Primitive elvish


root. cover over, hide

This root had to do with covering things for much of Tolkien’s life. The first appearance of the root was unglossed ᴱ√TUPU in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s with derivatives like ᴱQ. tumpo “shed, barn” and ᴱQ. tupu- “roof, put lid on, put hat on, cover” (QL/95). Tolkien said this root was “much as TELE”, which in this document was glossed “cover in” (QL/90). The root ᴱ√TUPU also had derivatives in the contemporaneous Gnomish Lexicon such as G. tub- “cover” and G. tump “a shed” (GL/71).

In The Etymologies of the 1930s the root ᴹ√TUP was given as a variant of ᴹ√TOP “cover, roof” with derivatives like ᴹQ. tupse/N. taus “thatch” (Ety/TUP; EtyAC/TOP). In Tolkien’s later writings its most notable derivative was Q. untup- “cover (over)” as in Q. ar hísië untúpa Calaciryo míri oialë “and mist covers the jewels of Calacirya forever” (PE17/73; LotR/377). The root √TUP “cover over” itself was mentioned a couple times in Tolkien’s later writings (PE17/73), though in one place of these places it was given as √TUI “cover over, hide”, but since in that note it was the basis for primitive ✶Utupnu, this √TUI is clearly a malformed ✱√TUP (MR/69).


  • Utupnu ✧ MR/069
    • Q. Utumno “Deep-hidden” ✧ MR/069
    • S. Udûn “Dark Pit”
  • ᴺQ. tumpo “shed, barn”
  • Q. tup- “to cover, to cover, [ᴱQ.] put a lid on, put hat on, roof”
  • ᴺQ. túpelë “roofing, tiles, roof”
  • ᴺQ. tupin “roofed, having a lid, having hat on”
  • ᴺQ. túpo “cover, lid, roof”
  • ᴺS. tobla- “to hide”
  • ᴺS. tump “shed”

Element in

  • Q. untup- “to cover (over or up), (lit.) to cover down” ✧ PE17/073


  • TUI ✧ MR/069 (TUI)
Primitive elvish [MR/069; PE17/073; PE17/188] Group: Eldamo. Published by