n. Elf

[LRI/Edhil.001, PE17/045.0905, PE17/097.2003, PE17/139.2809, PE17/139.2811, PE17/139.2812, PE17/141.0201, PE17/151.1210, PE17/152.0806, PE17/152.0808, PM/346.4001-1, RC/780.1711, RGEO/62.3603, SA/edhel.001, SA/edhel.010, SA/êl.081, SA/êl.083, SI/Sindar.121, SI/Sindar.123, UT/255.2301, UT/318.4109, UTI/Edhelrim.001, UTI/Edhelrim.006, WJ/364.1302, WJ/364.1304, WJ/364.2707, WJ/377.3002, WJ/377.3004, WJ/377.3807, WJ/378.0207, WJ/378.2806-2, WJI/Edhel.001, WJI/Edhel.003] Group: Eldamo. Published by


n. Elf

[Let/281.3109, PE17/141.0601, PE17/141.0703, PE17/152.1006, VT50/15.0503, VT50/19.1503, VT50/23.0107, WJ/363.0502, WJ/363.0608, WJ/363.0611, WJ/363.0702, WJ/364.1607, WJ/364.1904, WJ/364.2409, WJ/364.2411, WJ/377.3706, WJ/377.4102, WJ/377.4104, WJ/412.2005-1] Group: Eldamo. Published by


n. Elf

[PE17/140.1905, PE17/141.0302-2, PE17/141.0303] Group: Eldamo. Published by



n. Elf, (lit.) one of the Star-folk

The most common Quenya word for “Elf”. Its literal meaning is “one of the Star-folk” (WJ/374), a name given to them by Oromë (S/49) and derived from the same primitive root √EL as Q. elen “star”. Strictly speaking, this term excludes the Avari who chose not to journey to Valinor, so that the proper term for all of Elvenkind is Q. Quendë “one of the Elven race”. The Elves of the West rarely encountered the Avari, however, so that term Elda was ordinarily broad enough to describe all Elves.
Conceptual Development: This word dates back to the earliest stages of Tolkien’s languages. At its first appearance, ᴱQ. Elda was glossed “a beach-fay” (QL/35), but was soon extended to describe all Elves (LT1/113). In Tolkien’s earliest writings the word was not given a clear etymology. In the Lhammas “Account of Tongues” from the 1930s (LR/168-180), Tolkien gave ᴹQ. Elda the sense of “one who departed” (LR/169), as opposed to the ᴹQ. Lembi “Lingerers” who remained behind (precursors of the Avari). With this sense, Elda was derived from ᴹ√LED “go, fare, travel” (Ety/LED).
Tolkien soon revised the etymology of Elda so that it was derived instead from ᴹ√EL(ED) “star; star-folk” (Ety/EL, Ety/ELED). In some later writings, he considered both etymologies of this word to be valid, so that Elda was blending of both “star-folk” (from √EL) and Q. Eldo “marcher” (from √LED or √DEL¹), as discussed in the “Quendi and Eldar” essay from 1959-60 and elsewhere (WJ/362-3, PE17/139). However, the sense “star-folk” is probably better known.
In some notes from 1957, Tolkien considered deriving this word from a variant root √DEL² “fair” so that its meaning would be “the fair” (PE17/151), but this seems to have been a transient idea.

[Let/198.2307, Let/281.2205, LotR/1127.2905, LotR/1137.2308, LotRI/Eldar.001, LRI/Edhil.002, MRI/Eldar.001, MRI/Eldar.004, PE17/045.1001, PE17/056.1103, PE17/057.1008, PE17/114.1202, PE17/135.2402, PE17/135.2414, PE17/139.1302, PE17/139.1907, PE17/151.1208, PE17/152.0606, PE17/189.4007-1, PM/029.3606, PM/346.4003-1, PM/395.1404, PM/403.0810, PMI/Eldar.001, PMI/Eldar.004, RC/217.1306, RC/780.1604, RC/780.1607, S/049.3102, S/049.3201, SA/êl.071, SA/êl.079, SI/Eldar.001, SI/High Elves.004, TII/Eldar.001, UTI/Eldanna.017, UTI/Eldar.017, VT49/08.2401, VT49/08.3505, VT49/08.3705, WJ/362.2702, WJ/362.2711, WJ/364.0202, WJ/364.0203, WJ/368.4002, WJ/369.0201, WJ/369.0205, WJ/369.1110, WJ/369.1201, WJ/373.0202, WJ/374.1701, WJ/374.3304, WJ/375.3810, WJ/407.2109, WJ/407.2203, WJI/Eldar.001, WJI/Eldar.004, WRI/Eldar.001] Group: Eldamo. Published by


