What is the Redhorn Gate?

In episode 243, Corey asks what exactly is the Redhorn Gate? Tolkien being Tolkien, I'd like to propose an etymological solution. The English word "gate", defined in the OED as "An opening in a wall, made for the purpose of entrance and exit, and capable of being closed by a movable barrier ..." is of uncertain etymology, but one possible source (described as "very uncertain" by the OED) is the Ole Norse "gata", meaning a way or path, ancestor to the modern Norwegian "gata" and Danish "gade". The word has disappeared in modern English except in one locality (so far as I am aware) - the City of York.

If Tolkien is doing his usual trick of imagining an archaic English usage persisting into modern English, then "the Redhorn Gate" simply means "the Redhorn Path". However, knowing Tolkien, I imagine he may be going further - making a deliberate wordplay on the two meanings of gate - "way" and "opening". A pass, after all, is an opening in a mountain wall. Perhaps Tolkien is even trying to fill an etymological hole - how did the Old Norse word for a road come to be the modern English word for an opening in a wall? Answer: via something which is both - a mountain pass. If so, it would be very typical of him.
 

Makar

Member
But there are still "gatas" around in street names, aren't there - like Storgata, Torggata?
In Swedish Gatan means The Street (jag gikk nedfør gatan, i walked down the street)
In Norwegian it is (Jeg gikk nedover gata / i walked down the street)

Then you have (for example) the Bergen dialect that never uses the "A" ending in words (gaten, jenten/the girl osv). (Jeg gikk nedover gaten)

To conclude, many different distictive dialects in Norway. Alas difference in writing and pronounciations in many cases.
Wonder why people find it hard to learn Norwegian ?

But this was not meant to turn into a discussion about Norwegian grammar (but i am sure Tolkien would not have minded). Sorry.
 
I wonder how "Redhorn Gate" is translated in various Scandinavian editions. Does Tolkien have anything to say on the subject in his notes for translators?
 
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