 11-12-2011, 11:40 AM
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I simultaneously pronounce it TOLL-kin and TOLL-ken, because ken and kin are the same syllable
#31
Old 11-12-2011, 11:45 AM
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Like in this youtube video.
#32
Old 11-12-2011, 01:43 PM
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TOLL-KEEN, with approximately equal stress on each syllable, or perhaps with a little more stress on the first syllable.
#33
Old 11-12-2011, 09:05 PM
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Toll-kin until I looked him up in the encyclopedia in 6th grade (pre-era of internet) and they had it as something more like Toll-key-in.

I think I got the Toll-kin version from some old TV commercial selling VHS copies of Rankin-Bass's version of the Hobbit.
#34
Old 11-12-2011, 10:43 PM
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I pronounce it TOL-KEN even though I quite know it's wrong. Just like I pronounce Lawrence Durrell's last name DYUR-ELL even thought I quite know it's wrong.
#35
Old 11-13-2011, 06:23 AM
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"THROAT-warbler-MANgrove" ?
#36
Old 11-13-2011, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMalion View Post
"THROAT-warbler-MANgrove" ?
See post 16.
#37
Old 11-13-2011, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
I voted "Other" as neither "kin" nor "ken" are correct.
it's (very approximately)
TOLL - keen
This is how I pronounce it, and I have absolutely no reason why.
#38
Old 11-13-2011, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir View Post
See post 16.
Dang.
#39
Old 11-17-2011, 08:18 AM
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I've always pronounced it Tol-key-en, but have heard people on t.v say Tolkeen, I a Brit.
#40
Old 11-17-2011, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMalion View Post
"token" like a game token.
The love of the hobbit's leaf has surely dulled your mind
#41
Old 11-17-2011, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ludovic View Post
The love of the hobbit's leaf has surely dulled your mind
Guilty.
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