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Select Elvish Words 8.599: Flower (other) – Sindarin

8.599 Flower (other)

S. eirien n. “daisy”

A word for “daisy” as the name of one of the daughters of Samwise (SD/126). Its origin is unclear, but David Salo suggested it might be a loan from Q. Arien “Sun-maiden” (GS/228).

Conceptual Development: In the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s the word for “daisy” was G. hetheglon derived from primitive {ᴱ✶heth·seg·glôn >>} ᴱ✶heth·thed·’lon, effectively a combination of G. heth “white”, G. thed “eye”, and the genitive glôn of G. glâ “day” (GL/49), so literally “*white eye-of-day”. G. glonthen “dandelion” from the same document had a similar derivation = “eye of the day” (GL/40).

S. elanor n. “pimpernel, small golden star-shaped flower, (lit.) sun-star”

The name of a flower in Lórien translated “sun-star” also given as the name of the first daughter of Samwise (LotR/1026). It is a combination of el “star” and Anor “sun” (PE17/55). In notes for the tale of Aldarion and Erendis, Tolkien said it also grew in Númenor and “was a small golden star-shaped flower” (UT/216 note #20). In a letter to Amy Ronald from 1969, Tolkien described it as “a pimpernel (perhaps a little enlarged) growing sun-golden flowers and star-silver ones on the same plant, and sometimes the two combined” (Let/402). Thus it was either a golden star-shaped flower or a pimpernel-like plant growing both sun-coloured and star-coloured flowers.

G. glonthen n. “dandelion, (lit.) eye of the day”

A word for “dandelion” in the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s appearing as G. glonthen and derived from primitive ᴱ✶glon-χend, effectively a combination of the genitive glôn of G. glâ “day” and G. hen “eye”, and thus more literally “eye of the day” (GL/40).

Neo-Sindarin: For purposes of Neo-Sindarin, I would update the initial element to be based on the later word S. aur “day”, revising this word to ᴺS. orchen “dandelion, (lit.) day-eye”.

N. hmâl n. “pollen, yellow powder”

A noun appearing as N. {mâl >>} hmâl “pollen, yellow powder” in The Etymologies of the 1930s under the root ᴹ√SMAL “yellow” (Ety/SMAL; EtyAC/SMAL).

Neo-Sindarin: In the 1930s Tolkien vacillated on whether voiceless initial nasals were a feature of Noldorin, but he abandoned them in Sindarin of the 1950s and 60s, for example with ✶snagdē > S. naedh “wound” (PE19/91). Thus, I would adapt this word as ᴺS. mâl “pollen, yellow powder” for purposes of Neo-Sindarin.

G. hum(i)los n. “(red) poppy, (lit.) flower of sleep”

A noun appearing as G. humilos or humlos “poppy” in the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s, apparently a combination of G. hûm “sleep” and G. lôs (GL/49); compare to ᴱQ. fúmelot, its likely Early Qenya cognate (QL/39). It was followed by an archaic form †humethla, probably cognate to the other Early Qenya “poppy” word: ᴱQ. fumella (GL/49; QL/39). In other notes in the period, Tolkien had G. humethla and humloth as cognates to ᴱQ. fumella, which Tolkien described as “the red poppy that grew in hosts in Lorien’s gardens” (PE15/14).

Neo-Sindarin: For purposes of Neo-Sindarin, I would update this word to ᴺS. lurlos “poppy, (lit.) flower of sleep” using the element [ᴺS.] lûr “sleep” which is better supported by Tolkien’s later writings. For -los as a flower suffix in later words, compare to S. Edhellos “Elven-flower” and S. mallos “golden flower”.

S. lissuin n. “a fragrant flower”

Name of a sweet-smelling flower of Númenor (UT/189). Its initial element could be liss “?fragrant, sweet”, an otherwise unattested cognate to Q. lissë “sweet”.

S. mallos n. “golden flower”

Name of a “golden flower” in Middle-Earth (PE17/100), more accurately described as a “golden bell-shaped flower” (PE22/153). It is a combination of malt “gold” and a variant suffixal form of loth “flower”.

