Primitive elvish


root. dread, terror, fear, horror

This root was connected to fear and dread in Tolkien’s later writing, most notably in S. goroth as an element in S. Gorgoroth “[Valley] of Terror” as the name of a region in Mordor (LotR/401), as well as in S. Ered Gorgoroth “Mountains of Terror” where Ungoliant dwelled (S/95). The root first appeared in its extended form ᴹ√ÑGOROTH “horror” in The Etymologies of the 1930s (Ety/ÑGOROTH) with a variant ÑGOR-OT mentioned in another entry (EtyAC/GOS). The unextended root √ÑGOR was mentioned regularly in Tolkien’s later writings with glosses like “dread” (PE17/113), “terror, dread” (PE17/154), “fear” (PE17/172) and “terror” (PE17/183). It did not necessarily have an entirely negative meaning, however, as its derivative S. gorn given the sense “revered” in (one possible) etymology of S. Aragorn < Ara-ngorn “Revered King” (PE17/113).

A variant root √NGUR “horror” was mentioned in the Quendi and Eldar essay of 1959-60 (WJ/415), but elsewhere √ÑGUR was generally given the sense “death”; see that entry for detail.


  • ñgormē “dread, reverence, awe” ✧ PE17/113
  • ñgornā “dreaded, revered” ✧ PE17/113
    • S. gorn “revered” ✧ PE17/113
  • Q. nor- “fear” ✧ PE17/172
  • S. gor “horror, dread, fear” ✧ PE17/172
  • S. gorgor “extreme horror, terror, haunting fear”
  • N. gorgor “dreadful”
  • S. goroth “horror, dread” ✧ WJ/415

Element in


  • NGUR ✧ WJ/415
Primitive elvish [PE17/113; PE17/154; PE17/169; PE17/172; PE17/183; WJ/415] Group: Eldamo. Published by