Teler noun "sea-elf", pl. Teleri, general (partitive) pl. Telelli, the third tribe of the Eldar (TELES (MIS) ), also called Lindar.Teleri means "those at the end of the line, the hindmost", (WJ:382 cf. 371), derived from the stem tel- "finish, end, be last" (SA:tel-). The Lindar were so called because they lagged behind on the march from Cuiviénen. In early "Qenya", Teler, also Telellë, was defined "little elf" (LT1:267), but this is hardly a valid gloss in Tolkien's later Quenya.
proper name. Last-comer, Hindmost
Quenya name for the third tribe of Elves (PM/318), usually appearing in the plural form Teleri (S/40; WJ/382). It was derived from the root √TELES “come at rear” (PE18/84; Ety/TELES), because “they tarried on the road and were not wholly of a mind to pass from the dusk to the light of Valinor” (S/53).
Conceptual Development: A similar name ᴱQ. Telelli appeared in the earliest Lost Tales, and its singular form ᴱQ. Telelle was glossed “little elf” in the Qenya Lexicon (QL/91). This early term applied to young Elves of all tribes, especially those talented in song (PE13/99; PE14/9). The related term ᴱQ. Teleri, however, referred specifically to the first tribe of Elves (LT1/50; PE14/9).
By the earliest drafts of the Silmarillion, however, Tolkien began to use ᴹQ. Teler as the term for the “Sea-elves”, the third tribe (SM/13). In The Etymologies from the 1930s, the name was given the derivation above (Ety/TELES), though initially it was because the third tribe “were the latest to awaken” (LR/168), not because they tarried on the march.
Teles-→ Teler- ✧ PE18/084
- S. Teler “Teleri” ✧ PM/385; PMI/Teleri
- Q. Telerin “of the Teleri”
Development Stages Sources √KYELES > Teler- [kjelesi] > [tjelesi] > [tjelezi] > [tjeleri] > [teleri] ✧ PE18/084 √tel- > Teleri [telesi] > [telezi] > [teleri] ✧ SA/tel
- Teles- ✧ PE18/084 (
Telellë noun "little elf" (also Teler); the Telelli are said to be "young Elves of all clans who dwelt in Kôr to perfect their arts of singing and poetry" (LT1:267; see Teler)
proper name. Singer
The name that the Teleri used to refer to themselves, usually appearing in the plural form Lindar and glossed “The Singers” (SI/Teleri, UT/286). They were so called because in legend, they sang before they could speak with words (WJ/382). The name was derived from the root √LIN “sing” (SA/lin, WJ/382).
Conceptual Development: In Silmarillion drafts from the 1930s, this name was used for the first tribe, with the gloss “The Fair” (LR/168). It usually appeared as a collective noun, but sometimes appeared in the singular (PE22/51). In The Etymologies, it is given as ᴹQ. linda “fair, beautiful (of sound)” used as a name (Ety/LIND). In later writings, the name of the first tribe became the Vanyar, and Tolkien repurposed this name as another name of the third tribe with a slightly different derivation and meaning.
Development Stages Sources √lin- > Lindar [lindar] ✧ SA/lin² ✶Lindāi > Lindar [lindar] ✧ WJ/378 ✶lindā > Lindar [lindā] > [linda] ✧ WJ/380 ✶Lindā > Lindar [lindā] > [linda] ✧ WJ/382
singer, singing bird
lindo noun "singer, singing bird" (LIN2)
nyello noun "singer" (NYEL). Compare the final element of Falanyel, #Solonyel, q.v