quendë noun "Elf", the little-used analogical sg. of Quendi, q.v. (KWEN(ED), WJ:361)
An archaic or poetic word for star (WJ/362), somewhat common in compounds but in ordinary speech typically appearing as elen. It was derived directly from the primitive root √EL “behold”, the basis for other star words (PM/340; WJ/360).
Conceptual Development: This word first appeared as poetical ᴹQ. él “star” in The Etymologies of the 1930s, already with the derivation given above, though in this document the root ᴹ√EL meant “star” (Ety/EL), a common gloss for the root in later writings as well.
- T. él “star” ✧ WJ/362
Development Stages Sources √el- > el [el] ✧ PM/340 ✶ēl > él [ēl] ✧ WJ/360
- el ✧ PM/340
†él noun "star", pl. éli given (WJ:362, EL)
of the stars
elda 1. originally adj. "of the stars", but wholly replaced (WJ:362) by: 2. noun (Elda) = one of the people of the Stars, (high-)elf, an Elf (SA:êl, elen, Letters:281, ELED, ÉLED; notice that Tolkien abandoned a former etymology with "depart"), chiefly in the pl. Eldar (WJ:362, cf. GAT(H), TELES).The primitive form Tolkien variously cited as ¤eledā / elenā(Letters:281, PE17:152) and ¤eldā(WJ:360). Partitive pl. Eldali (VT49:8), gen. pl. Eldaron (WJ:368, PM:395, 402);dative pl.eldain "for elves", for Eldar (FS); possessive sg. Eldava "Elf's" (WJ:407); possessive pl. Eldaiva (WJ:368), Eldaivë governing a plural word (WJ:369). The word Eldar properly refers to the non-Avari Elves only, but since Eldar rarely had any contact with the Avari, it could be used for "elves" in general (in LT1:251, Elda is simply glossed "Elf"). See also Eldo. The plural form Eldar should not require any article when the reference is to the entire people; i Eldar refers to a limited group, "(all) the Elves previously named"; nevertheless, Tolkien in some sources does use the article even where the reference seems to be generic (i Eldar or i-Eldar, VT49:8).
The most common Quenya word for “star”, mentioned very frequently, derived from an extended form ✶elen of the root √EL “behold” (PE17/67; WJ/360, 362). Its usual plural form is eleni, but it has an archaic plural †eldi sometimes used in verse, the result of the Ancient Quenya sound whereby [[aq|[ln] became [ld]]] after the ancient plural underwent the Quenya syncope, ✶elenī > AQ. elni; its normal modern plural form eleni was actually a reformation from the singular (PE17/57, 151; WJ/362).
Conceptual Development: This word first appeared in The Etymologies of the 1930s, though in the original entry for the root ᴹ√EL Tolkien said it was poetical and gave variants ellen and elena (Ety/EL).
- Q. aiya Eärendil elenion ancalima “hail Eärendil, brightest of stars” ✧ LotR/0720; LotR/0915; PE17/090; PE17/101
- Q. ancalima ep’ eleni “brighter than stars” ✧ PE17/056
- Q. ancalima imbi eleni “brightest among stars” ✧ PE17/091
- Q. arcalima ar eleni “A is brightest of all” ✧ PE17/056
arcalima ep’ eleni“far and away brighter than stars” ✧ PE17/056 ( arcalima ep’ eleni)
- Q. elenion ancalima “brightest of stars” ✧ PE17/056; PE17/056; PE17/056; PE17/057; PE17/091
- Q. Elemmacil “*Star Sword”
- Q. Elemmírë “Elven-gem, Star-gem” ✧ PE19/096
- Q. elen atto “of 2 stars” ✧ VT49/45
- Q. Elendil “Elf-friend, Star-lover”
- Q. Elendur “*Star-servant”
- ᴺQ. elengolmë “astronomy”
- Q. elenillor pella talta-taltala “beyond the stars falling” ✧ MC/222
- Q. eleni neldë “*3 stars” ✧ VT49/45
- Q. elenion neldë “of 3 stars” ✧ VT49/45; VT49/45
- Q. Elenna “Starwards”
- Q. elen síla lúmenn’ omentielvo “a star shines on the hour of our meeting” ✧ Let/265; LotR/0081; PE17/012; WJ/367
- Q. Elentári “Queen of the Stars, Star-queen”
- Q. Elentir “*Star-gazer”
- Q. Elentirmo “Star-watcher” ✧ UT/213
- Q. Elenwë
- Q. elenya “adjective referring to the stars, *of the stars, stellar” ✧ WJ/362
- Q. Elerondo “Elrond, (lit.) Star-dome”
- Q. Elerossë “Star Foam”
- Q. Elerrína “Crowned with Stars”
- Q. Elessar “Elfstone”
- Q. Elestirnë “Star-brow”
- Q. nai elen atta siluvat aurenna veryanwesto “*may two stars shine upon the day of your wedding” ✧ VT49/44; VT49/44
- Q. nai elen siluva lyenna “*may a star shine upon you” ✧ VT49/39
- Q. nai elen siluva parma-restalyanna meldonya “*may a star shine upon your book-fair, my friend” ✧ VT49/39
- Q. yassen tintilar i eleni “wherein the stars tremble” ✧ LotR/0377; RGEO/58
- Q. yassen tintilar i eleni “in which twinkle the stars” ✧ RGEO/59
Development Stages Sources ✶elen > elen [elen] ✧ PE17/067 ✶elni > eldi [eleni] > [elni] > [eldi] ✧ PE17/151
- Elen ✧ LotR/0081; WJ/367
elen noun "star" (SA:êl, elen, EL, VT49:39); pl. eleni (occasionally in verse: eldi) (WJ:362, PE17:127); partitive pl. elelli for elenli (PE17:127), gen. pl. elenion in the phrase Elenion Ancalima "brightest of stars" (LotR2:IV ch. 9; see Letters:385 for translation); elen atta "two stars" (VT49:44), genitive elen atto "of two stars" (VT49:45), eleni neldë "three stars", archaic elenion neldë = "of stars three". Genitive "of 3 stars" = elenion neldë (for archaic elenion neldëo) (VT49:45). Allative elenna "starwards" used as name of Númenor _(Silm; see Elenna)_; ablative pl. elenillor "from stars" in Markirya. **Nai elen siluva ***"may a star shine", VT49:38.
