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Select Elvish Words 1.81-1.82: Fire, Flame

1.81 Fire

Q. (apa)ruivë n. “wild fire, fire as conflagration”
A word appearing as ruive “wild fire — fire as conflagration” in etymological notes from around 1964 (DD), along with a longer variant aparuive (PE17/183). The short form ruive is derived from the root √RUYU “blaze (red)”, but it is not clear what the apa- prefix means in the longer form.

Conceptual Development: In the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s there was a noun ᴱQ. (uru)purnie “conflagration”, an elaboration of ᴱQ. pur (purn-) “a fire” with an (optional) prefix of ᴱQ. uru “fire” (QL/75), so perhaps “*(lit.) fiery fireness”.

Neo-Quenya: For purposes of Neo-Quenya, I’d use ruive for a basic “wild fire”, and augmented aparuivë for a massive conflagration.

Q. nár n. “fire (as an element); ⚠️[ᴹQ.] flame”
The basic Quenya word for “fire” derived from the root √NAR of the same meaning (PE17/29, 38), more specifically “fire as an element” or as a force or abstract concept (PE17/183), versus ruinë “a fire, a blaze” which is an individual fire or blaze in the physical world. In The Etymologies of the 1930s it appeared as ᴹQ. nár or náre “flame” derived from the root ᴹ√NAR¹ “flame, fire” (Ety/NAR¹).

Conceptual Development: The Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s had as a derivative of the root ᴱ√SAH(Y)A “be hot”, the word ᴱQ. “Fire, especially in temples, etc. A mystic name identified with Holy Ghost” (QL/81), and this “mystic name” was also mentioned in the Poetic and Mythological Words of Eldarissa (PME/81). Thus it seems ᴱQ. was “mystic fire”, as opposed to ᴱQ. uru which was ordinary “fire” (QL/98).

Q. ruina adj. “blazing, fiery”
An adjective glossed “blazing, fiery” in etymological notes from around 1964 (DD), derived from the root √RUYU “blaze (red)” (PE17/184).
Q. ruinë n. “blaze, fire”
A noun glossed “a fire, a blaze” in etymological notes from around 1964 (DD), derived from the root √RUYU “blaze (red)” (PE17/184). This word is for an individual fire in the physical world, as opposed to Q. nár for elemental fire, fire as a force or as an abstract concept.
ᴹQ. úr adj. “fire, ⚠️heat”
The word ᴹQ. úr “fire” appeared in The Etymologies of the 1930s under the root ᴹ√UR “be hot”, but this word was deleted when Tolkien revised the meaning of the root to “wide, large, great” (Ety/UR). However, the root √UR “heat” reappeared in later writings (PE22/160), and úr “fire” appeared in The Feanorian Alphabet of the 1930s as the name of tengwa #36 [.] (PE22/23). It reappeared again in the version of that document from the 1940s, but with the gloss “fire, heat” (PE22/51). In the 1st edition of The Lord of the Rings, the name of tengwa #36 was úr “heat” (RC/736), revised in the 2nd edition to Q. úrë “heat” (LotR/1123).

Conceptual Development: The earliest precursor of ᴹQ. úr “fire” was ᴱQ. uru “fire” from the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s under the early root ᴱ√URU (QL/98).

Neo-Quenya: Based on the development of the names for tengwa #36, it seems 1930s úr “fire” >> 1940s úr “fire, heat” >> 1950s úr “heat” >> 1960s úre “heat”. However, the introduction of Q. úrë “heat” might mean that úr could once again be used for “fire”, and this has long been a popular word in Neo-Quenya. I would retain úr for that purpose, as it also allows us to salvage several fire-related related adjectives. It is possible, though, that the root √UR was restricted to “heat” and can no longer be used for “fire”.

ᴹQ. úruva adj. “fiery, [ᴱQ.] like fire”
A word in The Etymologies of the 1930s appearing as ᴹQ. úruva “fiery”, an adjectival form of ᴹQ. úr “fire” under from the root ᴹ√UR “be hot”, but these words were deleted when the meaning of the root was revised to “wide, large, great” (Ety/UR).

Conceptual Development: The word ᴱQ. urūva “like fire” also appeared in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s under the early root ᴱ√URU (QL/98).

Neo-Quenya: The word úr “fire” was restored in some later writings, and this adjective may have been restored with it. I personally would use ᴺQ. úruva “fiery” for purposes of Neo-Quenya. See the entry on ᴹQ. úr for further discussion on the viability of “fire” words based on √UR.

ᴱQ. urwa adj. “on fire, afire”
An adjective in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s appearing as ᴱQ. urwa “on fire, afire”, based on ᴱQ. uru “fire” (QL/75).

Neo-Quenya: The word úr “fire” appeared in some later writings, and thus ᴺQ. urwa “on fire, afire” may be valid for purposes of Neo-Quenya. See the entry on ᴹQ. úr for further discussion on the viability of “fire” words based on √UR.

N. bregedur n. “wild fire”
A noun appearing as N. {bregedúr >>} bregedur “wild fire” in The Etymologies of the 1930s, a combination of N. breged “suddenness” and N. ûr “fire”, from ᴹ√BEREK and ᴹ√UR “be hot” respectively (Ety/BERÉK, UR; EtyAC/MERÉK). It was also an element in the name N. Dagor Vregedúr “Battle of Sudden Fire” (Ety/BERÉK; LR/280) which in later writings became S. Dagor Bragollach “Battle of Sudden Flame” (S/151; WJ/52).

Neo-Sindarin: Despite this name change, I think bregedur “wild fire” might still be valid, given other late names like S. Bregalad “Quickbeam” and the continued use of the root √UR. In fact, I prefer this over using bragollach “sudden flame”, since bragol “sudden” has no other similar forms on Tolkien’s writings: it is breg- everywhere else.

