The Devil's Coach Horses

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The Devil's Coach Horses is a 1925 essay by J. R. R. Tolkien ("Devil's coach-horse" is a British expression for a particular kind of rove beetle).[1]

Tolkien draws attention to the devil's steeds called eaueres in Hali Meidhad, translated "boar" in the Early English Text Society edition of 1922, but in reference to the jumenta "yoked team, draught horse" of Joel (Joel 1:17), in the Vulgata Clementina computruerunt jumenta in stercore suo[2] (the Nova Vulgata has semina for Hebrew פרדח "grain").[3]

Rather than from the Old English word for "boar", eofor (German Eber) Tolkien derives the word from eafor "packhorse", from a verb aferian "transport", related to Middle English aver "draught-horse", a word surviving in northern dialects; the Proto-Germanic root *ab- "energy, vigour, labour" of the word is cognate to Latin opus.


  1. ^ J. R. R. Tolkien (July 1925). "The Devil's Coach-Horses: Eaueres". The Review of English Studies. Oxford University Press. 1 (3): 331–336. JSTOR 508893.
  2. ^[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Sprengling, M. (1919). "Joel 1: 17a". Journal of Biblical Literature. Society of Biblical Literature. 38 (3/4): 129–141. doi:10.2307/3259157. JSTOR 3259157.