Elessar masc. name "Elf-stone" (Elen + sar, actually "Star-stone", cf. Elendil concerning elen "star" being used to mean "Elf") (LotR3:V ch. 8). Genitive Elesarno _(VT49:28, read _Elessarno?) indicates that the stem is -sarn-. As a common noun, elessar or "elf-stone" may signify "beryl" (in the chapter Flight to the Ford in the LotR, Aragorn finds "a single pale-green jewel" and declares: "It is a beryl, an elf-stone"). Elessar as a name may also be seen as a pun or variant of Elesser "Elf-friend".
of the stars
elena adj. "of the stars" (SA:êl, elen); also elenya
[heldo, also helmo, fem. heldë, noun "friend" (VT46:3)]
meldo noun "friend, lover". _(VT45:34, quoting a deleted entry in the Etymologies, but cf. the pl. #_meldor in Eldameldor "Elf-lovers", WJ:412) **Meldonya *"my friend" (VT49:38, 40). It may be that meldo is the distinctly masculine form, corresponding to feminine #meldë** (q.v.)
#meldë noun "friend", feminine (meldenya "my friend" in the Elaine inscription [VT49:40], Tolkien referring to Elaine Griffiths). Compare meldo.
Elendil masc. name"Star-friend", "Lover or student of stars", applied to those devoted to astronomical lore. However, when the Edain used this name they intended it to mean "Elf-friend", confusing elen "star" and elda "elf" (WJ:410). (This idea that the name was misapplied seems to be late; Tolken earlier interpreted the name as an ancient compound Eled + ndil so that the meaning really was "Elf-friend"; see Letters:386. See also NIL/NDIL in the Etymologies, where Elendil is equated with "Ælfwine", Elf-friend.) Allative Elendilenna "to Elendil" (PM:401); Elendil Vorondo genitive of Elendil Voronda "Elendil the Steadfast" _(CO) Pl. Elendili the Númenórean Elf-friends (Silm)_; the variant Elendilli in SD:403 would seem to presuppose a stem-form Elendill- not attested elsewhere. Tar-Elendil a Númenorean king, UT:210.
-ser noun "friend" (SER)
lemen, alternative cardinal "five" (VT48:6, 20); the word normally appears as lempë, but compare lemenya below.
lempë cardinal "five" (LEP/LEPEN/LEPEK, GL:53, VT42:24, VT47:10, 24); lempëa ordinal "fifth", an analogical formation replacing older lemenya, in turn altered from the historically "correct" form lepenya because of analogy with the cardinal lempë "five" (VT42:25; Vanyarin Quenya maintained lepenya, VT42:26)
Development Stages Sources √LEPEN > lepne > lempe [lepne] > [lenpe] > [lempe] ✧ PE17/095 ✶lepen > lempe [lepne] > [lenpe] > [lempe] ✧ PE17/095 ✶lepene > lepne > lempe [lepene] > [lepne] > [lenpe] > [lempe] ✧ VT42/24 ✶lepene > lepne > lempe [lepene] > [lepne] > [lenpe] > [lempe] ✧ VT47/10 ✶lepenē̆ > lepnē > lempe [lepenē] > [lepnē] > [lenpē] > [lempē] > [lempe] ✧ VT47/24
- lempe ✧ PE17/095; PE17/095; VT42/24; VT42/25; VT42/26; VT47/10; VT47/24
- lemne ✧ PE17/095
- lemen ✧ VT48/06
ílë noun "star" (LT1:269; rather elen, él in LotR-style Quenya.)
