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Select Elvish Words 4.40-4.41: Front of Chest, Breast of Woman

4.40 Front of Chest

ᴹQ. ambor n. “breast, *chest”
The word ᴹQ. ambor “breast” appeared in the Declension of Nouns from the early 1930s, derived from ᴹ✶amƀus (PE21/33). This word shows the Early Qenya sound change whereby final [s] became [r]; in Tolkien’s later writings this change applied mainly to intervocalic [s]. This word also had the unusual development of u to o in final syllables, a sound change Tolkien used for Quenya in the Declension of Nouns but nowhere else.

Conceptual Development: In the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s Tolkien gave ᴱQ. ambar “breast” with stems ambar- or ambas- (QL/30); the word also appeared in the Poetic and Mythological Words of Eldarissa, but only with the stem ambas- (PME/30). ᴱQ. ambos was glossed “breast” in Early Qenya Word-lists of the 1920s (PE16/136), and in Early Noldorin Word-lists of the 1920s, ᴱQ. ambos (ambost-) appeared as a word related to both ᴱN. bost “back, from shoulder to shoulder” and ᴱN. amoth “shoulder” (PE13/137, 139, 159), the latter with primitive forms ᴱ✶a-mbod-t’ (PE13/137) or ᴱ✶a-mbos-t (PE13/159).

ᴱQ. ambar reappeared in the phrase ᴱQ. níve qímari ringa ambar “the pale phantoms in her cold bosom” from the Oilima Markirya poem written around 1930. Early 1930s ᴹQ. ambor seems to be the last published iteration of this word, as discussed above.

Neo-Quenya: For purposes of Neo-Quenya, I would adapt this word as ᴺQ. ambos (ambor-) “breast, chest” to fit better with later Quenya phonology. It might be an ancient combination of √AM “up” and ᴹ√OS “around”, perhaps with the original sense “upper enclosure (of the body)”.

G. ammos n. “byrne, hauberk, cuirass”
Early iterations of the Elvish languages had a number of different words for “chest” and “breast”. The Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s had G. am² “breast, front (chest)” (GL/19), a word that reappeared in Gnomish Lexicon Slips modifying that document along with a longer variant amoth, but with only a single gloss “breast” (PE13/109). The lexicon (but not the slips) had a longer word G. {ambos >>} ammos byrne, hauberk, cuirass”, an element in the word G. ammogrint or crinthammos “red-breast = robin” (GL/19, 27). Early Noldorin Word-lists of the 1920s had ᴱN. amb, am “breast” along with longer amuith “breast”, as well as ᴱN. am(b)os “breastplate”, but all these forms were rejected.

Neo-Sindarin: For purposes of Neo-Sindarin, I would retain ᴺS. ammos but with the sense “breast, chest” rather than “breastplate”, to serve as the cognate of ᴺQ. ambos (ambor-) “chest”; the Sindarin variant must have been derived from a primitive form with a double-s: amboss-. It might be an ancient combination of √AM “up” and ᴹ√OS “around”, perhaps with the original sense “upper enclosure (of the body)”.

4.41 Breast of Woman

Q. súma n. “hollow cavity, bosom”
A noun from the Markirya poem of the 1960s glossed “hollow cavity, bosom” (MC/223). Its etymology is unclear.
ᴱQ. titte n. “breast [of a woman], ⚠️teat”
A noun appearing as ᴱQ. titte in Early Noldorin Word-lists of the 1920s, the cognate of ᴱN. tith “breast, teat” (PE13/154).

Neo-Quenya: For purposes of Neo-Quenya, I think ᴺQ. tittë is worth retaining with the sense “breast (of a woman)”, but for “teat, *nipple” I’d used ᴺQ. tyetsë.

ᴱQ. tyetse n. “teat, *nipple”
A word appearing as ᴱQ. tyetse “a teat” in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1920s under the early root ᴱ√TYETE “give suck” (QL/50), also appearing in the contemporaneous Poetic and Mythological Words of Eldarissa with the gloss “teat” (PME/50).

Neo-Quenya: I think this word is worth retaining as ᴺQ. tyetsë “teat, *nipple” for purposes of Neo-Quenya.

ᴱN. tith n. “breast [of a woman], teat”
A noun appearing as ᴱN. tith “breast, teat” in Early Noldorin Word-lists of the 1920s (PE13/154).

Neo-Sindarin: I think ᴺS. tith “breast, teat” is worth retaining for purposes of Neo-Sindarin, as there are no other attested words with this sense.

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