Quenya 

heru órava omessë

Lord, have mercy on us

The first line of Tolkien’s Quenya translation of the Litany of Loreto prayer (VT44/12). The first word is the noun heru “lord” followed by the aorist form of the verb órava- “to have mercy”. The last word omessë “on us” is the locative form (-ssë “on”) of the pronoun me “us”. The significance of the prefix o- is unclear, but Wynne, Smith and Hostetter suggested that it might be the preposition ó (VT44/15), though its translation elsewhere as “with” (VT43/29) does not seem appropriate. It could instead be the prefix o- “together”, though this does not fit well either. In later lines, Tolkien wrote (o)messë indicating the prefix was optional.

Decomposition: Broken into its constituent elements, this phrase would be:

> Heru órava (o)me-ssë = “✱Lord have-mercy us-on”

Conceptual Development: Tolkien explored several ways of expressing “have mercy”. He first wrote a le·ana ocama, apparently meaning “(imperative) you give mercy”, with ocama a noun meaning “mercy” (VT44/12-13). He revised this to simply ocama >> ócama, apparently changing ocama to a verb meaning “to have mercy” (VT44/13). He then changed this verb to órava (VT44/14).

Tolkien also used several forms to express “on us”: dative men >> ómen >> (locative) ómesse.

Element in


  • {A} Heru {le·ana >> ocama >> ócama >>} órava {men >> ómen >>} omesse ✧ VT44/12


lord, master

heru (also hér) noun "lord, master" (PM:210, KHER, LT1:272, VT44:12); Letters:283 gives hér (heru); the form Héru with a long vowel refers to God in the source where it appears (i Héru "the Lord", VT43:29). In names like Herumor "Black Lord" and Herunúmen "Lord of the West" (SA:heru). The form heruion is evidently a gen.pl. of heru "lord": "of the lords" (SD:290); herunúmen "Lord-of-West" (LR:47), title of Manwë. Pl. númeheruvi "Lords-of-West" (*"West-lords") in SD:246, a title of the Valar; does this form suggest that #heruvi is the regular plural of heru?


lord, ruler

Malantur, masc. name. Apparently includes -(n)tur "lord, ruler". The initial element is unlikely to connect with the early "Qenya" element mala- "hurt, pain", and may rather reflect the root MALAT "gold" (PM:366): Malat-ntur > Malantur "Gold-ruler"? (UT:210)



hér noun "lord" (VT41:9), also heru, q.v.


noun. lord


noun. lord


noun. lord


  • TUR “dominate, master, conquer; power [over others], mastery (legitimate or illegitimate), control (of other wills); strong, mighty in power, dominate, master, conquer; power [over others], mastery (legitimate or illegitimate), control (of other wills); strong, mighty in power; [ᴹ√] victory; [ᴱ√] am strong”

Element in


  • Túrin ✧ Minor-Doc/1973-05-30
Quenya [Minor-Doc/1973-05-30] Group: Eldamo. Published by


9V7J5.DaH noun. dwarf-lord, dwarven lord

Quenya [Compound of heru and nauco] Group: Neologism. Published by