Conceptual Development: This mountain was referred to only as the “Mountain of Ilúvatar” in the first version of the “Fall of Númenor” (LR/27). Its Quenya name first emerged in the versions of the stories associated with the unfinished “Notion Club Papers” story from the 1940s, in forms such as ᴹQ. Menelmin(do) or Meneltyúla (SD/315, 335, 346), though at this stage it frequently appeared in its Adûnaic forms: Ad. Menel-Tûbal >> Minul-târik (SD/388). In the revisions of the Akallabêth in the 1950s, the name first appeared as Menelmindon but was soon revised to its final form Meneltarma (PM/146).
place name. Pillar of Heaven
- Ad. Minul-târik “Pillar of Heaven”
Word Gloss menel “the heavens, firmament, sky” tarma “pillar”
Menel noun "heavens" (Markirya, SA), "the heavens, the firmament" (SD:401), "the apparent dome in the sky" (MR:387). Menel Cemenyë ("k") "Heaven and Earth" (VT47:30). Found in names like Meneldil "Heaven-friend" = astronomer (Appendix A; Letters:386), Meneldur masc. name, "Heaven-servant" (Appendix A, Tar-Menelduras a Númenórean King, UT:210); menelluin "sky-blue", used as noun = "cornflower" (J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist & Illustrator p. 193). Menelmacar "Swordsman of the Sky", the Orion constellation (also called Telumehtar, Appendix E, first footnote); the older name was Menelmacil "Heaven-sword" (WJ:411); Meneltarma "Pillar of Heaven", name of the great central mountain of Númenor (SA:tar, VT42:21).Menelya fifth day of the Eldarin six-day week, dedicated to the heavens (Appendix D) Locative meneldë "in heaven"; abandoned forms menellë, menelzë (VT43:12, 16). Adj. meneldëa "(being) in heaven", evidently based on a locative form meneldë "in heaven"; abandoned forms menelzëa, menellëa, menelessëa (VT43:13, VT44:16; the last of these forms would suggest the locative form #menelessë).
The name Meneltarma is Quenya and means "pillar of heaven", from menel and tarma.