Primitive elvish


root. long; far

Tolkien used a variety of roots as the basis for the meaning “long” throughout his life. Its best known forms are the adjectives Q. anda, S. and “long”. In the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s Tolkien first used the root ᴱ√ṆÐṆ “stretch” as the basis for the ᴱQ. adjective ande(a) “long” (QL/31), but its Gnomish cognate took the very different form G. in(d)ra (GL/51). By The Etymologies of the 1930s, however, Tolkien had revised this root to ᴹ√ANAD with Quenya and Noldorin derivatives basically as given above: ᴹQ. anda, N. ann (Ety/ÁNAD).

There is a later mention of the root √ANAD in a 1959 note, but in that note Tolkien considered transferring the sense “long” to a new root √ƷAN as a variant of √YAN, so that he could use √ANAD < √ANA- as the basis for words meaning “gate” (PE17/40). This new use of √ANAD would be a replacement for the 1930s root ᴹ√AD “gate” (Ety/AD). In another set of 1959 etymological notes, Tolkien did indeed give primitive forms ✶ʒandā “long” vs. yanā/yandā “wide” as derivatives of √ƷAN and √YAN respectively (PE17/155).

Later still, in 1967 notes on comparison, Tolkien gave a new root √NDA as the basis for and(a) “long”, though he said “S †ann- [long] only preserved in certain compounds, owing to competition with ann (< annā) gift, and ann(on) gate, of different origin” (PE17/90). Thus it seems Tolkien had abandoned √ƷAN > ✶ʒandā > Q./S. and(a), and in notes from 1968 Tolkien glossed √ƷAN as “adorn”, and at this later stage √ƷAN was probably connected to or a variant of the 1970 root √HAN “add to, increase, enhance, honour (espec. by gift)” (VT47/26-27).

The ultimate fate of 1967 √NDA “long” is itself unclear. In the notes where it appeared, Tolkien was also considering it as the basis for the intensive prefix Q. an-. But Tolkien abandoned this idea and decide the intensive prefix was actually am- derived from √AMA “addition, increase, plus” (PE17/91). However, this change in the intensive does not necessarily invalidate the use of √(A)NDA for “long”, and that is the last word we have in the published corpus on this topic.

Neo-Eldarin: For purposes of Neo-Eldarin, it’s probably best to assume the meaning “long” came from √ANAD or √ANDA or some similar root, much like it did in the 1930s.


  • and(ă) “moreover, to go on further, to say more” ✧ PE17/090
    • Q. an “for, but, then, or; moreover, furthermore” ✧ PE17/090
  • andā “long, far” ✧ PE17/090
    • Q. an- “intensive prefix” ✧ PE17/090
    • Q. anda “long, far” ✧ PE17/090
    • S. and “long” ✧ PE17/090
  • Q. anda “long, far” ✧ PE17/040
  • S. and “long” ✧ PE17/040


  • NDA ✧ PE17/090; PE17/166
Primitive elvish [PE17/040; PE17/090; PE17/166] Group: Eldamo. Published by


adjective. long


  • ƷAN “adorn; extend; long” ✧ PE17/155; VT47/27
Primitive elvish [PE17/155; VT47/27] Group: Eldamo. Published by


root. long; far