Primitive elvish


root. hold, contain, retain, possess, have in hand, hold, contain, retain, possess, have in hand; [ᴹ√] hollow

This root’s most notable derivative was one of the Sindarin words for “hand”, S. cam, supplanting archaic S. †maw which survived only in compounds (VT47/6-7). This root first appeared in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “hollow” (Ety/KAB), replacing an earlier entry glossed “hold, (?contain)”. The root reappeared in the late 1960s in Tolkien’s notes on Eldarin Hands, Fingers and Numerals, variously glossed “hold, contain, retain” (VT47/7) or “to hold, possess, have in hand” (VT47/20).

A later addition to these notes then made the rather surprising claim that “kamba is from KAM not KAB”. This seems to be supported by a Quenya verb form camnelyes “you received it” (VT47/21), where the past form camne must be from √KAM. However, the form cambelyes was written below this, possibly indicating a restoration of √KAB, as suggested by Patrick Wynne.

Neo-Eldarin: For purposes of Neo-Eldarin I think it is best to continue to assume the existence of √KAB.


  • kambā “(cupped) hand” ✧ VT47/07
    • Q. camba “(cupped) hand, hollow of the hand” ✧ VT47/07
    • S. cam “(cupped) hand, holding hand; handful” ✧ SA/cam
  • Q. cambë “hand, (hollow of) hand”
  • ᴺQ. cambie “profit, gain, intake, income”
  • Q. cav- “to receive, to receive, *accept” ✧ VT47/20
  • ᴺS. cav- “to receive, *accept”

Element in


  • kab ✧ VT47/20
Primitive elvish [VT47/07; VT47/20] Group: Eldamo. Published by


noun. hollow


  • Q. náva “hollow” ✧ WJ/414
  • S. naw “hollow” ✧ WJ/414
  • north S. nôf “hollow” ✧ WJ/414

Element in

Primitive elvish [WJ/414] Group: Eldamo. Published by


adjective. hollow


  • S. coll “hollow” ✧ WJ/414
Primitive elvish [WJ/414] Group: Eldamo. Published by