S. naur n. “fire, ⚠️[N.] flame”
The basic Sindarin word for “fire”, derived from the root √NAR of the same meaning and very well attested (LotR/942; PE17/38). It is derived from primitive *nār- since primitive long ā became au in Sindarin. It appeared as N. naur “flame” in The Etymologies of the 1930s with the same derivation (Ety/NAR). As a suffix it usually reduces to -nor, since au usually becomes o in polysyllables. As a prefix, though, it is often Nar- before consonant clusters, no doubt because the ancient long ā was shortened before it could become au.

Conceptual Development: In the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s, the word for “fire” was G. with archaic form †sai (GL/66) clearly based on the early root ᴱ√SAH(Y)A “be hot” as suggested by Christopher Tolkien (LT1A/Sári; QL/81). In Early Noldorin Word-lists of the 1920s, the word for “fire” was ᴱN. byr or buir from primitive ᴱ✶mburye: [mburyē] (PE13/139). Tolkien introduced naur in The Etymologies of the 1930s and stuck with it thereafter.

S. uir adj. “*fiery”
An element of the untranslated name Anguirel, perhaps meaning “*fiery”; see the entry on Anguirel for discussion.
S. *ûr n. “fire; ⚠️[ᴱN.] sun”
A word for “fire” attested in later writings only as an element in names, such as S. Urui “August, *Hot-one” (LotR/1110). It appeared as N. ûr “fire” in The Etymologies of the 1930s under the root ᴹ√UR “be hot”, but this and related words were deleted when Tolkien changed the sense of the root to “wide, large, great” (Ety/UR). However, √UR “heat” was restored in later writings (PE17/148; PE22/160), and primitive ✶ūr “a fire (on hearth)” appeared in Common Eldarin: Noun Structure from the early 1950s, though Tolkien did mark it with a “?” (PE21/71 and note #8).

Conceptual Development: Perhaps the first precursor to this word was G. †Uril, an archaic word for the Sun in the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s appearing beside its modern form G. Aur (GL/75) and clearly a derivative of the early root ᴱ√URU as suggested by Christopher Tolkien (LT1A/Ûr; QL/098). In Gnomish Lexicon Slips revising this document, it became {ŷr >>} hŷr “sun” (PE13/114), and in Early Noldorin Word-lists of the 1920s it became ᴱN. {húr >>} úr “sun”, derived from primitive ᴱ✶ourū̆ (PE13/155).

This in turn became N. ûr “fire” in The Etymologies of the 1930s under ᴹ√UR “be hot”, but as noted above the meaning of this root was changed in that document (Ety/UR). Although the root √UR “heat” was later restored, it isn’t clear whether Tolkien also restored ûr “fire”, though there is some secondary evidence of it: primitive ✶ūr “a fire (on hearth)” appeared in notes from the early 1950s, as also noted above (PE21/71).

Neo-Sindarin: If S. naur is (like its Quenya cognate Q. nár) more representative of an elemental or abstract notion of fire, then ûr might be used for an individual physical fire such as one in a fireplace.

1.82 Flame

Q. rúnya n. “red flame”
A word for a “red flame” mentioned in the Silmarillion appendix (SA/ruin). It is likely derived from the root √RUN¹ “red, glowing” (PM/366).
⚠️S. bragollach n. “sudden flame”
An element in the name Dagor Bragollach “Battle of Sudden Flame” (S/151; WJ/52), a replacement for earlier N. Dagor Vregedúr “Battle of Sudden Fire”.

Neo-Sindarin: Elsewhere all the words for “sudden” began with breg-, such as in Bregalad “Quickbeam” (LotR/482), so despite its possible replacement, I prefer the earlier word N. bregedur “wild fire”. If bragollach is used, I’d revise it to *bregollach.

S. lach n. “(leaping) flame”
An element meaning “flame” appearing in many names. Christopher Tolkien gave its form as lhach “leaping flame” in the Silmarillion appendix (SA/lhach), but given Lachend “Flame-eyed” (WJ/384) and lacho calad! “flame light!” (UT/65), I think *lach is the likelier Sindarin form, which is the form also suggested by Hiswelókë’s Sindarin Dictionary (HSD).

Conceptual Development: ᴱN. lhacha “flame” appeared in Early Noldorin Word-lists of the 1920s (PE13/148).

S. lacha- vb. “to flame”
A verb for “to flame” appearing as an imperative in the phrase lacho calad! “flame light!” (UT/65), the verb form of lach “flame”.
S. ruin n. and adj. “red flame; fiery red”
An element in the names Orodruin “Mountain of Fire” (LotR/899). In the Silmarillion appendix Christopher Tolkien translated it as “red flame”, cognate to Q. rúnya (SA/ruin). However, in the The Shibboleth of Fëanor from 1968 Tolkien gave it the gloss “fiery red” and a Quenya cognate Q. runya, both derived from the root √RUN¹ “red, glowing”. Finally in notes from 1964, Tolkien suggested it might be an element in Angruin “Iron Fire”, a possible replacement for the name Glaurung, and gave it the Quenya cognate ruinë “blaze, fire” based on the root √RUY “blaze (red)” (PE17/183).

Conceptual Development: The word N. rhuin was mentioned in The Feanorian Alphabet of the 1930s, but without translation. N. Orodruin “Fire-Mountain” appeared in Lord of the Rings drafts from the 1940s (TI/28, 39).

Neo-Sindarin: For purposes of Neo-Sindarin, I think both the noun and adjective senses of this word can be retained.

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