Primitive elvish


root. body, flesh

The primitive form ✶srawā was introduced in notes associated with the essay Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth from around 1959, where it served as the basis for Q. hröa/S. rhaw “body” (MR/350). The Quenya word hröa served as a replacement for Q. hrondo “body” < √SRON “flesh, substance, matter” in the essay Of Death and the Severance of Fëa and Hrondo also from the late 1950s (MR/217, 231 note #26). It is not clear whether √SRAW was intended only to replace the sense “flesh” from √SRON or the sense “matter” as well: in an essay on the motivations of Sauron and Melkor Tolkien glossed Q. hröa as “flesh” but indicated it could be applied to the physical matter of Arda, a notion for which Tolkien elsewhere used the term Q. hrón, later revised to orma and then Q. erma (MR/399, 406 note #2).

Regardless, the connection to “flesh“ survived in later writings: primitive ✶srawā > Q. hröa “body” reappeared in notes discussing Q. órë from 1968 (VT41/14), the form ✶srā “flesh” > S. rhaw appeared as an example of a primitive monosyllabic noun in notes associated with Eldarin Hands, Fingers and Numerals from the late 1960s where Tolkien said it had probably lost a final -w in ancient times (VT47/12), and ✶srā “body” appeared in a list of monosyllabic nouns from 1968 again with signs of lost -w via the extended form ✶srawa (VT47/35).

SRAW “flesh, body” may itself be a reemergence of some similar early roots. In the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s Tolkien had ᴱ√SṚKṚ “fat” with derivatives like ᴱQ. sarko “flesh, living flesh, body” and ᴱQ. sarqa “fleshy” (QL/86). The words ᴱQ. hara “flesh-meat” and ᴱQ. haranwa “fleshly, carnal” were given without a root (QL/39) and were probably connected to words like G. hara “flesh meat, meat” and G. harc “flesh (on a living body)” from contemporaneous Gnomish Lexicon (GL/48). These might somehow be connected to ᴱ√SṚKṚ or could instead represent an otherwise unattested root like ✱ᴱ√HARA.


  • srā “flesh” ✧ VT47/35
  • srawā “body” ✧ VT47/35
    • Q. hröa “body, bodily form, flesh; physical matter” ✧ MR/350; VT41/14; VT47/35
  • srāwe “*flesh”
    • Q. hrávë “flesh” ✧ MR/350
    • S. rhaw “flesh, body” ✧ MR/350
  • S. rhaw “flesh, body” ✧ VT47/35


  • srā ✧ VT47/35
  • srāw(ɜ) ✧ VT47/35 (srāw(ɜ))
Primitive elvish [VT47/35] Group: Eldamo. Published by


noun. body


  • SRAW “body, flesh” ✧ VT47/35


  • Q. hröa “body, bodily form, flesh; physical matter” ✧ MR/350; VT41/14; VT47/35

Element in


  • srawa ✧ VT47/35
Primitive elvish [MR/350; VT41/14; VT47/35] Group: Eldamo. Published by