Select Elvish Words 2.53-2.55: Nephew, Niece, Cousin

Select Elvish Words 2.53-2.55: Nephew, Niece, Cousin

2.53 Nephew

ᴱQ. súyon n. “nephew, ⚠️daughter’s son”

ᴱQ. súyon appeared in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s with the glosses “nephew, daughter’s son”, a combination of ᴱQ. sui “daughter” and ᴱQ. yon “son” (QL/87). It also appeared in the Poetic and Mythological Words of Eldarissa with the gloss “nephew” (PME/87). Based on its cognate G. fwion “nephew, properly sister’s children”, I think it is more likely this word means “sister’s son” rather than “daughter’s son”.

Neo-Quenya: I would retain this word in Neo-Quenya as a now-obscure elaboration of √YON “son”, but since there are no other words for “nephew” in Quenya, I would use it for male children of any sibling.

G. fwion n. “nephew”

The word G. fwion “nephew” appeared in the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s, as a masculinized form of the feminine patronymic G. fwi-, so properly meaning “sister’s son” (GL/36). It is likely related to ᴱQ. súyon “nephew” (QL/87), where *su̯ion > swion > fwion with the (Gnomish) sound change of sw > fw.

Neo-Sindarin: Since ancient sw > hw in Sindarin, I would adapt this word as ᴺS. hwion, and would assume it is a now-obscure elaboration of -ion “son”. Since we have no other words for “nephew”, I’d use it for male children of any sibling, not just a sister’s son.

2.54 Niece

ᴱQ. súyel n. “niece”

A neologism coined by Paul Strack in 2022 specifically for Eldamo, the female equivalent of ᴺQ. súyon “nephew” based on the root √YE(L) “daughter” instead of √YON “son”.

G. fwîr n. “niece”

The word G. fwîr “niece” appeared in the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s, a combination the feminine patronymic G. fwi- with the Gnomish feminine suffix G. -ir, so properly meaning “sister’s daughter” (GL/36). It is likely related to ᴱQ. súyon “nephew” (QL/87), and arose from something like *su̯īr > swīr > fwîr with the (Gnomish) sound change of sw > fw.

Neo-Sindarin: For purposes of Neo-Sindarin, I would adapt this word as ᴺS. hwiel, with (a) the Sindarin sound change of ancient sw > hw and (b) the later suffix -iel “-daughter”. Since we have no other words for “niece”, I’d use it for female children of any sibling, not just a sister’s daughter.

2.55 Cousin

ᴱQ. rendo n. “male cousin, kinsman, *relative”

A noun appearing as ᴱQ. {rendo >>} rēro (rendo) “kinsman, cousin” in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s, under the early root ᴱ√RESE “aid, support ?” (QL/79); the question mark was Tolkien’s. Tolkien later added a note to this entry clarifying that the “kin, cousin” words were derived from primitive reðe; see the entry on ᴱ√REÐE for further discussion.

Neo-Quenya: I would adapt this word as ᴺQ. rendo “male cousin, kinsman or relative” from a Neo-Root ᴺ√RE(N)D.

ᴱQ. rendole n. “cousinship”

A word appearing as ᴱQ. rendole “cousinship” in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s, an abstract noun formation from ᴱQ. rendo “cousin” (QL/79).

Neo-Quenya: I would retain this word as ᴺQ. rendolë, an elaboration of ᴺQ. rendo “male cousin” from the Neo-Root ᴺ√RE(N)D.

ᴱQ. ressë n. “female cousin, kinsman, *relative”

A noun appearing as ᴱQ. resse “kinswoman, cousin” in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s, under the early root ᴱ√RESE “aid, support ?” (QL/79); the question mark was Tolkien’s. Tolkien later added a note to this entry clarifying that the “kin, cousin” words were derived from primitive reðe; see the entry on ᴱ√REÐE for further discussion.

Neo-Quenya: I would adapt this word as ᴺQ. ressë “female cousin, kinsman or relative” from a Neo-Root ᴺ√RE(N)D. The primitive form *red-se would become retsë in Quenya, but I would assume this word was alter to ressë by analogy with other feminine forms like nissë “woman”.

G. ren(d) n. “male cousin, relative”

G. ren(d) appeared in the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s as a word for a male cousin or relative based on the early root ᴱ√redh- (GL/65). It had poetic equivalents G. redhweg and redhos; and the first of these also appeared in the more elaborate form G. goredhweg (GL/41). Two more variants, G. hethren and G. {gedren >>} gedren, referred to first and second male cousins respectively, with the prefixes G. heth (for close relation) and G. ged (a more distant relation) respectively (GL/38; GL/48).

Neo-Sindarin: I would retain ᴺS. rend as a Neo-Sindarin word for “male cousin or relative” as a derivative of the Neo-Root ᴺ√RE(N)D, but would abandon all the more elaborate variants.

G. ress n. “female cousin, relative”

G. ress appeared in the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s as a word for a female cousin or relative based on the early root ᴱ√redh- (GL/65). It had poetic equivalents G. redhwin and redhir, which also appeared in the more elaborate forms G. goredhwin or goredhnir (GL/41). Two more variants, G. hethres and G. gedres (with deleted variant {gedhris}), referred to first and second female cousins respectively, with the prefixes G. heth (for close relation) and G. ged (a more distant relation) respectively (GL/38; GL/48).

Neo-Sindarin: I would retain ᴺS. ress as a Neo-Sindarin word for “female cousin or relative” as a derivative of the Neo-Root ᴺ√RE(N)D, but would abandon all the more elaborate variants. This form cannot be a direct result of ancient *red+se, so I think the ss is the result of analogy from other feminine forms like S. bess “wife”.