Sindarin 


noun. elf maid (Morwen)

eledh (“elf”) + gwend (“woman, maiden”, [Etym. ELED-]) [Etym. WEN-]: since it shows no -d even in the archaic spelling, it probably contains derivative of WEN-, not WENED- stem and the last element is Ilk. gwen “girl”; in Grey Annals the translation is given “Elfsheen”.

Sindarin [Tolkiendil] Group: Tolkiendil Compound Sindarin Names. Published by


feminine name. Elfsheen, Elven-fair

A sobriquet of Morwen translated “Elfsheen” (S/155) or “Elven-fair” (Let/281). Its initial element is †Eledh, an archaic Sindarin word for “Elf”, which in ordinary speech was Edhel (SA/êl, Let/281). The meaning of the second element is less clear. Given the translation, it might be a lenited variant of gwân “fair” (PE17/165) or of the root √GWEN (PE17/191), but could also be the suffixal form -wen of gwend “maiden” common in female names (Ety/WEN).

Conceptual Development: In Silmarillion drafts from the 1930s, this name appeared originally as N. Eledwen (SM/319), later revised to N. Eledhwen (LR/147). At this stage, N. Eledh was the ordinary Noldorin word for Elf, and was specifically given as an element of the name Eledhwen in The Etymologies (Ety/ELED). In these Silmarillion drafts, this name was already translated as “Elfsheen” (SM/319, LR/276), and in The Etymologies her name was initially translated “Elf-fair”, but this gloss was rejected and replaced by “Elf-maid” (Ety/ELED).

In Tolkien’s writing, the root √WEN(ED) (from which S. gwend “maiden” is derived) was usually associated with youth and virginity, but sometimes also with beauty, as for example in the rejected root √GWEN “fair, beautiful” (PE17/191). This vacillation may be reflected in the different translations of the name Eledhwen.

In Silmarillion revisions from the 1950s-60s, Tolkien changed this name to S. Edhelwen to be consistent with the later Sindarin name for “Elf” (WJ/142, WJ/273), but Eledhwen also appeared in his later writings (e.g. Let/281 from 1958) and this is the form that appeared in the published version of The Silmarillion.


  • EledhwenEdhelwen ✧ WJI/Edhelwen


GWEN“fair, beautiful; (probably originally) fresh, fair, unblemished (especially of beauty of youth)”


  • Eđelwen ✧ PE17/190
  • Edhelwen ✧ WJI/Edhelwen
Sindarin [LBI/Eledhwen; LBI/Morwen; Let/281; PE17/190; S/155; SA/êl; SI/Eledhwen; SI/Morwen; UTI/Eledhwen; UTI/Haudh-en-Elleth; WJI/Edhelwen; WJI/Eledhwen] Group: Eldamo. Published by


noun. Elf-maid


  • S. Ell “Elf” ✧ PE17/141
    • eledā “star-folk, of the stars” ✧ PE17/141; WJ/360
    • EL “lo, behold; star, lo, behold; star, [ᴹ√] starry sky” ✧ Let/281
    • Q. Elda “Elf, (lit.) one of the Star-folk” ✧ PE17/141
    • eledā “star-folk, of the stars” ✧ Let/281; PE17/141; SA/êl; WJ/360; WJ/364; WJ/364
      • EL “lo, behold; star, lo, behold; star, [ᴹ√] starry sky” ✧ Let/281
    • elenā “connected with or concerning the stars” ✧ PE17/139; PE17/152
      • elen “star” ✧ PE17/139
      • EL “lo, behold; star, lo, behold; star, [ᴹ√] starry sky” ✧ Let/281; PE17/067; VT42/11; WJ/360
    • edelā “the fair” ✧ PE17/139; PE17/151
      • DEL “*fair” ✧ PE17/151
    • edelō “one who goes, traveller, migrant, marcher” ✧ PE17/152
      • DEL “walk, go, proceed, travel” ✧ WJ/360; WJ/363

Element in




  • ellas ✧ PE17/097
  • elleth ✧ PE17/141; PE17/141; PE17/141; PE17/142
  • elles ✧ PE17/152
Sindarin [PE17/097; PE17/141; PE17/142; PE17/152; S/216; UTI/Haudh-en-Elleth; WJ/363; WJ/364; WJ/377; WJI/Ellon] Group: Eldamo. Published by