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Lexicon of Names

Common name elements in Tolkien's works

This lexicon lists some of the more common elements found in the names of places and people in Tolkien's work. These are mainly derived from Elvish tongues, but some common forms from other languages, such as Old English or Adûnaic, are also included, as well as a few less recognisable words that are still found in modern English. There are very large number of these name elements, and this page is being expanded to include more over time.

Where possible, the particular Elvish source language for an element is shown, but sometimes this is not possible (for example, where a common root word occurs in more than one language). In cases like this, terms are simply labelled 'Elvish root'.

quen (Quenya) relating to speech or language, originally from a form kwet, which gave rise to quend, the adjective quendya and ultimately to Quenya (simply meaning 'speech') as the name of the Ancient Tongue of the Elves. The word quenta for a 'story' or 'account' (as in Quenta Silmarillion, the 'tale of the Silmarils') came from the same origin, as did Quendi, 'those who speak', a name adopted for themselves by the first Elves.
quenta (Quenya) 'tale', 'story', ultimately from a root meaning 'speak'. This word appears in the titles of two canonical works, Quenta Silmarillion, ('Tale of the Silmarils', the full name of the history more briefly and commonly called The Silmarillion) and Valaquenta ('Tale of the Powers', describing each of the Valar or Powers).

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