New Theme! What do you think?

Study, speak, and hang out with fellow Elvish students!

Select Elvish Words 4.44-4.46: Heart, Liver, Belly

4.44 Heart

Q. hón (hom-) n. “heart (physical organ)”
The word for the “heart” as a physical organ, as opposed to more metaphorical words like Q. órë and Q. indo. Its stem form was hom- in Tolkien’s later writings (NM/176, PE19/97).

Conceptual Development: The base word for “heart” was quite stable in Tolkien’s mind, but its exact stem form varied. It first appeared as ᴱQ. hon (hond-) “heart” in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s under the early root ᴱ√HONO, above a longer form hondo (QL/40). It became honde “heart” in Early Qenya Word-lists of the 1920s (PE16/137), but in the contemporaneous Early Noldorin Word-lists, it was londo (PE13/149, 162).

In the Declension of Nouns from the early 1930s it was ᴹQ. hón “heart” with stem form hom- (PE21/23), but in The Etymologies written around 1937 it was derived from the root ᴹ√KHŌ-N “heart (physical)” (Ety/KHŌ-N). In 1968 notes on gender, hón the “physical organ heart” again had a stem form hom-, and in green ink addendums to the Outline of Phonology (OP2) from around 1970, Tolkien gave the primitive form as ✶khō̆m (PE19/97 and 98 note #142). In this last note, Tolkien said it “is not the physical heart, but ‘the interior’ used of the whole range of emotions or feelings”; this seems to be the only place Tolkien indicated this word was metaphorical in nature rather than referring to the physical organ.

Q. honda adj. “hearted”
An adjective form of hón appearing as an element of the word sincahonda “flint-hearted” (LotR/979).

Conceptual Development: In 1940s Lord of the Rings drafts it first appeared as ᴹQ. hondo in ᴹQ. tingahondo “flint-hearted” (SD/68).

Q. sincahonda adj. “flint-hearted”
A word for “flint-hearted” in Treebeard’s description of orcs, a combination of Q. sinca “flint” and Q. honda “hearted” (LotR/979; PE17/111).

Conceptual Development: In 1940s Lord of the Rings drafts, this word first appeared as ᴹQ. tingahondo (SD/68).

N. hûn n. “heart (physical)”
A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “heart (physical)” derived from the root ᴹ√KHŌ-N of the same meaning (Ety/KHŌ-N). This word is not used metaphorically; the metaphorical or emotional “heart” is S. gûr or ind.

Conceptual Development: The Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s had G. {hond >>} honn “heart” which Tolkien specified was “not used metaphorically, for which ilf is used” (GL/49). It was likely based on the early root ᴱ√HONO from which the Early Qenya word for “heart” was derived (QL/40). In Early Noldorin Word-lists of the 1920s, Tolkien again had hond “heart” (PE13/147), but it was deleted and replaced by ᴱN. lhonn “heart” (PE13/149). The initial h was restored in The Etymologies of the 1930s, as noted above.

Neo-Sindarin: In Tolkien’s later writings, the primitive root for this word became √khōm (NM/176; PE19/102; PE21/71), which in Sindarin would produced *. However, I would retain the form hûn as a Sindarin-only variant; compare to the root √TAM which had a Sindarin variant √TAN.

4.45 Liver

ᴱQ. lepsa n. “liver”
ᴱQ. lepsa “liver” appeared in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s under the early root ᴱ√LEFE (QL/52). The contemporaneous Gnomish Lexicon had (unglossed) lipsa, in keeping with the revision G. elf >> G. ilf “heart” (GL/50).

Neo-Quenya: I’d retain ᴺQ. lepsa “liver” for purposes of Neo-Quenya.

G. rôn n. “liver”
The word G. rôn⁽²⁾ “liver” appeared in the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s, but its etymology is unclear (GL/65). Q. rāna “moon” was written in pencil nearby, but this seems to be from an earlier layer of the lexicon, and may be unrelated.

Neo-Sindarin: I’d retain ᴺS. rôn “liver” for purpose of Neo-Sindarin, perhaps as a derivative of the later root √RON “solid, firm”, since (a) there are no later words for “liver” and (b) the word rôn does not appear with any other meaning in later writings.

4.46 Belly, Stomach

ᴹQ. cumba adj. “bellied”
An adjective for “bellied” appearing as an element in ᴹQ. saurikumba “*foul-bellied” (SD/68).
ᴹQ. sauricumba adj. “foul-bellied”
A word appearing in Lord of the Rings drafts as part of Treebeard’s description of orcs (SD/68), likely the equivalent of English “foul-bellied” from the finished text (LotR/979), a combination of saura “foul” and (otherwise unattested) kumba “bellied”.
ᴱN. girdh adj. “entrails, bowels, inwards [innards]”
A word appearing as ᴱN. girdh in Early Noldorin Word Lists of the 1920s, glossed either “inwards, entrails” (PE13/144) or “entrails, bowels” (PE13/161), with “inwards” being an archaic English variant of “innards” according to the editors. This word was originally a plural form of ᴱN. gir “interior”, from primitive ᴱ✶ʒirdǝ.

Neo-Sindarin: I would adapt this word as ᴺS. irdh “entrails, bowels” for purposes of Neo-Sindarin based on this primitive form, since the ʒ vanished in Sindarin.

Speak, Friend!