6

In the chapter "The Choices of Master Samwise", Shagrat yells

Hola! Gorbag! What are you doing up here? Had enough of war already?

It seems bizarre that orcs would be using Spanish words. What does this mean? Is Tolkien "translating" something into the Spanish word for hello? Does this have some meaning in English that I'm missing?

  • 4
    It's just an Orcish expression. In the same chapter they also say "Hai! hai! yoi!", "Ya hoi! Ya harri hoi!" and "Hai! Hola!", etc. Same as how we say "Ahoy!" , "Hey!" or "Huh?" – Möoz May 9 '17 at 4:44
  • 2
    Maybe Shagrat took Spanish correspondence classes. – RichS May 10 '17 at 2:21
8

In this case, 'Hola!' is not used as a Spanish word. It's a slang word; just as how 'Heyo' and 'Ello' are slang words, 'Hola' in this case is also one. It is simply derived from the English words (in Middle-earth; the Common Speech): 'Hello', 'Hey' or 'Hi'.

Note: It is Shagrat, and not Tolkien (narrator), who says this. Shagrat says this as he wants to get Gorbag's attention.

  • 1
    I assume it's a slightly older, "Tolkienised" version of "Holla". – DisturbedNeo May 9 '17 at 9:22
  • Hola is used even in Polish in similar meaning. – Mithoron May 9 '17 at 13:56
  • @Mithoron Lots of weird orthographies between the two. – Spencer May 10 '17 at 2:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.