Select Elvish Words 1.52-1.53: Sun, Moon

Select Elvish Words 1.52-1.53: Sun, Moon

1.52 Sun

Q. Anar n. “Sun”

The most common Quenya name for the Sun derived from primitive ✶Anār, an augmented form of the root √NAR “fire” (Let/425; PE17/38; Ety/ANÁR; SD/302, 306).

Conceptual Development: This term appeared in Silmarillion drafts of the 1930s with the gloss “Heart of Flame” (LR/240) and as ᴹQ. Anar “sun” in The Etymologies of the 1930s, already with the derivation given above (Ety/ANÁR, NAR¹).

Q. árë n. “sunlight, warmth (especially of the sun); ⚠️day”

A word for “sunlight” and “warmth (especially of the sun)” as well as the older name of tengwa #31 (k), which was originally used for the sound [z] matching the archaic pronunciation of this name: †áze (LotR/1123). When this sound fell out of use in Quenya (becoming r) the tengwa was repurposed for [ss] and given a new name: Q. essë. The word árë was derived from the root √AS “warmth” (PE17/18, 148; VT43/18).

Conceptual Development: In The Etymologies of the 1930s, ᴹQ. are has the sense “day” as a derivative of the root ᴹ√AR¹ of the same meaning (Ety/AR¹), and it appears with this gloss in some later writings as well (PE17/148, PM/127). By the time Tolkien was writing The Lord of the Rings appendices, though, he had changed the sense of this word to “sunlight” as described above. The sense “day” was transferred to the words aurë and .

Q. arma n. “ray of sunlight”

A word for “a ray of sunlight” in Quenya Notes from 1957 (QN) derived from √AS “warmth” (PE17/148). I think it is a ray of light that is also warm, as opposed to alca which is merely bright but not warm.

ᴱQ. aurea n. “sunny, sunlit”

ᴱQ. aurea “sunlit, sunny” appeared in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s, an adjectival form of the early word ᴱQ. aure “sunlight” (QL/33). This word also appeared in the contemporaneous Poetic and Mythological Words of Eldarissa with the gloss “sunny” (PME/33).

Neo-Quenya: I think this word can be salvaged as ᴺQ. aurëa “*daytime”, an adjectival form of the later word aurë “day(light)” (RC/727), by extension also meaning brightly lit by day hence also sunlit and sunny. Thus aurëa oron “daytime mountain” is one lit by the day = “sunny mountain”, and also aurëa arin “daytime morning” is a sunny morning. Aurëa would be both warm and bright as opposed to calina which is merely bright.

Q. ceuranar n. “new sun after solstice”

A word appearing in notes from the late 1960s glossed “new sun after solstice” (VT48/7), a combination of Q. ceurë “renewed” and Q. Anar “Sun”.

S. Anor n. “Sun”

The most common Sindarin name for the Sun derived from primitive ✶Anār, an augmented form of the root √NAR “fire” (PE17/38; Ety/ANÁR; SD/302-303, 306). The o is the result of ancient ā becoming au and then this au becoming o in polysyllables.

Conceptual Development: The term Anor was first mentioned in conjunction with early tales of Númenor (LR/41). It briefly appeared as N. {ánar >>} Anar “sun” in The Etymologies of the 1930s under the entry for ᴹ√NAR¹ (Ety/NAR¹; EtyAC/NAR¹), but as Anor under ᴹ√ANÁR (Ety/ANÁR). In The Notion Club Papers of the 1940s it was Anor, archaic †Anaur (SD/302-303, 306) and it retained this form thereafter.

S. fael n. “gleam of the sun”

An element in the name Faelivrin described as the “gleam of the sun on the pools of Ivrin” (S/210), hence probably meaning something like “gleam of the sun” or “*gleaming”. It may be derived from the root ᴹ√PHAY in its 1930s sense “radiate, send out rays of light” (Ety/PHAY), though in later writings √PHAY meant “spirit” (PM/352).

S. glaw n. “sunshine; [N.] radiance”

A word (or word element) appearing in linguistic notes from the late 1950s as glaw- “sunshine”, a derivative of the root √LAW (PE17/159). A similar word N. glaw “radiance” appeared in The Etymologies of the 1930s, but this word was derived from primitive ᴹ✶g’lā based on the root ᴹ√GAL, a Noldorin-only variant of the root ᴹ√KAL “shine” (Ety/KAL).

Conceptual Development: Possible earlier precursors to this word include ᴱN. glarw “ray, radiance” from Early Noldorin Word-lists of the 1920s (PE13/144) and G. glaros “glare, blaze, splendour” from the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s (GL/39), the latter probably related to the early root ᴱ√KALA “shine golden” (QL/44); see that entry for discussion.

1.53 Moon

Q. ceuran n. “new-moon”

A word appearing in notes from the late 1960s glossed “new-moon” and derived from primitive ✶keu̯rānā (VT48/7), a combination of Q. ceurë “renewed” and Q. Rána “Moon”.

Q. Isil n. “Moon, (lit.) Sheen”

The usual name for the Moon in Quenya, also translated as “Sheen” (LR/240; MR/130), from an augmented form of the root √THIL (Let/425; Ety/THIL). This word is most likely the proper name of the Moon, analogous to English “Luna”. Compare this to Q. Rána “Wayward”, which is more descriptive of the nature of the body and hence closer to “Moon” (and “moon”).

Conceptual Development: The precursor to this name seems to be ᴱQ. Sil (Sill-) “moon” from the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s, derived from the early root ᴱ√SILI (QL/83). The root had various derivatives having to do with “gleam(ing)”, but in the contemporaneous narratives ᴱQ. Sil was translated “(silver) rose” (LT1/192 and 197 note #17). There was also ᴱQ. Silmo as a masculinized name for “moon” (QL/83), which seems to be the ordinary word for “moon” in the English-Qenya Dictionary of the 1920s (PE15/75).

