Select Elvish Words 1.351-1.352: Foam, Froth, Splash, Spray

Select Elvish Words 1.351-1.352: Foam, Froth, Splash, Spray

ᴹQ. falle n. “foam”

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

Q. wingë n. “foam, spindrift, spray, [ᴹQ.] wave crest, [ᴱQ.] froth, scud; ⚠️wave”

A noun for “foam” or “spray”, described at one point as “properly a flying splume or spindrift blown off wavetops” (PM/392).

Possible Etymology: This word was derived from primitive ᴹ✶wingē (Ety/WIG) and had a Sindarin cognate S. gwing (PM/376). As such, the expected Quenya form would be vinge, since initial w became v fairly early in Quenya’s phonetic history, but Tolkien fairly consistently wrote this word with an initial w-. Its most notable use is in the name of Earendil’s ship Q. Vingilótë or Wingelótë “Foam Flower”, which in one place Tolkien said “is in intention formed to resemble and ‘explain’ the name of Wade’s ship Guingelot” (PM/371), and this resemblance may explain Tolkien’s frequent use of initial w-. Alternately, it could be a hold over from Early Qenya where the primitive form began with gw- (see below).

Conceptual Development: ᴱQ. ’winge “foam, spindrift, froth, scud” appeared in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s as a derivative of the root ᴱ√GWIŊI (QL/104). Its stem form was given as {wingi- >>} winge, and in connection to this change Tolkien wrote “winge is [primitive] uiŋē, also = wave”. In the contemporaneous Poetic and Mythological Words of Eldarissa Tolkien had winge with the gloss “froth, foam” and stem form wingi- (PME/104). In a glossary for drafts of the poem Earendel from around 1930 Tolkien had winge “blowing foam, spray” as the basis for ᴱQ. wingild- “foam-maiden” (PE16/100).

In The Etymologies of the 1930s Tolkien had ᴹQ. winge “foam, crest of wave, crest” derived from primitive ᴹ✶wingē (Ety/WIG). In The Etymologies it was the name of tengwa n (EtyAC/WIG). The same was true in notes on The Feanorian Alphabet from the 1930s where Tolkien had ᴹQ. winge “foam” (PE22/22), and also in the version of this document from the 1940s except he wrote wiñge with an ñ (PE22/51); in The Lord of the Rings Appendix E this tengwa’s name was Q. vilya (†wilya) (LotR/1123). This tengwa is in the series for labialized velars and the téma for (ancient) voiced stops, and thus should represent an ancient gw, but that does not seem to be the case for either winge or wilya.

The word winge appeared regularly in Tolkien’s later writings, always with an initial w-, even though Tolkien sometimes wrote Vingilótë in this period. In the Markirya poem, however, the form was winga “foam” (MC/222-223). At one point Tolkien considered making this a loan word from Beorian, but he abandoned this idea (PM/368-371).

Neo-Quenya: For purposes of Neo-Quenya, I would assume the initial w- in Quenya was due to Sindarin influence, possibly dating back to Ancient Telerin with a strengthening of wingē > gwingē during the March to Valinor (but after the Ancient Telerin change of gw > b). I’d also stick with the better attested winge over winga. It is not unusual to update this word to vinge (or vinga) in Neo-Quenya.

N. faltha- vb. “to foam”

A verb for “to foam” in The Etymologies of the 1930s appearing in its infinitive form faltho and derived from ON. phalsa-, where the ancient ls became lth (Ety/PHAL).

S. gwing n. “foam, spray, [N.] spindrift; [G.] wave-crest”

A noun for foam, sprindrift and (flying) spray, a derivative of the root ᴹ√WIG (Ety/WIG), most notably an element in the name S. Elwing “Star-spray” (PM/376).

Conceptual Development: This word appeared all the way back in the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s as G. gwing “a wave-crest, crest, foam”, where Tolkien connected it to G. uin “whale” (archaically “a wave”) via a primitive form ᴱ√uı̯u (GL/45, 74). N. gwing “spindrift, flying spray” appeared again in The Etymologies of the 1930s as a derivative of the root ᴹ√WIG (Ety/WIG). In later writings, Tolkien seems to have considered gwing problematic, at various points considering making it a loan word from Nandorin (PM/349) or Beorian (PM/368), but these seem to have been transient ideas: in a very late note from the 1970s he said it was Sindarin (PM/392).

1.352 Splash, Spray

ᴱQ. palasya- n. “to splash, foam”

An intransative verb in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s given as ᴱQ. palasya- “splash, foam”, a derivative of the root ᴱ√Palas (QL/72). Its past form palastine is a pattern seen in other ya-verbs like ᴱQ. niqisya-, past niqistine and ᴱQ. turya-, past tustine.

Neo-Quenya: In his Neo Quenya New Testament (NQNT), Helge Fausganger adapted this verb as ᴺQ. palasta- “to splash, sprinkle” based on its past tense. I feel it is preferable to salvage this early verb as ᴺQ. falarya- “to splash” with the usual later sound change of sy > ry, and an update of the root to later √PHAL(AS).

ᴺS. felechia- n. “to splash”

A neologism coined by Paul Strack in 2018 specifically for Eldamo, inspired by ᴱQ. palasya- “splash, foam” (QL/72) updated to the later root √PHAL(AS), hence derived from primitive *phalasya-. The vowels would become e due to i-affection, and the consonant ch due to the sound change whereby medial sy became chy.