Select Elvish Words 1.33-1.34: Lake, Pond, Bay

Select Elvish Words 1.33-1.34: Lake, Pond, Bay

1.33 Lake, Pond

Q. ailin n. “(large) lake, [ᴹQ.] pool”

A noun for a large lake or pool, a combination of the ancient roots √AY “sea” and √LIN¹ “pool” (PE17/160; Ety/AY, LIN¹). It is an element in several names such as Q. Angalailin “Mirrormere” (NM/353) and Q. Luvailin “Shadowmere” (RC/217).

Conceptual Development: This word dates all the way back to the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s where it appeared as ᴱQ. ailin “lake”; its root was marked “?”, but Tolkien indicated its stem form was also ailin- (QL/29). This word was also mentioned in the Poetic and Mythological Words of Eldarissa (PME/29) as well as the contemporaneous Gnomish Lexicon, along with a variant ᴱQ. ailo (ailu-) of the same basic meaning (GL/17). ᴱQ. ailin “lake” was mentioned again in Early Noldorin Word-lists of the 1920s (PE13/138), though in one place its stem form was given as ailind- (PE13/158).

ᴹQ. ailin “pool, lake” reappeared in The Etymologies, already with the etymology given above, along with its genitive singular form ailinen (Ety/AY, LIN¹). It was mentioned again in Quenya Notes (QN) from 1957, again as a combination of √LĬNĬ “pool, mere, lake” and √AYA(R) “sea”, and as such specifically referred to “a large lake” (PE17/160). In this note Tolkien gave variant forms ilin and ailinn for the root √LĬNĬ, the latter possibly an alternate explanation for ailin “lake”.

Neo-Quenya: For purposes of Neo-Quenya, I prefer √GAY(AR) as the basis for “sea” words. As such, I think augmented ilin/ailin(n) mentioned in QN is the best basis for Q. ailin and S. ael “lake”.

ᴹQ. linya n. “pool”

A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “pool” derived from the root ᴹ√LIN¹ of the same meaning (Ety/LIN¹).

Conceptual Development: A similar word ᴹQ. linde “pool” appears in the Declension of Nouns from the early 1930s (PE21/10), but this word is probably best avoided, as it clashes with Q. lindë “singing, song” (PE17/80).

Q. lóna n. “(deep) pool, mere, river-feeding well”

A noun lóna glossed “pool, mere” derived from the root √LON and distinct in origin from Sindarin “flood” < √LOG (VT42/10).

Conceptual Development: This word seems to be a remnant of Tolkien’s investigation into the origin of the river-name S. Lhûn (PE17/136-137; VT48/27-28), where Tolkien first considered having a related Quenya word hlōna “a river” (PE17/136), then another related word lōn(e) “deep pool or lake” (PE17/137), but this notion was rejected and Tolkien said:

The stem (S)LOW- does not appear in Quenya, where it is replaced by √LŎNŎ, as in lōn/lōne (pl. lōni) “deep pool or river-feeding well” (PE17/137).

This word and its derivation seems to have reemerged as lóna “pool, mere” in the notes on The Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor from the late 1960s, as described above (VT42/10).

Q. nendë n. “lake, [ᴹQ.] pool”

A word for “lake” (PE17/52) or “pool” (Ety/NEN), derived from the root √NEN “water”.

Conceptual Development: This word appeared in both the The Etymologies of the 1930s (Ety/NEN) and notes on Words, Phrases and Passages from The Lord of the Rings from the late 1950s or early 1960s (PE17/37) with the same basic meaning and derivation.

ᴹQ. ringwe n. “cold pool or lake (in mountains)”

A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s given as ᴹQ. ringwe “cold pool or lake (in mountains)” derived from the root ᴹ√RINGI “cold”; in The Etymologies as published in The Lost Road, the form was given as ringe, but this was corrected to ringwe by Carl Hostetter and Patrick Wynne (Ety/RINGI; EtyAC/RINGI).

S. ael n. “lake, pool”

A noun for “lake, pool”, appearing as an element in Aeluin “*Blue Lake” and Aelin-uial “Meres of Twilight” (S/114, 122). The latter name has its plural form aelin = “meres, *pools, lakes”.

Conceptual Development: This word had a long history as a cognate to Q. ailin; although the Quenya form was quite stable, the Gnomish/Noldorin/Sindarin forms went through a number of changes. The earliest iterations of this word appeared in in the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s as G. ail “a lake, pool” or G. ailion “lake” (GL/17). In the Gnomish Lexicon Slips the latter became {ailin >>} eilin “pool” (PE13/113). In Early Noldorin Word-lists of the 1920s Tolkien had ᴱN. ailin “lake” with plural form ailiniath from Old Noldorin oilin (PE13/136, 158).