The name ᴹQ. Isil first appeared in early versions of the tales of Númenor from the 1930s (LR/41). The derivation given above appeared in The Etymologies of the 1930s (Ety/THIL) and again in a 1972 letter to Richard Jeffery (Let/425).

Q. isilmë n. “moonlight”

A word loosely translated as “moon” in the Markirya poem of the 1960s (MC/222), but more accurately “moonlight” according to the glossary following the poem (MC/223), perhaps an elaboration of Q. silmë “starlight” under the influence of Q. Isil “moon”.

Conceptual Development: A similar word ᴱQ. silma “a ray of moonlight” appeared in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s, derived from the early root ᴱ√SILI which was also the basis for ᴱQ. Sil “moon” (QL/83).

Q. Rána n. “Moon, (lit.) Wayward”

Another name of the Moon (usually Q. Isil), translated as “Wayward” (S/99). This name is a derivative of the root √RAN “wander” (UT/242), with a primitive form ✶rānā (VT48/7).

Conceptual Development: The name ᴱQ. Rána appears as a name of the moon in the earliest Lost Tales (LT1/192), though at this early stage its precise meaning and etymology were unclear. In Silmarillion drafts from the 1930s, ᴹQ. Rana appeared with a short a, with the translation “Wayward” (LR/240). The name also appeared with a short a in The Etymologies as a derivative of √RAN from primitive ᴹ✶Ranā (Ety/RAN). The long á was restored in Silmarillion revisions from the 1950s-60s (MR/130).

In some later notes, Tolkien said that Rána was the name of the spirit of the Moon rather than the Moon itself (VT42/13). Elsewhere this spirit was named Tirion, so this was probably a transient idea. In the indexes of The Silmarillion and The Unfinished Tales, Christopher Tolkien translated Rána as “Wanderer”, but the source of that translation is unclear.

N. cúran n. “crescent moon”

A word appearing in The Etymologies of the 1930s as N. cûran “crescent moon”, a combination of N. “crescent” and N. Rhân “moon” < ᴹ✶Ranā (Ety/KUƷ, RAN). In The Etymologies as published in The Lost Road, Christopher Tolkien gave the form as cúran, but according to Carl Hostetter and Patrick Wynne the actual form was cûran (EtyAC/KUƷ).

Neo-Sindarin: If adapted to Neo-Sindarin, this word would probably become ᴺS. cúron, analogous to S. cýron “new-moon” (VT48/7), with S. Raun < *rānā reduced to -ron as usual in polysyllables.

S. cýron n. “new-moon”

A word appearing in notes from the late 1960s glossed “new-moon” and derived from primitive ✶keu̯rānā (VT48/7), where the ancient diphthong eu became ȳ in the initial syllable, while in the final syllable first ā became au and then au become o as usual in polysyllables, the last development made clear by the archaic form †cýrawn. As such, this word is basically a combination of S. cýr “renewed” and the suffixal form -ron of S. Raun “Moon”.

S. Ithil n. “Moon”

The usual name for the Moon in Sindarin, from an augmented form of the root √THIL (Let/425; Ety/THIL). This word is most likely the proper name of the Moon, analogous to English “Luna”: in The Etymologies of the 1930s Tolkien indicated Ithil was a “poetic name”. Compare this to S. Raun “Wanderer”, which is more descriptive of the nature of the body and hence closer to “Moon” (and “moon”).

Conceptual Development: The first precursor to this name seems to be G. Thilim “Moon” in an early list of names (PE14/13). This became G. {Thil >>} Sil “Rose of Silpion, Moon” (GL/67, 72) and G. {Thilmos >>} Silma in the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s (GL/33, 67), derivatives of the early root ᴱ√SILI as suggested by Christopher Tolkien (LT1A/Sil). The name Ithil first appeared in early versions of the tales of Númenor from the 1930s (LR/41).

S. ithildin n. “magical alloy that glows in moonlight, (lit.) moon-star”

The magic alloy from which the Moria-gate runes were made, a combination of S. Ithil “moon” and S. tîn “star” and hence “moon-star” (LotR/317; PE17/39, 66). In one place Tolkien considered the form ithildim (PE17/39). The term first appeared in Lord of the Rings drafts of the 1940s (TI/180).

S. Raun n. “Moon”

A word for “moon”, equivalent of Q. Rána, attested in later writings only as the element -rawn in the archaic form S. †cýrawn “new-moon”, in modern speech cýron (VT48/7). Based on its use in this word, as well as in N. cúran “crescent moon” [ᴺS. cúron], it seems this is the ordinary word for “Moon” (or “moon”) as a celestial body, as opposed to S. Ithil which is the proper name of the moon, equivalent to English “Luna”. Raun is derived from primitive ✶rānā from the root √RAN “wander”, and hence originally meant something like “Wanderer”, though its Quenya equivalent is usually translated “Wayward”.

Conceptual Development: A very similar form G. Rân “the moon” appeared in Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s (GL/64), as well as ᴱN. rán “moon” in Early Noldorin Word-lists of the 1920s (PE13/152), though in this period its etymology is unclear. It appeared as N. Rhân “Moon” in The Etymologies of the 1930s, derived from the root ᴹ√RAN “wander, stray” (Ety/RAN), but in this period its Quenya equivalent was ᴹQ. Rana with short a. In later writings the Quenya form became Q. Rána, requiring a change to S. Raun since ancient ā became au in Sindarin.