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Select Elvish Words 6.72: Gem, Jewel

6.72 Gem, Jewel

ᴱQ. lúle n. “blue stone, sapphire”

A word appearing as ᴱQ. lūle “blue stone, sapphire” in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s, related to ᴱQ. lūne “(deep) blue” (QL/57).

Neo-Quenya: I would update this word to ᴺQ. luilë for purposes of Neo-Quenya, since the later word and root for “blue” was luinë and √LUY.

ᴱQ. malicon (malicond-) n. “amber”

A word appearing as ᴱQ. malikon (malikond-) “amber” in the Qenya Lexicon and Poetic and Mythological Words of Eldarissa of the 1910s based on the early root ᴱ√MALA² “yellow” (QL/58; PME/58). Its second element is probably ᴱQ. on(d) “stone” (QL/70). It also had an adjectival form ᴱQ. malikondea “of amber”.

Neo-Quenya: In Tolkien’s later writings, the root √MAL was tied to “gold”, but I think it could still be the basis for ᴺQ. malicon “amber” and ᴺQ. malicondëa “of amber”.

Q. mírë n. and adj. “jewel, gem, precious thing, treasure; precious”

A word first appearing with the gloss “jewel, precious thing, treasure” in The Etymologies of the 1930s under the root ᴹ√MIR (Ety/MIR). It appeared regularly in Tolkien’s later writings with the same etymology and glosses like “gem”, “jewel” and “precious thing”, and it was a common element in names. In one place Tolkien said it could also be used as an adjective “precious” (PE17/165).

Q. mírëa adj. “jewelled, *gemmed”

An adjective form of mírë “jewel” (PE17/83).

Conceptual Development: The Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s had ᴱQ. sinqevoite “gemmed”, an adjectival form of ᴱQ. sink (sinq-) “mineral, gem, metal”

ᴹQ. miril (mirill-) n. “shining jewel”

A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “shining jewel” derived from the root ᴹ√MBIRIL = ᴹ√MIR + ᴹ√RIL (Ety/MBIRIL).

ᴱQ. nyelekka n. “onyx”

The noun ᴱQ. nyelekka “onyx” appeared in the English-Qenya Dictionary of the 1920s (PE15/76). It was probably related to ᴱQ. nyelet (nyelek-) “nail (of the finger)” from the same document (PE15/75).

Neo-Quenya: I’d retain the word ᴺQ. nyelecca “onyx” for purposes of Neo-Quenya derived from a Neo-Root ᴺ√NYELEK.

S. mîr n. “jewel, precious thing, treasure”

The noun N. mîr “jewel, precious thing, treasure” first appeared in The Etymologies of the 1930s under the root ᴹ√MIR (Ety/MIR), and continued to appear regularly in Tolkien’s later writings with similar derivations and glosses (LotR/1115; PE17/37, 165; PM/348; RGEO/65). It is a frequent element in names.

Conceptual Development: The Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s instead had G. idri “a treasure, a thing of great worth, a jewel” below a more archaic form of the same word G. †îd, both related to the name Idril (GL/50). Early Noldorin Word-lists of the 1920s had ᴱN. himp “jewel” (PE13/147), probably related to ᴱQ. sinqe “jewel” from this same period (PE14/42, 71), where initial s usually became h in Noldorin of the 1920s and labialized velars became labials (nq > mp).

S. mírdan n. “jewel smith”

A word for “jewel smith” appearing only in its plural form mirdain in the name Gwaith-i-Mírdain “People of the Jewel Smiths” (S/286). It is a combination of mîr “jewel” and the suffixal form -dan of tân “smith, wright”.

S. míria- v. “to sparkle like jewels”

A verb for “to sparkle like jewels” or “to shine like a jewel” serving as the basis for míriel “like a jewel” (PE17/24), which appeared in the poem A Elbereth Gilthoniel (LotR/238).

S. míriel adj. “sparkling like jewels, like a jewel”

An adjective meaning for “sparkling like jewels” (RGEO/64) in the poem A Elbereth Gilthoniel (LotR/238). It was the passive participle of the verb míria- “to sparkle like jewels” (PE17/24). Tolkien also considered connecting it to Quenya past passive participles like káriela in notes from 1969, perhaps from a verb *mir- with a Q. past participle míriela, but this Q. form was deleted and the whole thing seems to have been a transient idea (PE22/152).

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