n. Elf, (lit.) One That Speaks

[Let/176.1704, LotR/1137.2208, LotRI/Quendi.001, LT2I/Quendi.001, MR/471.3101, MR/471.3104, MR/471.3201, MR/471.3204, MRI/Quendi.001, PE17/137.3402, PE17/137.4302, PE17/141.1503, PE17/152.1203, PE19/093.0209, PE19/093.0508, PM/029.3504, PM/395.1302, PMI/Quendi.001, S/049.1003, SA/quen.006, SI/Quendi.001, SMI/Quendi.001, UTI/Quendi.001, WJ/361.3302, WJ/361.3305, WJ/372.2802, WJ/372.2901, WJ/375.2007, WJ/391.3101, WJI/Pendi.003, WJI/Quendi.001, WJI/Quendi.004] Group: Eldamo. Published by



n. Elf

A noun for “Elf” derived from primitive ᴹ✶edel-, an inversion of the primitive root ᴹ√ELED (Ety/ELED). Unlike most similar Danian nouns, it did not undergo the Danian syncope and retained its second vowel. One possible explanation is that the primitive form of this noun ended in a short vowel, *✶edelă, and this short final vowel vanished before the period of the syncope, preventing it from occurring in this word. Helge Fauskanger originally suggested a theory much like this one (AL-Nandorin/edel).
Conceptual Development: In an earlier version of this entry, the Danian word for Elf was given as Elda (Ety/ELED).

[Ety/ELED.092] Group: Eldamo. Published by


n. Elf

A noun for “Elf” developed from primitive ᴹ✶kwenedē (Ety/KWEN(ED)). It is an example of the Danian syncope, with second unstressed [e] vanishing after the identical vowel. It is also one of the Danian words for which a long final vowel developed into short final [a].

[Ety/KWEN(ED).012] Group: Eldamo. Published by



n. Elf, (lit.) Shining One

A noun translated “Elf” (WJ/419) and fully declined as an example of a Strong I noun (SD/436). In one place, its plural Nimrî was translated “Shining Ones” (SD/358), which indicates was probably derived from the Primitive Adûnaic root √NIMIR.
Conceptual Development: In its earliest appearances from the 1940s, this noun had the plural form Nimrî (SD/358, 388) as opposed to later plural Nimîr (SD/388, 436), which could indicate either an earlier singular form Nimri or a variant syntax for draft-plural formation. The word also appears in Tolkien’s “Quendi and Eldar” essay from 1959-60 (WJ/386), indicating that this word survived in Tolkien’s later conception of Adûnaic.

[SD/358.3909, SD/388.0701, SD/388.0703, SD/389.07071, SD/414.0613, SD/436.3008, SD/436.3304, SD/436.3404, SD/436.3503, SD/436.3604, SD/436.3705, SD/436.3804, SDI2/Nimrî.001, SDI2/Nimrî.008, WJ/386.0807, WJ/419.1106, WJI/Nimîr.001, WJI/Nimîr.006] Group: Eldamo. Published by



n. Elf

A Doriathrin noun meaning “Elf” derived from primitive ᴹ✶kwenedē (EtyAC/KWEN(ED)), an example of the Ilkorin syncope.
Conceptual Development: This word is nearly identical to earlier Gnomish Cwenn “Elf” before Tolkien revised the phonological history of the Noldorin language so that [[[kw] became [p]]].

[EtyAC/KWEN(ED).007] Group: Eldamo. Published by

Black Speech, Nandorin, Noldorin, Quendya, Quenya, Sindarin, Telerin are languages conceived by Tolkien and they do not belong to us; we neither can nor do claim affiliation with Middle-earth Enterprises nor Tolkien Estate.