In The Etymologies of the 1930s Tolkien had N. oel “pool, lake” derived from primitive ᴹ✶ailin, a combination of the root ᴹ√AY and ᴹ√LIN¹ (Ety/AY, LIN¹). In that document, its plural form was oelin (Ety/AY), where the plural preserved the final n that was lost in the singular. In The Etymologies it was an element of N. Oelinuial “Pools of Twilight” (Ety/AY), but in the contemporaneous narratives this name was Aelin-uial (LR/262), as it was in later Sindarin (S/114, 122). This reflects Tolkien vacillation on the development of the diphthong ai in Noldorin.

In The Silmarillion appendix Christopher Tolkien implied the regular Sindarin form of this word was aelin (SA/aelin), but more likely this was the plural form in Sindarin, as oelin was the plural in Noldorin.

S. lîn n. “pool, mere”

A word for “pool” or “lake”, appearing as an element in the name Linaewen “Lake of Birds” (S/119; UT/401). As an independent word it is probably *lîn, and it is probably a derivative of the root √LIN¹ of similar meaning (PE17/145, 160).

Conceptual Development: The earliest obvious precursor to this word is ᴱN. lhuin “pool” in Early Noldorin Word-lists of the 1920s (PE13/149). In The Etymologies of the 1930s it appeared as N. lhîn “pool”, a derivative of the root ᴹ√LIN¹ “pool” and cognate to ᴹQ. linya (Ety/LIN¹). Remnants of the ancient y can be seen in its (lenited) class plural liniath in the name N. Hithliniath “Pools of Mist” (Ety/KHIS; LR/262). Christopher Tolkien mentioned the name element lin “pool, mere” in The Silmarillion appendix (SA/lin), though whether it was intended to be a primitive form or a Sindarin word isn’t clear.

Neo-Sindarin: I think it is best to simply adapt the Noldorin form into (Neo) Sindarin as lîn, assuming it is likewise derived from primitive *linyā and hence with class plural liniath.

N. rhim n. “cold pool or lake (in mountains)”

A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s given as N. rhim “cold pool or lake (in mountains)” derived from the root ᴹ√RINGI “cold” (Ety/RINGI). This word is the final element of N. Mithrim “*Grey Lake” in The Etymologies, but in later writings Tolkien explained this name differently, deriving the name from the Elves that lived around the lake, so it may have been abandoned.

Neo-Sindarin: If adapted to Neo-Sindarin, this word would be ᴺS. rim. Since √RINGI “cold” survived in later writings, this word may still be viable, though it would conflict with S. rim “host, a great number”.

1.33 Lake, Pond

ᴹQ. hópa n. “haven, harbour, small landlocked bay”

A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “haven, harbour, small landlocked bay” a derivative of the root ᴹ√KHOP “soil, earth” (Ety/KHOP).

Conceptual Development: A similar word ᴱQ. kópa “harbour” appeared in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s, derived from ᴱ√KOPO “keep, guard” (QL/47). This word also appeared in the contemporaneous Poetic and Mythological Words of Eldarissa with the gloss “haven, bay” (PME/47), but it was ᴱQ. Kópas in The Lost Tales (LT2/255), particularly in the name ᴱQ. Kópas Alqualunte “Haven of the Swanships” (LT1/164). Both kôpa and kôpas appeared in the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s as cognates of G. gobos “haven” (GL/40).

The form ᴹQ. kópa “harbour, bay” appeared in The Etymologies as a derivative of ᴹ√KOP (Ety/KOP), but this entry was deleted and replaced by ᴹQ. hópa and ᴹ√KHOP as noted above.

S. côf n. “bay”; N. hûb n. “haven, harbour, small landlocked bay”

The earliest iteration of this word seems to be G. gobos “haven” in the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s, cognate to ᴱQ. kôpa(s) (GL/40). In Early Noldorin Word-lists of the 1920s, Tolkien had ᴱN. “bay, cove”, again as a cognate of ᴱQ. kópa (PE13/141). In The Etymologies of the 1930s it was N. hûb “haven, harbour, small landlocked bay” derived from the root ᴹ√KHOP (Ety/KHOP). In notes on The Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor from the late 1960s, Tolkien use S. côf “bay” in a pair of names: S. Côf Belfalas “Bay of Belfalas” and S. Côf Gwaeren Bel “Windy Bay of Bel”, but the section where it appeared was rejected (VT42/15).

Neo-Sindarin: For purposes of Neo-Sindarin, I’d use the 1930s form hûb for “bay”, because (a) it is the latest form that was not rejected and (b) is compatible with an attested Quenya form ᴹQ. hópa of the same meaning.