Quenya 



- a suffix occurring in many personal names, generally but not exclusively masculine (Elenwë is the sole certain example of a fem. name with this ending); it is derived from a stem simply meaning "person" (PM:340, WJ:399). In Etym, - is simply defined as an element that is frequent in masculine names, and it is there derived from a stem (WEG) having to do with "(manly) vigour".


suffix. ancient name suffix (usually but not always masculine)

A suffix that “appears frequently in ... Quenya names of the First Age, such as Voronwe, generally but not exclusively masculine” (PM/340). It was derived from the root √WĒ/EWE “person, being, individual”, but was sometimes also related to √WEG “live, be active” (PM/340; PE17/189-190), especially in the case of its Sindarin variant -we.

Conceptual Development: The suffix ᴱQ. -we dates all the way back to the earliest versions of the Legendarium, being an element in some very stable names like ᴱQ. Manwe and ᴱQ. Finwe which Tolkien never changed after their introduction. The early basis for this suffix isn’t entirely clear, but its Gnomish equivalent G. -weg seems to be the suffixal form of G. gweg “man” (GL/44). This Gnomish variant was specifically masculine and often paired with its feminine equivalent G. -win. In the Declension of Nouns from the early 1930s, Tolkien said that ᴹQ. -we in names like ᴹQ. Finwe was a masculine suffix based on archaic ᴹQ. † “man, warrior”, but he also said that the suffix in ᴹQ. Manwe was distinct (PE21/1).

In The Etymologies of the 1930s, Tolkien said the name suffix had two different origins and meanings, ᴹQ. -we “masculine” and ᴹQ. -we “abstract”:

> veo (✱wegō) “man”. The latter in compound form ✱-wego is frequent in masculine names, taking Q form -we (< weg). This can be distinguished from -we (-wē abstract suffix) ... The abstract suffix occurs in the names Manwe, Fionwe, Elwe, Ingwe, Finwe (Ety/WEG).

Thus the masculine variant of the suffix was derived from primitive ᴹ✶-wego under the root ᴹ√WEG “(manly) vigour”, while the abstract suffix was derived from unrelated abstract suffix ᴹ✶-wē.

This duality in origin seems to have continued in Tolkien’s later writings, where Tolkien variously tied the suffix to either √ “person, individual, being” (PE17/189-190) or √WEG, the latter glossed “live, be active” (PE17/189) but also “masculinity apart from sex” and thus usable in names of the Valar, though the note with this last gloss appeared was struck through (PE17/190). The last mention of this suffix is in The Shibboleth of Fëanor from 1968, where it was described as an abstract name suffix, most frequent in male names, based on √EWE “person” (PM/340), as noted above.


  • -we-we ✧ PE17/189


  • S. -we “person, being, individual, person, being, individual; [N.] masculine suffix” ✧ PE17/189


  • WĒ/EWE “person, being, individual” ✧ PE17/189; PE17/189
  • WEG “live, be active, live, be active; [ᴹ√] (manly) vigour” ✧ PE17/190
  • wegō “a person of male nature (and fëa); ruler” ✧ PE17/190; PE21/81
    • WEG “live, be active, live, be active; [ᴹ√] (manly) vigour” ✧ PE17/190
  • -wē “person; male suffix” ✧ PM/340
    • WĒ/EWE “person, being, individual” ✧ PM/340

Element in

Phonetic Developments

> -we[-wē] > [-we]✧ PE17/189
> -we[-wē] > [-we]✧ PE17/189
weg- > -we[-weg] > [-weɣ] > [-we]✧ PE17/190
wegū̆/wego > -wē > [-wego] > [-weg] > [-weɣ] > [-we]✧ PE17/190
-wēg(o) > > -we[-wēgo] > [-wēg] > [-wēɣ] > [-wē] > [-we]✧ PE21/81
> -wë[-wē] > [-we]✧ PM/340


  • -we ✧ PE17/023; PE17/189 (-we); PE17/189; PE17/190; PE21/81; WJ/399
  • -nwe ✧ PE17/189
  • ✧ PE17/190 ()
Quenya [PE17/023; PE17/189; PE17/190; PE21/81; PM/340; WJ/399] Group: Eldamo. Published by



-lwë, later -lvë, pronominal ending "we" (VT49:51), 1st person pl. inclusive ending, occurring in the verbs carilwë "we do" (VT49:16) and navilwë (see #nav-). The ending became -lvë in later, Exilic Quenya (VT49:51). See -lv-.



-lmë 1st person pl. pronominal ending: "we" (VT49:38; 51 carilmë *"we do", VT49:16). It was originally intended to be inclusive "we" (VT49:48), including the person(s) spoken to, but by 1965 Tolkien made this the ending for exclusive "we" instead (cf. the changed definition of the corresponding possessive ending -lma, see above). _(VT49:38) Exemplified in laituvalmet "we shall bless them" (lait-uva-lme-t "bless-shall-we-them") (the meaning apparently changed from inclusive to exclusive "we", VT49:55), see also nalmë under # 1. (LotR3:VI ch. 4, translated in Letters:308_)



-mmë "we", 1st person dual exclusive pronominal ending: "I and one other" (compare the inclusive dual form -ngwë or -nquë). First written -immë in one source (VT49:57). Carimmë, "the two of us do" (VT49:16, cf. VT43:6). At an earlier conceptual stage, the ending was already exclusive, but plural rather than dual: vammë "we won't" (WJ:371), firuvammë "we will die" (VT43:34), etemmë ?"out of us" (VT43:36); see also VT49:48, 49, 55. Also compare the corresponding emphatic pronoun emmë (q.v.). The ending -lmë replaced -mmë in its former (plural exclusive) sense. In some early material, -mmë was apparently used as an ending for plural inclusive "we" (VT49:55).



