The southernmost of the successor-realms of Arnor after it was divided into three kingdoms (LotR/1039). Tolkien did not translate the name, but it is often interpreted as “Red Hill Land”, as suggested by Hammond and Scull (RC/690) or David Salo (GS/371), a combination of caran “red”, dol(l) “hill” and the suffix -(i)an “land”. @@@ Originally suggested by Robert Foster, need ref.
place name. ?Red Hill Land
Word Gloss caran “red” dol(l) “head, hill” -ian(d) “-land, country”
Red Hill Land
It is not known if Tolkien ever explained the name Cardolan. The most common suggestion is that Cardolan likely is Sindarin for "red hill country". In that case, the name could be analyzed as carn "red", dol "hill, mount" and an(n) "land". An alternative etymology has been suggested by Roger Clewley: Cardolan deriving from Noldorin car "house", dolen "hidden, secret", and the toponymical ending -and, thus meaning "place/land of hidden houses" (a reference to the "dead entombed there").