The situation I'm asking about is to use a great amount of fake politeness to get rid of someone, as in the following example from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit:

“Sorry! I don’t want any adventures, thank you. Not today. Good morning! But please come to tea—any time you like! Why not tomorrow? Come tomorrow! Good bye!” With that the hobbit turned and scuttled inside his round green door, and shut it as quickly as he dared, not to seem rude. Wizards after all are wizards.

Here the author uses verbing to describe the action,

“[...] I am Gandalf, and Gandalf means me! To think that I should have lived to be good-morninged by Belladonna Took’s son, as if I was selling buttons at the door!”

Is that indeed the best one can say (or the only way), or was it just a humorous choice of words? Curiously enough, we have a single verb just like that in Czech, vypoklonkovat (literally: to bow someone off), even though I would say the phenomenon itself is far from frequent. Nevertheless in F. Vrba's translation of The Hobbit a similarly custom vydobrýtrovat is used instead (specifically replacing the figurative bow by a sloppy good morning phrase), presumably to keep the spirit. That would make me assume there might be another, more common verb or phrase in English as well, just that no dictionary I’ve tried lists it.

  • Maybe blow off, an idiom meaning (roughly) "to ignore." Another option would be dismiss, meaning "to treat as unworthy of serious consideration" (sense 3, here: google.com/…)
    – DyingIsFun
    Commented May 24, 2016 at 22:26
  • 3
    I actually think it is the best one can say for this precise scenario. Not idly fall the leaves holding the words of Tolkien’s great work. :)
    – tchrist
    Commented May 24, 2016 at 22:50
  • You might use “dismissed”- And with that he dismissed him with a short “Good morning!” and hurried inside and shit the door.
    – Jim
    Commented May 24, 2016 at 23:18
  • 4
    @Jim That last action on is a little extreme, even if he were selling brushes ;-)
    – Spagirl
    Commented May 24, 2016 at 23:40
  • 1
    @Spagirl - LOL. Stupid phone keyboard...
    – Jim
    Commented May 25, 2016 at 1:00

1 Answer 1


"Good-morning" is not a verb in common use in English. I checked a couple of dictionaries and it isn't in there. It also doesn't occur (as "good morninged" with or without the hyphen) anywhere in the books used as the corpus of Google NGram.

So this was just a unique coinage that Tolkien used for comedic effect here. Of course the meaning is plain because English nouns do "verb" very easily. But it is a deliberate figure of speech, in this case a coinage, to draw some emphasis for a little comic relief.

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