Quenya 


g.sg. ailinen

ailin ("g.sg. ailinen", in Tolkien's later Quenya dat.sg.) "pool, lake" (AY, LIN1, LT2:339). Fem. name Ailinel (likely Ailinell-), perhaps ailin + the feminine ending -el (as in aranel "princess"), hence "Lake-woman" or similar (UT:210).


noun. a large lake, (large) lake, [ᴹQ.] pool

A noun for a large lake or pool, a combination of the ancient roots √AY “sea” and √LIN “pool” (PE17/160; Ety/AY, LIN¹). It is an element in several names such as Q. Angalailin “Mirrormere” (NM/353) and Q. Luvailin “Shadowmere” (RC/217).

Conceptual Development: This word dates all the way back to the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s where it appeared as ᴱQ. ailin “lake”; its root was marked “?”, but Tolkien indicated its stem form was also ailin- (QL/29). This word was also mentioned in the Poetic and Mythological Words of Eldarissa (PME/29) as well as the contemporaneous Gnomish Lexicon, along with a variant ᴱQ. ailo (ailu-) of the same basic meaning (GL/17). ᴱQ. ailin “lake” was mentioned again in Early Noldorin Word-lists of the 1920s (PE13/138), though in one place its stem form was given as ailind- (PE13/158).

ᴹQ. ailin “pool, lake” reappeared in The Etymologies, already with the etymology given above, along with its genitive singular form ailinen (Ety/AY, LIN¹). It was mentioned again in Quenya Notes (QN) from 1957, again as a combination of √LĬNĬ “pool, mere, lake” and √AYA(R) “sea”, and as such specifically referred to “a large lake” (PE17/160). In this note Tolkien gave variant forms ilin and ailinn for the root √LĬNĬ, the latter possibly an alternate explanation for ailin “lake”.

Neo-Quenya: For purposes of Neo-Quenya, I prefer √GAY(AR) as the basis for “sea” words. As such, I think augmented ilin/ailin(n) mentioned in QN is the best basis for Q. ailin and S. ael “lake”.


  • S. ael “lake, pool”

Element in


shore, beach

#ailinë (nominative uncertain) noun "shore, beach" (in Tolkien's later Quenya rather hresta). Only attested in inflected forms: sg. ablative ailinello "shore-from" (MC:213), sg. locative ailinisse "on shore" (MC:221), pl. locative ailissen "on beaches" (for *ailinissen?) (MC:221)


lake, pool

ailo noun "lake, pool" (LT2:339; Tolkien's later Quenya has ailin)



linya noun "pool" (LIN1)


shore, beach

falas (falass-), falassë noun "shore, beach" (LT1:253, LT2:339); falassë "shore, line of surf" (SA:falas), "shore especially one exposed to great waves and breakers" (VT42:15), "beach" (PHAL/PHÁLAS); Falassë Númëa place-name "Western Surf" (LT1:253), Andafalassë "Langstrand" (PE17:135)


pool, mere

lóna (1) noun "pool, mere" (VT42:10). Variant of lón, lónë above?



nendë (1) noun "pool" (NEN), "lake" (PE17:52)


noun. lake, lake, [ᴹQ.] pool

A word for “lake” (PE17/52) or “pool” (Ety/NEN), derived from the root √NEN “water”.

Conceptual Development: This word appeared in both The Etymologies of the 1930s (Ety/NEN) and notes on Words, Phrases and Passages from the Lord of the Rings from the late 1950s or early 1960s (PE17/37) with the same basic meaning and derivation.


  • NEN “water, water, [ᴱ√] flow” ✧ PE17/052

Phonetic Developments

NEN > nende[nende]✧ PE17/052


  • nende ✧ PE17/052


shore, beach

hresta noun "shore, beach", ablative hrestallo *"from (the) shore" in Markirya



In the Etymologies, ailin is conceived as deriving from Primitive Quendian ai-lin-, derived from root AY. In a later conception, the word is said to have "originally contained √AYA(R) + lin" (cf. LINI).

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