Primitive elvish


root. ice, [ᴹ√] freeze

This root was the basis for “ice” words all the way back in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s, where ᴱ√HELE appeared with variant ᴱ√HḶKḶ as the basis for words like ᴱQ. helke “ice”, ᴱQ. helka “ice-cold”, ᴱQ. halkin “frozen”, and ᴱQ. hilk- “freeze” (QL/39). The root was given as {hele-k >>} χele-k in the contemporaneous Gnomish Lexicon with derivatives like G. hel- “freeze”, G. heleg “ice” and G. helc “ice-cold, icy, cold” (GL/48). The Gnomish forms do not show the kinds of vowel-variations that would indicate the presence of ancient syllabic , so perhaps Tolkien had abandoned ᴱ√HḶKḶ by that point.

The root reappeared in The Etymologies of the 1930s as ᴹ√KHEL “freeze” and extended root ᴹ√KHELEK “ice”, with the reappearance of many derived forms as well such as ᴹQ. helke/N. heleg “ice” and ᴹQ. helka/N. helch “ice-cold” (Ety/KHEL). Tolkien’s continued use of words like Q. Helcaraxë “Grinding Ice” indicate the ongoing validity of the extended root √KHELEK (S/134), and the shorter root √KHEL “ice” appeared in later notes of the origin of S. Forochel (PE17/116).


  • ᴺQ. hel- “to freeze (of water)”
  • ᴺS. hel- “to freeze”

Element in


  • khel ✧ PE17/116
Primitive elvish [PE17/116] Group: Eldamo. Published by


root. ice


  • Q. helca “icy, ice-cold” ✧ SA/khelek
  • ᴺQ. helexë “hail”


KHEL“ice, [ᴹ√] freeze”


  • khelek- ✧ SA/khelek
Primitive elvish [SA/khelek] Group: Eldamo. Published by