G. maloglin n. “daffodil, (orig.) yellow song”

A noun appearing as G. maloglin or maloglin “daffodil, [lit.] yellow song” in the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s (GL/56). Its initial element is clearly G. malon “yellow”, and its second element is probably derived from the early root ᴱ√LIŘI [LIÐI] “sing” (QL/54).

Neo-Sindarin: For purposes of Neo-Sindarin, I would update this word’s elements to [N.] malen “yellow” (< *malina) and lind “song”. If we assume it is the result of an ancient compound, the i in *malina would not undergo a-affection because the element was non-final. As a result, the surviving i would induce i-affection on the a in the first syllable, changing it to e so that end result would be ᴺS. melillin “daffodil, (orig.) yellow song”: *malina-linde > *melin(a)-lind(e) > melillin.

G. malthos n. “butter cup”

A noun appearing as G. malthos “buttercup” in the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s, an elaboration of G. maltha “golden yellow” (GL/56).

Neo-Sindarin: I would retain this word as ᴺS. malthos for purposes of Neo-Sindarin as an elaboration of S. malt “gold”.

S. ninglor n. “golden water-flower, *yellow iris”

Name for a flower appearing as an element in the names Sîr Ninglor “Gladden River” (UT/280) and Loeg Ningloron “Gladden Fields” (S/295). According to Christopher Tolkien, a fuller translation of Loeg Ningloron would be “Pools of the golden water-flowers” (SI/Loeg Ningloron), so that ninglor likely means “golden water-flower”, perhaps a type of “*yellow iris” (see below). The elements of this word are likely nîn “wet” and glaur “gold (colour)”.

Conceptual Development: An earlier name for “Gladden Fields” was N. Palath-ledin in Lord of the Rings drafts of the 1940s, where Tolkien specified that N. palath meant “iris” (TI/114). Earlier still, in the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s Tolkien had G. nalairin “iris”, an elaboration of G. nâla “yellow-lily” (GL/59).

S. niphredil n. “white flower (similar to a snowdrop); *(lit.) pale point”

Name of a pale flower growing in Lórien and elsewhere (LotR/350). Tolkien described it as “a pale white flower (like snowdrop)” or “a delicate kin of a snowdrop” (PE17/55; Let/248). It is a combination of niphred “pallor” and -til “point” (PE17/55).

Conceptual Development: In Lord of the Rings drafts of the 1940s Tolkien first gave N. nifredil as the name of “a green snowdrop” (TI/233). In The Etymologies of the 1930s, Tolkien gave N. nínim “snowdrop” under the root ᴹ√NEI̯ “tear”, but nifredil was written beside it, perhaps a later addition (Ety/NEI). The first element of nínim is N. nîn “tear”, and the second element might be N. nimp “pale” from ᴹ√NIK-W (Ety/NIK-W); see below.

In the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s Tolkien had G. ninconin “snowdrop” with ninghonin written below it, possible an alternate form (G/60). This earlier word was derived from primitive ᴱ✶ninqe-nı̯ēne and was a cognate to ᴱQ. nieninqe “snowdrop, (lit.) white tear” containing ᴱQ. nie “tear” under the early root ᴱ√NYEHE and ᴱQ. ninqe “white” under the early root ᴱ√NIQI (QL/66, 68). Thus 1910s G. ninconin was similar in origin to 1930s N. nínim before Tolkien changed it to nifredil.

S. pirin n. “flower that opened and shut quickly with any change of light”

A word in Definitive Linguistic Notes (DLN) from 1959 for a “flower that opened and shut quickly with any change of light” based on √PIRI “blink” (PE17/146). This flower name was part of an attempt by Tolkien to come up with a new etymology for S. alfirin after he decided that √LA was not a negative element, so that alfirin could no longer mean “immortelle”.

S. uilos n. “white flower like a star”

A flower in Middle-earth about which Tolkien said “like stars bloomed the white flowers of uilos, the Evermind” (UT/49). Elsewhere Evermind was the translation of the Rohirric flower name simbelmynë (LotR/507), so uilos may be its Elvish name but with a different meaning. This word also appears in Amon Uilos, the Sindarin name of Oiolossë “Ever (Snow) White” (S/37). Thus uilos seems to be a combination of ui “ever” and either loss “snow” or gloss “white”.

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