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Select Elvish Words 4.81-4.82: Strong, Weak (Quenya)

4.81 Strong, Mighty, Powerful

Q. astalda adj. “strong, *valiant”
An adjective glossed “strong” and derived from the root √STAL in a page of notes having to do with “large & small” words, probably from the late 1960s (PE17/115). This page was rejected, but Tolkien used Astaldo “Valiant” as a sobriquet of Tulkas in later versions of The Silmarillion. Such such, I would assume [ᴺQ.] astalda is valid for purposes of Neo-Quenya, but I would use it with the meaning “*valiant” rather than “strong”.
Q. melehta adj. “mighty”
An adjective for “mighty” derived from the root √MBELEK in a page of notes having to do with “large & small” words, probably from the late 1960s (PE17/115), apparently from the primitive form *✶mbelektā (with [kt] > [ht]). A variant form meletya appears with the 2nd-plural possessive suffix -lda¹ as Meletyalda “your mighty” in the Quendi and Eldar essay of 1959-60 (WJ/369), likely from the primitive form *✶mbelekya (with [kj] > [tj]). This variant form has a more typical primitive adjective suffix ✶-ya, but is inconsistent with the attested Sindarin cognate S. belaith, so I’d stick with melehta for purposes of Neo-Quenya.
Q. melehtë n. “might, power (inherent)”
The noun Q. melehte “might, power (inherent)” appeared on a rejected page of notes having to do with “large & small” words (probably from the late 1960s), where it was derived from the root √MELEK (PE17/115). The adjective form Q. melehta “mighty” appeared in another (unrejected) page of these same notes, where it was derived instead from √MBELEK. I think it likely the rejection has more to do with changes in the root than the words, so I’d retain ᴺQ. melehtë “might, power” for purposes of Neo-Quenya.
ᴹQ. poldore n. “[ᴱQ.] physical strength; ⚠️might”
A word in The Etymologies of the 1930s that was a noun form of ᴹQ. polda “strong, burly” under the root ᴹ√POL(OD) “physically strong” (Ety/POL), so probably meaning something like “*physical strength”. There is a similar form ᴱQ. poldor in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s glossed “physical strength” under the early root ᴱ√POLO (QL/75); this 1910s word was glossed “might” in the contemporaneous Poetic and Mythological Words of Eldarissa. For purposes of Neo-Quenya, I’d use this word primarily for “physical strength”.
ᴹQ. poldórea adj. “strong, strong-bodied, [ᴱQ.] muscular, ⚠️powerful”
A word appearing in The Etymologies of the 1930s as an unglossed adjective form of ᴹQ. poldore under the root ᴹ√POL(OD) “physically strong” (Ety/POL). In the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s Tolkien translated ᴱQ. poldōrea as “muscular” under the early root ᴱ√POLO “have strength” (QL/75) and in Early Qenya Word-lists of the 1920s it was translated as “mighty” (PE16/137). In the Quenya Verbal System (QVS) of 1948 Tolkien used this word in two phrases: ᴹQ. mólome mára poldóreain “hard work (is) good for the strong-bodied” and ᴹQ. ha mólome a·ndake poldórear “it is hard work to kill the strong” (PE22/123 note #130). The section where these two phrases appeared was rejected, but this rejection had to do with a change in the verb “to be” and not this adjective for “strong”.

The most notable use of this adjective was as a sobriquet for Tulkas dating all the way back to the 1910s, which Tolkien translated as “Strong One” (SM/79) or “Valiant” (LR/206). This sobriquet survived until Silmarillion drafts of the 1950s, where Tolkien revised it to Astaldo “Valiant” (MR/149). Despite this change, I think poldórea might be retained for “strong of body, muscular”, since √POL continued to appear in Tolkien’s writings in connection to physical ability.

Q. taura adj. “(very) mighty, masterful; vast, of unmeasured might or size”
A word in a list of “large & small” roots the late 1960s glossed “mighty, masterful” along with an equivalent word túrëa, both derived from √TUR “strong, mighty, in power” (PE17/115). In notes associated with the Quendi and Eldar essay of 1959-60, Tolkien glossed it as “very mighty, vast, of unmeasured might or size” as an example of ancient a-fortification of the root √TUR (VT39/10). ᴹQ. taura “mighty” appeared in The Etymologies of the 1930s derived from primitive ᴹ✶taurā under the root ᴹ√TUR “power, control, mastery, victory” (Ety/TUR).

