ossë noun "terror" (GOS/GOTH). In the pre-classical Tengwar system presupposed in the Etymologies, ossë was also the name of a Tengwa similar in shape to Roman c, which in a full-vowel mode apparently had the value o. (VT45:15; in the Sindarin "Mode of Beleriand", exemplified in the LotR itself, this letter has the value a instead. Elsewhere in the Etymologies itself, this symbol is called Elwë (q.v.) and is assigned the value e.)
Ossë noun name of a Maia, adopted and adapted from Valarin (WJ:400), though connected with the common noun ossë "terror" in Etym (GOS/GOTH)
masculine name. Ossë
One of the greatest of the Maia, master of the seas that wash the shores of Middle-earth (S/30). His Quenya name is derived from his name in Valarin: Val. Oš(o)šai “spuming, foaming” (WJ/400).
Conceptual Development: This name dates back to the earliest Lost Tales, when ᴱQ. Osse was derived from the root ᴱ√’O’O along with other words related to the sea (LT1A/Ossë, QL/70). In The Etymologies, the name ᴹQ. Osse was derived from the primitive root ᴹ√GOS “dread” (Ety/GOS), perhaps referring to the awe-inspiring nature of the sea. The later derivation of Q. ëar “sea” < √GAY(AR) “awe, dread” was similar (PM/363, WJ/400).
In a list of roots written around 1959-60, Tolkien derived Ossë from an otherwised unattested root OS “making a hissing foaming noise” (PE17/138). His Valarin name did not appear until the Quendi and Eldar essay from this same period (WJ/400).
Development Stages Sources ✶Ossai > Osse [ossai] > [osse] ✧ WJ/400
- Osse ✧ PE17/138; WJ/400
Elenwë fem. name *"Star-person" (Silm)
Elwë masc. name, *"Star-person" (PM:340, WJ:369, WEG, VT45:12). In the pre-classical Tengwar system presupposed in the Etymologies, Elwë was also the name of a Tengwa similar in form to Roman c, which in a full-vowel mode denoted a (short) e. (VT45:17; in the Sindarin "Mode of Beleriand", exemplified in the LotR itself, this letter has the value a instead. Elsewhere in the Etymologies itself, this symbol is called Ossë [q.v.] and is assigned the value o.)
At least two explanations exist for the name Ossë. In The Etymologies, it is understood as the Qenya word osse ("terror"), deriving from the root GOS ("dread"). A later note pertaining to the name instead suggests it is a name of non-Elvish origin, deriving from Valarin Oš(o)šai ("spuming, foaming"). The same later note mentions that Ossë's Sindarin names were Yssion and Gaerys. In Eriol's Old English translations, Osse is referred to as Saefrea "Sea-ruler". However, this reflects his status as a Vala (Fréa) in the earlier Legendarium.