Select Elvish Words 4.15-4.16: Blood, Bone

Select Elvish Words 4.15-4.16: Blood, Bone

4.15 Blood

ᴱQ. mear (mearn-) n. “gore, blood”

A noun appearing as ᴱQ. mear “gore” in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s under the early root ᴱ√MEHE “ooze‽”, with stem forms mearn- or meas- (QL/60). The H in the root represents voiceless velar spirant χ, which was voiced to ɣ and then vanished between vowels in Early Qenya (PE12/18).

Neo-Quenya: I would adapt this word as ᴺQ. mehar “gore” for purposes of Neo-Quenya since the voicing of medial χ did not occur in later Quenya. I would assume it is derived from a Neo-Root ᴺ√MEKH of similar meaning, perhaps from primitive *mekhar or *mekhār.

Q. sercë n. “blood”

A noun for “blood” appearing in Quenya Notes (QN) from 1957 derived from the root √SEREK of the same meaning (PE17/185). It appeared as an element in the word serkilixa “blood-thirsty” from 1968 (NM/176), indicating a stem form of serci-.

⚠️ᴹQ. yár n. “blood”

A noun for “blood” in The Etymologies of the 1930s from the root ᴹ√YAR of the same meaning (Ety/YAR). Tolkien consider changing the root to ᴹ√YOR and the Quena form to yōr (EtyAC/YAR).

Conceptual Development: The word ᴱQ. hari “blood” from the Early Quenya Grammar (EQG) of the 1920s might be a precursor. It in turn was probably related to earlier ᴱQ. hara(nda) “flesh-meat” from Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s (QL/39).

Neo-Quenya: Since Tolkien changed its cognate from [N.] iâr to [S.] agar, this Quenya word is probably no longer valid, and for purposes of Neo-Quenya I recommend using the later word Q. sercë “blood” instead.

⚠️S. agar n. “blood”

A noun for “blood” appearing as an element in the name Agarwaen (S/210). It’s later etymology is unclear.

Conceptual Development: An earlier iteration of the name was N. {Iarvael >>} N. Iarwath “Blood-stained” from The Etymologies of the 1930s, where the element was N. iâr “blood” from the root ᴹ√YAR of the same meaning (Ety/YAR). Tolkien consider changing the root to ᴹ√YOR and the Noldorin form to iûr (EtyAC/YAR). This seems to be transient idea, since the name Iarwaeth “Bloodstained” appeared in the Grey Annals from the early 1950s (WJ/83) before ultimately being replaced by Agarwaen (WJ/142).

Neo-Sindarin: For purposes of Neo-Sindarin, I’d stick to the better-described sereg for “blood”.

G. mechor n. “gore”

A noun appearing as G. mechor “gore” in the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s (GL/56), clearly related to the early root ᴱ√MEHE “ooze‽” from the contemporaneous Qenya Lexicon that was likewise the basis for “gore” words (QL/60).

Neo-Sindarin: I would retain this word as ᴺS. mechor “gore” for purposes of Neo-Sindarin, derived from a Neo-Root ᴺ√MEKH of similar meaning, from primitive *mekhār or *mekhrē.

S. sereg n. “blood”

A noun for “blood” appearing in Quenya Notes (QN) from 1957 derived from the root √SEREK of the same meaning (PE17/185). It was an element in the name seregon “blood of stone”, the name of a red plant (S/203; UT/148).

4.16 Bone

Q. axo n. “bone”

A word for “bone” appearing the Markirya poem from the 1960s in its plural form axor. It might be related (conceptually if not etymologically) to the root √AKAS “neck, ridge” (PE17/92).

Conceptual Development: A similar word ᴱQ. as (ass-) bone dates all the way back to the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s (QL/33). The locative plural of this noun assari “of bones” appeared in the Oilima Markirya poem written around 1930. The form ᴹQ. astŭ- “bone” appeared in the Declension of Nouns from the early 1930s (PE21/27).

Neo-Quenya: While this word could be derived from *aksō, I prefer to assume it is derived from *ᴺ✶askō with metathesis sk > ks in Quenya. This makes it more etymologically distinct from axë “neck” and also allows a (Neo) Sindarin form ᴺS. asg “bone”, since a Sindarin derivative of *aksō would likewise collide with S. ach “neck”.

ᴱN. asg n. “bone”

A word appearing as ᴱN. asg “bone” in Early Noldorin Word-lists of the 1920s (PE13/137, 160). G. asg “bone” also appeared in the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s with a variant form asc and the glosses “bone (especially of other animals, rarely of men); stone of fruit” (GL/20). This 1910s form was clearly related to ᴱQ. as “bone” from the contemporaneous Qenya Lexicon (QL/33).

Neo-Sindarin: In the 1960s, Tolkien used the Quenya word axo for bone (MC/223) and Fiona Jallings suggested ᴺS. ach as its Sindarin equivalent. Unfortunately, that clashes with attested S. ach “neck” (PE17/92), so I prefer to retain ᴺS. asg for “bone”, and assume it is derived from primitive *ᴺ✶askō, where the primitive sk became sg in Sindarin, just as it did in earlier iterations of the language.