Tolkien introduced the root √KAR with the sense “do, make” very early, and it retained this form and meaning for his entire life. It appeared as ᴱ√KARA “do, make” in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s (QL/45), as ᴹ√KAR “make, build, construct” in The Etymologies of the 1930s (Ety/KAR), and in numerous other places in various notes, including a last known appearance in verbal notes from 1969 as √KAR “do” (PE22/155). Though its exact set of derivatives varied over time, the root itself was extremely stable in Tolkien’s mind.
root. do, make, build, do, make, build, [ᴹ√] construct
- S. caras “circular earthwall with dike, fort surrounded by bulwarks, circular earthwall with dike, fort surrounded by bulwarks; [N.] city (built above ground)” ✧ PE17/084
- ✶kar- “do, make” ✧ PE18/095
- ᴺQ. caira “eager [to do]”
- ᴺQ. car “act, an action”
- Q. caraitë “active, busy, active, busy; [ᴹQ.] able to make, handy, crafty, craftsmanlike, skilled” ✧ PE22/155
- Q. carasse “built fort or dwelling surrounded by bulwarks” ✧ PE17/084
- Q. carasta- “to build, to build, construct” ✧ PE17/084
- Q. cárima “feasible, possible (to do), able to be done, feasible, possible (to do), able to be done, [ᴹQ.] able to be made” ✧ PE22/155
- Q. carma “tool, implement, means, weapon” ✧ PE17/114
- ᴺS. carf “tool, implement, weapon”
- ᴺS. caur “action, doing, making; verb”
- ᴺS. ceiria- “to cause, bring about”
- ᴺS. crantha- “to finish, complete, accomplish, achieve”
- CAR ✧ PE17/084; PE17/150
The root for “head” was established very early in Tolkien’s Elvish languages, appearing in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s as ᴱ√KASA “head” (QL/45), though in this period its Qenya derivative was ᴱQ. kar (kas-) because [[eq|final [s] became [r]]] in Early Quenya (PE12/26). It had derivatives in the contemporaneous Gnomish Lexicon such as G. cas “head, skull” (GL/25), a word that reappeared in Early Noldorin word lists of the 1920s as ᴱN. cas “skull” (PE13/140).
The root ᴹ√KAS “head” reappeared in The Etymologies of the 1930s, still with the form ᴹQ. kár (kas-) “head” (Ety/KAS), but Tolkien eventually abandoned the Early Qenya phonology and the Quenya form became Q. kas after some vacillation (PE19/103). The root √KAS “head” continued to appear frequently in Tolkien’s later writing (PE17/114; PE21/70; VT42/12).
- ✶kasraya “a tressure” ✧ VT42/12
- kas ✧ PE21/70
- cas ✧ VT42/12