-ndil (also -dil) ending occurring in many names, like Amandil, Eärendil; it implies devotion or disinterested love and may be translated "friend" (SA:(noun)dil); this ending is "describing the attitude of one to a person, thing, course or occupation to which one is devoted for its own sake" (Letters:386). Compare -ndur. It is unclear whether the names derived with the ending -ndil are necessarily masculine, though we have no certain example of a woman's name in -ndil; the name Vardilmë (q.v.) may suggest that the corresponding feminine ending is -(n)dilmë.
The Quenya noun for “swan” derived from primitive ✶alkwā (NM/378; PE18/100; UT/265; Ety/ÁLAK).
Conceptual Development: The word ᴱQ. alqa dates all the way back to the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s, where it was a derivative of the early root ᴱ√ḶKḶ (QL/30), though it had a variant form alqe in the contemporaneous Gnomish Lexicon (GL/18). Other than this one exception, Tolkien stuck with alqua throughout his life. In The Etymologies of the 1930s, ᴹQ. alqa “swan” appeared under the root ᴹ√ALAK “rushing” (Ety/ÁLAK).
- Q. Alqualondë “Haven of the Swans” ✧ SA/alqua; UT/265
Development Stages Sources ✶alkwā > alqua [alkwā] > [alkwa] ✧ NM/378 ✶álkwā > alqua [alkwā] > [alkwa] ✧ PE18/100 √alak- > alqua [alakwā] > [alkwā] > [alkwa] ✧ SA/alqua ✶alkwa > alqua [alkwa] ✧ UT/265 ✶alkwa > alqua [alkwa] ✧ VT42/07
alqua noun "swan" _(ÁLAK [there spelt _alqa, as in LT1:249/LT2:335], SA:alqua, UT:265, VT42:7). The alternative form alquë ("q") mentioned in early material (LT1:249) may or may not be valid in LotR-style Quenya.
málo noun "friend" (MEL, VT49:22)
nildo noun "friend" (apparently masc.; contrast nildë) (NIL/NDIL)
nildë noun "friend" (fem.) (NIL/NDIL)
nilmo noun "friend" (apparently masc.) (NIL/NDIL)
sermo noun "friend" (evidently masc., since sermë is stated to be fem.) (SER)
sermë noun "friend" (fem.) (SER)
seron noun "friend" (SER)
-ndur (also -dur), ending in some names, like Eärendur; as noted by Christopher Tolkien in the Silmarillion Appendix it has much the same meaning as -ndil "friend"; yet -ndur properly means "servant of" (SA:(noun)dil), "as one serves a legitimate master: cf. Q. arandil king's friend, royalist, beside arandur 'king's servant, minister'. But these often coincide: e.g. Sam's relation to Frodo can be viewed either as in status -ndur, in spirit -ndil." (Letters:286)
noun. Elf, (lit.) One That Speaks
- T. Pendë “Elf (as a race)” ✧ WJ/375; WJI/Pendi; WJ/361
- ✶kwende “speaker, elf” ✧ PE17/137; PE17/141; PE17/152
- √KWENED “spoken, articulate, spoken, articulate; [ᴹ√] Elf” ✧ PE19/093
- √KWEN “speak with rational words” ✧ SA/quen; WJ/361; WJ/391
- √KWE “vocal speech” ✧ WJ/392
- Q. Calaquendi “Elves of the Light, (lit.) Light Elves” ✧ SA/quen; WJ/361
- Q. Ilquendatar “Father of All Quendi”
- Q. Laiquendi “Green-elves” ✧ SA/quen
- Q. manen lambë Quendion ahyanë “How did the language of the Elves change?” ✧ PM/395
- Q. Moriquendi “Elves of the Darkness, (lit.) Dark Elves” ✧ SA/quen; WJ/361
- Q. Quendelië “Elf-race”
- Q. Quenderin “Quendian, of the Quendi, belonging to the Elves as a whole”
- Q. Quendil “Elf-friend”
- Q. Quendingoldo “*Loremaster of the Elves”
Word Gloss quet- “to say, speak, tell, to say, speak, tell, [ᴱQ.] talk”
Development Stages Sources ✶kwendī > Quendi [kwendī] > [kwendi] ✧ PE17/137 ✶kwenedē > qende [kwenedē] > [kwendē] > [kwende] ✧ PE17/141 ✶kwened- > Quendi [kwenedē] > [kwendē] > [kwende] ✧ PE17/152 √kwened > quend- [kwenede] > [kwende] ✧ PE19/093 √quen- > Quendi [kwende] ✧ SA/quen √KWEN > quende [kwende] ✧ WJ/361 √KWEN > Quendi [kwende] ✧ WJ/391
- quende ✧ NM/095; WJ/361
- Quende ✧ PE17/137; WJ/372; WJI/Quendi
- qende ✧ PE17/141
[sondo noun "friend" (VT46:15)]
speaker, reciter, minstrel