Man (Middle-earth)

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The race of Men in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth books, such as The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, refers to humanity and does not denote gender. They are distinct from the various humanoid races, though some, like Hobbits, are human in origin, and others are thought by some characters to be human, such as the Wizards (who are really of another race).

The Elves call the race of Men Atani in Quenya, literally meaning "Second People" (the Elves being the First), but also Hildor (Followers), Apanónar (After-born), and Fírimar or Firyar (Mortals). Less charitably they were called Engwar (The Sickly), owing to their susceptibility to disease and old age, and their generally unlovely appearance in the Elves' eyes. The name Atani becomes Edain in Sindarin, but this term is later only applied to those Men who are friendly to the Elves. Other names appear in Sindarin as Aphadrim, Eboennin, and Firebrim or Firiath. Being the second born race of Middle-earth, Men are generally weaker than Elves, and have worse coordination and reflexes.

In Tolkien's writings, Man with an initial capital letter refers to any human being (atan in Quenya) and man with a lowercase m refers to an adult male of any race (nér). Legolas, for example, may be correctly called a man but not a Man and Éowyn can be called a Man but not a man.

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