Quenya 


feminine name. *Sea-maiden

The daughter of Olwë and wife of Finarfin (S/60). Her name is a probably compound of ëar “sea” and the suffixal form -wen of wendë “maiden”.


ëar“sea, great sea, sea, great sea, [ᴹQ.] open sea; water”
wendë“maiden, *virgin”
Quenya [MRI/Eärwen; PMI/Eärwen; SA/wen; SI/Eärwen; UTI/Eärwen; WJI/Eärwen] Group: Eldamo. Published by


noun. sea

Quenya [PE 22:23n] Group: Mellonath Daeron. Published by



ëar noun "sea" (AYAR/AIR [gives also dat. sg. ëaren],WJ:413; see Letters:386 for etymology). Not to be confused with the pl. form of the verb ëa "be, exist". Pl. ëari "seas" (FS, LR:47); Eär "the Great Sea" (cf. ëaron "ocean"), ablative Eärello "from the Great Sea", et Eärello "out of the Great Sea" (EO). Eärë noun "the open sea" (SD:305). Compound ëaruilë noun "seaweed" (UY). Found in proper names like Eärendil "Sea-friend", Eärendur masc. name, *"Sea-servant"; in effect a variant of Eärendil(Appendix A). Eärendur was also used ="(professional) mariner" (Letters:386).Fem. name Eärwen "Sea-maiden" (Silm); Eärrámë "Sea-wing", "Wings of the Sea", name of Tuor's ship (RAM, AYAR/AIR, SA)



-wen "maiden" as suffix, a frequent ending in feminine names like Eärwen "Sea-maiden" (SA:wen). Early "Qenya" also has -wen, feminine patronymic "daughter of" (LT1:271, 273), but the patronymic ending seems to be -iel "-daughter" in Tolkien's later Quenya.



airë (2) noun "sea" (the form airen is given, intended as a genitive singular when Tolkien wrote this; in LotR-style Quenya it would rather be a dative sg.) (AYAR/AIR; cf. airon)


noun. sea

An archaic word for “sea” which fell out of use to due conflict with “holy” words like aira or airë; it was a noun form of primitive ✶gaı̯ră (PE17/27). The more common modern word for “sea” is ëar.

Conceptual Development: ᴹQ. aire “sea” appeared in The Etymologies of the 1930s as a derivative of ᴹ√AYAR (Ety/AY); it appeared beside a form ᴹQ. airen that might be a genitive form, or might be a longer form; see the entry on ᴹQ. airon for discussion.


  • S. gaear “sea” ✧ PE17/027


  • gayār “sea, the terrifier” ✧ PE17/027
    • GAY(AR) “awe, dread; astound, make aghast; sea” ✧ PE17/027; PM/363; WJ/400

Element in

  • Q. airon “ocean” ✧ PE17/027

Phonetic Developments

gaı̯ră > aire[gaira] > [ɣaira] > [aira]✧ PE17/027


  • aire ✧ PE17/027 (aire)



vendë < wendë noun "maiden" (WEN/WENED, VT45:16), "virgin" (in Tolkien's translations of Catholic prayers where the reference is to Mary; see VT44:10, 18). The form Véndë in VT44:10 seems abnormal; normally Quenya does not have a long vowel in front of a consonant cluster.



váya noun "sea" (considered as "waters, motion"). The wording of the source indicates that Tolkien only tentatively considered such a word (PE17:33)



vëa (3) noun "sea" (MC:213, 214, 216; possibly obsoleted by #1 and #2 above, though some argue that the initial element of the late names Vëantur and Vëandur [q.v.] could be vëa #3 rather than #2 (it can hardly be #1) . In any case, the normal word for "sea" in LotR-style Quenya seems to be ëar.) Inflected vëan "sea" (MC:220), vëar "in sea" (a "Qenya" locative in -r, MC:213), vëassë "on sea" (MC:220). Cf. also vëaciryo.



Her name means "Maiden of the Sea" in Quenya (from eär = "sea" and -wen = "maiden").

Quenya [Tolkien Gateway] Published by