-ngwë "we", 1st person dual inclusive pronominal ending: "thou and I" (compare the exclusive dual form -mmë). Caringwë, "the two of us do" (VT49:16). One source lists the ending as "-inke > -inque" instead (VT49:51, 53, 57; "inke" was apparently Old Quenya). In an earlier pronoun table reproduced in VT49:48, the ending -ngwë is listed as an alternative to -lmë, which Tolkien at the time used as the plural inclusive ending (a later revision made it plural exclusive).



emmë (2) pron. "we", emphatic pronoun; dative emmen (VT43:12, 20). In the source this pronoun is intended as the 1st person plural exclusive; later Tolkien changed the corresponding pronominal ending from -mmë to -lmë, and the plural emphatic pronoun would likewise change from emmë to *elmë. Since the ending -mmë was redefined as a dualexclusive pronoun, the form emmë may still be valid as such, as a dual emphatic pronoun "we" = "(s)he and I".



ve (2) pron. "we", 1st person pl. inclusive (corresponding to exclusive me), derived from an original stem-form we (VT49:50, PE17:130). Variant vi, q.v. Stressed , later (VT49:51). Dative (*wéna >) véna, VT49:14. Dual wet*, later vet "the two of us" (inclusive; cf. exclusive met) (VT49:51). Also compare the dative form ngwin or ngwen (q.v.), but this would apparently be wen > ven** according to Tolkiens later ideas.



vi pron. "we", 1st person inclusive (PE17:130), variant of ve #2.



we, , see ve #2



Finwë masc. name, apparently displaying the frequent ending - suffixed to a stem normally having to do with hair, but the name is obscure (see Tolkien's discussion in PM:340-341). Also in Etym (PHIN, WEG). According to VT46:9, Finwë was also the name of tengwa #10 in the pre-classical Tengwar system presupposed in the Etymologies, but Tolkien would later call #10 formen instead.


blessed being

Manwë noun "Blessed Being" (Letters:283), the Elder King and Lord of the Valar, spouse of Varda. The name is adopted and adapted from Valarin Mānawenūz; names ending in - were already frequent in Quenya _(WJ:399). _In the Etymologies derived from MAN, WEG.Cf. Mánwen, Mánwë the oldest Quenya forms of Manwë, closer to the Valarin form (WJ:399). Lower-case manwë in LR:56. Ablative Manwello, VT49:24 (in this source Tolkien indicated that lo Manwë is the preferred way of saying "from Manwë", but this was apparently a short-lived idea; see lo). Masc. name Manwendil "Manwë-friend; one devoted to Manwë" (UT:210). In the pre-classical Tengwar system presupposed in the Etymologies, Manwë was also the name of letter #22 (VT45:32), which tengwa Tolkien would later call vala instead changing its Quenya value from m to v.


we, us

me (1) 1st person pl. exclusive pronoun "we, us" (VT49:51; VT43:23, VT44:9). This pronoun preserves the original stem-form (VT49:50). Stressed (VT49:51). Cf. also mel-lumna "us-is-heavy", sc. *"is heavy for us" (LR:47, mel- is evidently an assimilated form of men "for us", dative of me; the form men is attested by itself, VT43:21). For me as object, cf. ála** "do not [do something to] us", negative imperative particle with object pronoun suffixed (VT43:19: álamë tulya, "do not lead us"), ámen** "do [something for] us", imperative particle with dative pronoun suffixed (ámen apsenë "forgive us", VT43:12, 18). Dual exclusive met "we/us (two)" (Nam, VT49:51), "you and me" (VT47:11; the latter translation would make met an inclusive pronoun, though it is elsewhere suggested that it is rather exclusive: "him/her and me", corresponding to wet [q.v.] as the true inclusive dual form). Rá men or rámen "for us/on our behalf", see . Locative messë "on us", VT44:12 (also with prefix o, ó- ?"with" in the same source). See also ménë, ómë.


person, somebody

-o (2), also -ó, "a person, somebody", pronominal suffix (PM:340)


person, an individual

nassë (1) "a person, an individual" (VT49:30). Also translated "true-being" (pl. nasser is attested), the inner "true" being of a person. With a pronominal suffix in the form nassentar "their true-being" (PE17:175, cf. -nta #2), in the source referring to the "true" spiritual nature of the Valar, as hidden within their visible shapes. The word nassentar would seem to be plural, *"their true-beings". Not to be confused with the verb nassë/násë "he/she is"; see #1.


person, somebody

námo (2) noun "a person, somebody" (PM:340 writers may prefer the synonym quén to avoid confusion with # 1)



The name Finwë is said to be one of the oldest recorded names of the Eldar. It is not certain if Finwë had any clear meaning, but it can be analyzed as fin- (derived from Common Eldarin PHIN "hair") + -wë (suffix generally used for male names).

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