Primitive elvish


noun. child not yet full grown


  • WIN “young, young, [ᴹ√] new, fresh” ✧ VT47/26


  • Q. winë “baby, little-one, child not yet full grown” ✧ VT47/26


  • wĭnĭ ✧ VT47/26
Primitive elvish [VT47/26] Group: Eldamo. Published by


root. young, young, [ᴹ√] new, fresh

Tolkien used a similar set of Elvish roots for “youth” and “freshness” for many years. The earliest of these was primitive guı̯u̯ or gu̯iu̯ [ᴱ√GWIWI] in the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s with derivatives like G. gui “just, just now, only just, already”, G. guin “recent, fresh”, and G. gwioth “youth” (GL/42). This root reappeared as ᴹ√WIR “new, fresh, young” in The Etymologies of the 1930s with variants ᴹ√ and ᴹ√WIN and derivatives ᴹQ. vírie “youth” and ᴹQ. virya “fresh” (EtyAC/WIR). The ᴹ√WIN variant had derivatives ᴹQ. vinya/N. gwîn “young”. Tolkien considered, but rejected, deriving these from strengthened ᴹ√GWIN instead, producing (also rejected) ᴹQ. winya/N. bîn (EtyAC/GWIN).

Q. vinya appeared in quite a few later names with the gloss “young” or “new”, but the Sindarin form became S. gwain as in S. Narwain “January, ✱(lit.) New Fire” (LotR/1110) and S. Iarwain “Old-young” (LotR/1114; RC/128). In Definitive Linguistic Notes (DLN) from 1959, both were given as derivatives of √WIN “young” along with Q. víne/S. gwîn “youth”, though the Sindarin word for “young” was given as (archaic?) gwein (PE17/191). Also related are various words for “baby” from 1968 notes such Q. †wine/S. gwinig “little-one, baby” (VT48/6). In these notes primitive wini was glossed “little” but this was deleted (VT47/26), making it likely that the earlier senses “young, new” were restored for √WIN.

As for the 1930s root ᴹ√WIR, it might have survived as an element in the month names Q. Víressë/S. Gwirith “April” (LotR/1110), perhaps meaning “✱freshness”.


  • wini “child not yet full grown” ✧ VT47/26
    • Q. winë “baby, little-one, child not yet full grown” ✧ VT47/26
  • ᴺQ. vin “just, just now, only just, already”
  • Q. vínë “youth, youth, *childhood” ✧ PE17/191; VT47/26
  • Q. vinya “young, new” ✧ PE17/191; VT47/26
  • Q. Víressë “April, *Freshness”
  • S. gwain “young, *new” ✧ PE17/191
  • ᴺS. gwí “just, just now, only just, already”
  • S. gwîn “youth” ✧ PE17/191

Element in


  • wini ✧ VT47/26 (wini)
  • win ✧ VT47/26
Primitive elvish [PE17/191; VT47/26] Group: Eldamo. Published by