Primitive elvish


root. bear, carry, wear

The root √KOL served various purposes throughout Tolkien’s life. The root appeared as two separate entries in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s: ᴱ√KOLO “to strain through” and also as ᴱ√KOLO, unglossed but with derivatives like ᴱQ. koli- “to prick”, ᴱQ. kolme “point, tip”, and ᴱQ. kolman “peak, summit”, so perhaps meaning something like “✱point” (QL/47). It reappeared in a rejected entry in The Etymologies of the 1930s as ᴹ√KOL with a single derivative ᴹQ. kolma “ring”, and the root had the gloss “round, (?rim)” in an earlier version of the entry (EtyAC/KOL). It had a deleted reference in the entry ᴹ√KOR “round” of which it was probably a variant (EtyAC/KOR).

The root √KOL appeared regularly in Tolkien’s writing in the 1950s and 60s with glosses like “bear, carry” and derivatives of similar meaning (PE17/145, 158; PE22/152, 155; VT39/10). This new meaning of the root was anchored in the words Q. colindo “bearer” as in Q. Cormacolindor “Ring-bearers” (LotR/953), as well as S. coll “cloak” in S. Thingol “Grey-cloak” (PE17/72). In notes from 1969, Tolkien clarified that the root referred “to the ability to support weight or a burden, physical or mental, not necessarily to transporting it” (PE22/155).


  • gollo “fur, cloak”
  • Q. col- “to bear, carry, wear” ✧ PE22/155
  • Q. colba “*womb”
  • ᴺQ. colca “box”
  • ᴺQ. cólë “passivity, endurance, patience; a passive individual”
  • Q. collo “cloak”
  • ᴺQ. colma “stretcher”
  • Q. cólo “burden” ✧ VT39/10
  • ᴺQ. colta- “to lade, burden, weigh down”
  • S. caul “great burden, affliction, (great) burden; affliction” ✧ VT39/10
  • ᴺS. col- “to bear, carry, wear”
  • S. coll “cloak, mantle”
  • ᴺS. colron “bearer”
  • ᴺS. cyll “bearer”
  • ᴺS. coltha- “to bear up; to weigh, balance it on scales; to be worth, value or be equivalent to; to endure”
  • S. cûl “load”

Element in

  • ᴺ✶. askōlimā “equivalent, (lit.) beside-bear-able”


  • KOL- ✧ PE17/145
  • KOLO ✧ PE22/152
Primitive elvish [PE17/145; PE17/158; PE22/152; PE22/155; VT39/10] Group: Eldamo. Published by


noun. bear


Primitive elvish [PE21/82] Group: Eldamo. Published by