Neo-Quenya: For purposes of Neo-Quenya, I would assume this word applies to general might and majesty, applicable to people but also to inanimate things, as in i taura ëaron “the mighty ocean = the great and powerful ocean”. I would use túrëa more specifically for someone who is politically powerful, having mastery or influence over others.

ᴹQ. tuo n. “muscle, sinew; vigour, physical strength”
A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “muscle, sinew; vigour, physical strength” derived from primitive ᴹ✶tūgu under the root ᴹ√TUG (Ety/TUG). This root also had an adjective ᴹQ. tunga “taut, tight; resonant (of strings)”, clearly referring to the use of sinew in making stringed instruments. Thus I think tuo likely refers mainly to “muscle, sinew”, and only metaphorically to “vigour, physical strength”, as in: tana Elda same tuo “that Elf has muscle = has physical strength”.
Q. turca adj. “strong, powerful (in body)”
An adjective for “strong, powerful (in body)” appearing as the initial element in the name Turkafinwë, father name of Celegorm (PM/352). ᴱQ. turka also appeared in Early Qenya Word-lists of the 1920s as a variant of ᴱQ. tulka “strong”.
ᴱQ. turwa adj. “powerful [in a general sense]”
An adjective for “powerful” in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s under the early root ᴱ√TURU “am strong” (QL/96).

Neo-Quenya: Since √TUR remains connected to power in Tolkien’s later writings, I’d retain this word for purposes of Neo-Quenya, but I’d use it for general or abstract forms of potency, as opposed to being physically powerful (turca or [ᴹQ.] poldórea) or politically powerful (túrëa). For example: turwa nus “a powerful smell” or turwa vangwe “a powerful storm”.

Q. turya- v. “[ᴹQ.] to strengthen”
A verb for “strengthen” in the Quenya Verbal System (QVS) from 1948, the basis for the noun [ᴹQ.] turyande “strengthening” (PE22/110). It also appears in notes from 1957 within the (loosely translated) phrase Eldaron indor turyaner “the hearts of the Eldar were comforted / or obeyed” (NM/239), perhaps more literally “*the hearts of the Eldar [were] strengthened”. If so, it seems this verb can be used intransitively for “to become strengthened, strengthen oneself”, but I think it can also be used transitively as in nár turya tinco “fire strengthens metal”. It also seems this verb can be used for metaphorical as well as physical strength.
Q. turyande n. “fortification, [ᴹQ.] strengthening”
A noun for “fortification, strengthening” in the Quenya Verbal System (QVS) from 1948, a combination of turya- “strengthen” and the general action verbal suffix -nde (PE22/110). This word also appeared with the gloss “fortification” in both the first and second versions of the Tengwesta Qenderinwa from the 1930s (TQ1: PE18/45) and around 1950 (TQ2: PE18/95) respectively. In TQ1 and TQ2 it referred to the strengthening of sound (more specifically a-fortification), so I think this noun can refer to both physical and metaphorical strengthening.
ᴹQ. turwa adj. “fortified, *strengthened”
An adjective for “fortified” in the first version of the Tengwesta Qenderinwa from the 1930s (TQ1: PE18/46). It appears to be the perfective adjective of the verb turya- “to strengthen”.
ᴹQ. veasse n. “vigour”
A word for “vigour” in The Etymologies of the 1930s, a noun form of vea “adult, manly, vigorous” under the root ᴹ√WEG “(manly) vigour” (Ety/WEG). In later writings, √WEG was glossed “live, be active”, and so derivatives having to do with “vigour” remain plausible (PE17/189).

4.82 Weak, Infirm

Q. limpa adj. “frail, slender and drooping”
An adjective glossed “frail, slender and drooping” in notes probably from around 1959 based on the unstrengthened form of the root √(N)DIP “drooping” (PE17/168). For purposes of Neo-Quenya, I would assume this word applies to things that are physically frail, originally in the sense of such things being unable to support themselves upright due to thinness.
Q. úmaitë adj. “clumsy(-handed), unskilled”
An adjective in Quenya Notes (QN) from 1957 glossed “clumsy(-handed), unskilled”, a negated form of maitë “handy, skillful” (PE17/162).

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