Hillmen - Scottish Gaelic Nomenclature

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The developers used the Scottish Gaelic language as the basis for the Hill-men and Angmarim nomenclature in Angmar, and for the Créoth and Corcur.

Tolkien was not very fond of the Gaelic languages. He did not use them as the basis for anything in his legendarium, with one very notable, unintended, exception: the name Nazgûl.

"...it remains remarkable that nasc is the word for 'ring' in Gaelic (Irish: in Scottish usually written nasg). It also fits well in meaning, since it also means, and prob. originally meant, a bond, and can be used for an 'obligation'. Nonetheless I only became aware, or again aware, of its existence recently in looking for something in a Gaelic dictionary. I have no liking at all for Gaelic from Old Irish downwards, as a language, but it is of course of great historical and philological interest, and I have at various times studied it. (With alas! very little success.) It is thus probable that nazg is actually derived from it, and this short, hard and clear vocable, sticking out from what seems to me (an unloving alien) a mushy language, became lodged in some corner of my linguistic memory." — Letter 297, "The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien", 1981

Note that the Hillmen language in the game is not Scottish Gaelic, only inspired by it. Therefore differences represent choices by the developers not errors. Scottish Gaelic equivalents have been included in this page for general interest, to allow following up, and to show somewhat of the developers' decision making.

In adapting Scottish Gaelic words for the game, the developers made a few consistent changes. The grave accent has been replaced with the acute. Consonant clusters with H (BH, MH, etc.) have mostly been replaced with more familiar English equivalents. Clusters of vowels present to fulfill a characteristic spelling convention have been simplified. All in all, the changes are similar to the way real Scottish Gaelic names have been anglicized.


Name Translation and Comments Scottish Gaelic
Aughaire The Lorebook called Aughaire "The Meeting-place". The word is difficult to interpret as such in S.G., but is close to aoghaire, a herdsman.
Bail Boglakh swamp town baile boglach
Bail Cátharnakh soldiers town baile ceatharnaich
Bail Dílas town of the faithful baile dìleas
Bail Grundail frugal town baile grunndail
Bail Róva promontory town baile rubha
Búth Luikh warriors' tent bùth laoich
Búth Sánkhas history tent bùth seanchas
Donnvail brown town donn-bhail
Dûn Covád fortress of watch dùn coimhid
Duvairë gloom dubhar
Fail-á-Khro cow enclosures fàil a' chrò
Fasach-falroid wilderness of the circling road fàsach fàlròid
Fasach-larran central wilderness? larran is difficult to interpret fàsach làr-rann
Frith-vailë small village frith-bhaile
Krúslë Lannan vault of swords crùisle lannan
Nád Nathair serpent nest nead nathair
Reodh Fuil freezing blood (a name in an Angmarim-controlled part of Forochel)
Sálgaitë hunting place sealg àite
Tármunn Súrsa sanctuary of freedom tèarmunn saorsa
Tór Gailvin tower of the rocky hill tùr gail-bheinn

NPCs and Things

Corcur crimson
Créoth hurt creòth
Trév Duvárdain black hill tribe treubh dubhàrdain
Trév Gállorg There are various possibilities of interpretation: warband tribe, tribe of the white staff treubh gal-lorg, treubh geal-lorg
clúcath chosen of battle clú catha
fém worth feum
gun ain nameless gun ainm

Individuals often bear the names of ancient monarchs or saints. Some examples are given to show how Turbine chose to adapt the names:

Hillmen name Scottish Gaelic
Abb Aebbe
Dírdrë Dèirdre
Domongart Domangart
Enan Énán
Guinokh Guinoch
Muiráthakh, Moridac Muiredach
Nekhtan Nechtain
Soltakh Seòltach
Temair Teamhair