*I was rewatching the extended Lothlorien scene in FOTR and thought, "Hey, what WAS Gimli saying?" Set in ROTK, on the way back to the Shire.


"Duruk nule!"

The words of the dwarfish curse contrasted sharply with the young, high tenor voice that spoke them. Aragorn and Gandalf exchanged glances, Legolas looked uncertain if he should be offended, Gimli appeared to be torn between amusement and shock, and the rest of the hobbits were merely surprised. Pippin clutched his bruised toe and only after a moment realized he was the center of the Fellowship's attention. "What?"

Gandalf held up a hand as if to indicate to Aragorn that he would handle the matter. "The phrase you just used – do you know what it means?"

Pippin looked uneasy. "It's dwarvish for something less than courteous, isn't it?"

"It is," Gandalf replied, though tightly as if trying to keep from laughing. "But do you know, exactly, what it translates as in the Common Tongue."

"No." Pippin's voice rose slightly, questioningly. "I heard Gimli use it once . . ."

Gimli shifted uneasily and muttered something nobody could quite make out.

Gandalf made a noise that sounded suspiciously like a laugh disguised as a cough. "Gimli is a dwarf and so is fluent in dwarfish. You are not. Suppose, for example, an elf were to go to Bree and hear one of the rougher types use the phrase 'sodding git.' You know what it implies and so would not use it. The elf would not and might use the phrase at an inopportune time or improper manner. If you do not know the meaning of what you are saying, the consequences can be very dangerous. Do you understand?"

"Yes," replied Pippin, thoroughly chastised. Then as the Fellowship continued on: "But . . ."


"What does 'duruk nule' mean?"

Gimli quickly harrumphed and took charge of the situation. "It is a phrase I used in anger and was meant to give offense. It is not something civilized hobbits should be repeating."

"Oh. But you said it."

"That is no excuse!" Gimli flushed red and this time it was Aragorn who was hard-pressed to keep from laughing. "You should not be using such words."

"Think of it this way, Pippin," Frodo broke it. "Remember the time you eavesdropped on Reggie after he spent all that time on the borders of the Shire and you used one of those words? You remember how your dad reacted?"

"Yes." It took Pippin another moment to understand the implication. "So it means – "

"Something like that."

Pippin shot Gimli a look of awed horror. "That's not polite!"

Gimli rolled his eyes, thought of expressing his exasperation in his own language, then thought better of it. No telling what that Took might pick up next.