Quenya 



vendë < wendë noun "maiden" (WEN/WENED, VT45:16), "virgin" (in Tolkien's translations of Catholic prayers where the reference is to Mary; see VT44:10, 18). The form Véndë in VT44:10 seems abnormal; normally Quenya does not have a long vowel in front of a consonant cluster.


noun. maiden, *virgin

The usual Quenya word for “maiden” derived from the root √WEN(ED) (Ety/WEN; PE17/191; VT47/17). Tolkien usually wrote this word as wende but it would be pronounced and written vende in modern Quenya.

Conceptual Development: This word was fairly stable in Tolkien’s mind. In the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s this word was ᴱQ. ’wen (wend-) “maid, girl” with longer variant wendi “maiden” derived from the early root {ᴱ√WENE >>} ᴱ√GWENE (QL/103). The form wendi was also mentioned in the contemporaneous Gnomish Lexicon, but there the root was {ᴱ√gw̯ene >>} ᴱ√gu̯eđe (GL/45). In the Nieninqe poem written around 1930 it was ᴱQ. wende “maiden” (MC/215), a form that reappeared in the version of the poem from the 1950s as well (PE16/96).

In The Etymologies of the 1930s Tolkien gave this word as ᴹQ. wende, vende “maiden” under the root ᴹ√WEN-ED of the same meaning (Ety/WEN), In a marginal note Tolkien said that derivatives of ᴹ√WEN-ED should be transferred to ᴹ√GWEN, and under that root Tolkien indicated there was blending with ᴹQ. wende “maid” (Ety/GWEN).

In later writings Tolkien mostly used the form wende, but in Quenya prayers from the 1950s he once wrote Vénde, where the long é was probably a slip (VT44/5, 10). Likewise in later writings Tolkien mostly gave the root as √WEN(ED), but in one place considered deriving wende from √GWEN “fair” (PE17/191). Finally he generally translated this word as “maiden”, but in Quenya Prayers from the 1950s used it with the sense “virgin” in reference to the Virgin Mary (VT44/5, 12).

Neo-Quenya: It is tricky to reconcile Tolkien’s regular use of the form wende with the root √WEN(ED), since ancient w became v in Quenya, making the expected form vende. To retain wende, the most straightforward explanation is that it was derived from strengthened ✱gwendē, since this initial cluster survived as w at least into Classical Quenya and possibly beyond. However, the strengthening of ✶wendē > ✱gwendē must have occurred after the Common Eldarin period, otherwise the Sindarin form would have been ✱✱bend, whereas Tolkien consistently used S. gwen(d).

Many Neo-Quenya writers avoid this question simply by revising the form to vende, a practice I recommend as well, though its suffixal form would (mostly) remain -wen. I also prefer to use vende mainly for “maiden, ✱young woman” and for “virgin” (of any gender) I recommend vénë.


  • wendēwendē “maiden” ✧ PE17/191


  • S. gwend “maiden, maiden, *young woman” ✧ PE17/191
  • S. -wen “maiden, *female suffix” ✧ SA/wen


  • wendē “maiden, young or small woman, girl”
    • WEN(ED) “maiden, girl, virgin; woman” ✧ VT47/17; VT48/18
  • WEN(ED) “maiden, girl, virgin; woman” ✧ PE17/191; SA/wen; VT47/42
  • GWEN “fair, beautiful; (probably originally) fresh, fair, unblemished (especially of beauty of youth)” ✧ PE17/191

Element in

Phonetic Developments

WEN-ED > wendē[gwende] > [ɣwende] > [wende]✧ PE17/191
GWEN > wendē[gwende] > [ɣwende] > [wende]✧ PE17/191
wen > wen[gwende] > [ɣwende] > [wende]✧ SA/wen
wen(ed) > wende[gwende] > [ɣwende] > [wende]✧ VT47/42


  • wende ✧ PE16/096; PE17/190; VT47/42
  • wendē ✧ PE17/191; PE17/191 (wendē)
  • wendë ✧ PM/343
  • Vénde ✧ VT44/10
  • Wende ✧ VT44/18
Quenya [PE16/096; PE17/190; PE17/191; PM/343; SA/wen; UT/229; VT44/10; VT44/18; VT47/42] Group: Eldamo. Published by


noun. maiden



wendë noun "maid" (GWEN), wendë > vendë "maiden" (WEN/WENED, VT45:16, VT47:17). Sana wendë "that maiden" (PE16:96 cf. 90). According to VT47:17, this word for "maiden" is "applied to all stages up to the fully adult (until marriage)".Early "Qenya" also had wendi "maid, girl" (LT1:271); this may look like a plural form in Tolkiens later Quenya. On the other hand, VT48:18 lists a word wendi "young or small woman, girl". It is unclear whether this is Quenya or a Common Eldarin form, but probably the former: PE17:191 displays the word for "maiden" as wendē, so the Quenya stem form is probably *wende- rather than wendi*-, the stem-form that would result from Common Eldarin wendi). In his Quenya translation of the Sub Tuum Praesidium, Tolkien used Wendë/Vendë to translate "virgin" with reference to the Virgin Mary. Here the plural genitive Wenderon appears in the phrase Wendë mi Wenderon "Virgin of Virgins"; we might have expected Wendion instead (VT44:18).If the pl. form of wendë is wender rather than wendi, as the gen.pl. wenderon suggests, this may be to avoid confusion with the sg. wendi** "girl".



venessë noun "virginity" (WEN/WENED)



vénë < wénë noun "virginity" (WEN/WENED); in one source vénë also appears with the concrete meaning "virgin" (VT44:10), but this is normally vendë, wendë instead.


maid, girl

wendi noun "maid, girl" (LT1:271), "young or small woman, girl" (VT48:18); see wendë



wénë > vénë noun "virginity" (WEN/WENED)


maid, girl

wen noun "maid, girl" (*wend-), in early "Qenya" also wendi (Tolkien's later Quenya form wendë occurs in MC:215 and in Etym, stems GWEN, WEN/WENED). (LT1:271, 273)



-wen "maiden" as suffix, a frequent ending in feminine names like Eärwen "Sea-maiden" (SA:wen). Early "Qenya" also has -wen, feminine patronymic "daughter of" (LT1:271, 273), but the patronymic ending seems to be -iel "-daughter" in Tolkien's later Quenya.