Our Own Dear John Ronald: Old Customs

“What’s wrong with the old customs?”

The first of Sam and Rosie’s children was born on the 25th of March, a date that Sam noted.
‘Well, Mr. Frodo,’ he said.  ‘I’m in a bit of a fix.  Rose and me had settled to call him Frodo, with your leave; but its’ not HIM, it’s HER.  Though as pretty a maidchild as anyone could hope for, taking after Rose more than me, luckily.  So we don’t know what to do.’
‘Well, Sam,’ said Frodo, ‘what’s wrong with the old customs?  Choose a flower name like Rose.  Half the maidchildren in the Shire are called by such names, and what could be better?’
‘I suppose you’re right, Mr. Frodo,’ said Sam.  ‘I’ve heard some beautiful names on my travels, but I suppose they’re a bit too grand for daily wear and tear, as you might say.  The Gaffer, he says: “Make it short, and then you won’t have to cut it short before you can use it.”  But if it’s to be a flower name, then I don’t trouble about the length: it must be a beautiful flower, because, you see, I think she is very beautiful, and is going to be beautifuller still.’
Frodo thought for a moment.  ‘Well, Sam, what about ELANOR, the sun-star, you remember the little golden flower in the grass of Lothlórien?’
‘You’re right again, Mr. Frodo!’ said Sam delighted.  ‘That’s what I wanted.’

J.R.R. Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings

What indeed?


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