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Thread: Galadriel or Galadhriel

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Welcome to the forum Morelen.

I will have to let someone else resolve your elvin linguistic query, as I have not the knowlege to do so.
Hi Morelen

Galadriel, meaning "lady of light" is the "nick-name" given to her in the undying lands when she was a lass, (hard to imagine isn't it?). It refered to her hair which she used to bind up on top of her head while she competed at sports. She must have liked it, because she adopted it. The Quenya form was Altariel, but like most of the exiles, she translated her name into sindarin when she came to ME.

People often misinterpreted or re-interpreted her name as Galadhriel, meaning Lady of the Galadhrim (her people, the "tree people"). She apparently didn't mind, as it was quite accurate and intended as a compliment.Big Smile Smilie
Because of Celeborn- celeb?
'Celeborn' means 'silver tree', he was named after one of the two great trees of Valinor. Its quenya form was 'Telporno' which for some reason gives me the giggles.Wink Smilie

I believe it may have been Celeborn who gave Galadriel her nockname, and it kind of stuck, as nicknames often do. (Which is not to say that she disliked it, because she obviously did like it)Big Smile Smilie
I always read Galadriel in the book too, so I assume that is the right spelling, but I wouldn't have known what it means but for Alyssa...

Welcome to the forum, Morelen! :dunce
A little correction...

'Celeborn' means 'silver tree', he was named after one of the two great trees of Valinor.

The name 'Celeborn' probably comes from the White Tree of Tol Eressëa, which was called 'Celeborn' Smile Smilie

However, Celeborn, the tree, comes from Galathilion in Tirion which Yavanna had created as an image of Telperion. So there is a connection Smile Smilie
I think the person who can answer this best is Professor Tolkien. Specifically for this confusion, he wrote: "When Celeborn and Galadriel became the ruler of the Elves of Lórien (who were mainly in origin Silvan Elves and called themselves the Galadhrim) the name of Galadriel became associated with trees, an association that was aided by the name of her husband, which also appeared to contain a tree-word; so that outside Lórien among those whose memories of the ancient days and Galadriel's history had grown dim her name was often altered to Galadhriel. Not so in Lórien itself." - Unfinished Tales... by the way, when I write Lórien, I mean Lothlórien, not the dwelling of the Vala Irmo. Big Laugh Smilie
Elfstone rejoices! Finally something besides Lembas to sink his teeth into again!

Well having recently read The History Of Galadriel And Celeborn in UT, and not to mention that I’m a die-hard Galadriel fan, I feel impelled to throw in my two cents.

For starters, in Valinor concerning the customs of name giving among the Eldar, Elves were usually given two names (essi), of which the first was given by the father (generally recalling the father’s own name in some shape or form), and the second name was given later by the mother (sometimes much later, but sometimes very soon after the birth). The mother names were often very significant because the mothers of the Eldar possessed great insight into the characters and abilities of their children, and many had the gift of prophetic foresight.

In addition, any of the Eldar might also acquire an after-name (epesse), not necessarily given by their own kin, a nickname generally given as a title of honor and admiration. The epesse might become in some cases the name generally used and recognized in later song and history. For example Ereinion, who was always known, and referred to by his epesse Gil-galad.

My beloved Lady of Light’s father name was Artanis, and her mother name was Nerwen. Alatariel was an epesse (nickname) given to Galadriel by Celeborn (in the later version of their history) in Aman, which she choose to use in M.E. This name in Sindarin translates to Galadriel.

I believe that Allyssa, and Arcormacolindova have already done an excellent job of explaining the reason/s for the difference between Galadriel and Galadhriel. Oops, which was the specific question at hand.
Tongue Smilie

Oh well, just remember that Galadh = tree in Sindarin. Galadriel has nothing to do with trees. Well, she has because she is lady of the Galadhrim and lives in Caras Galadhon, but i mean her name has nothing to do with it as it means "burning garland"
The Silmarillion says that her name meant "Maiden crowned with a radiant garland," or garlanded with radiance. This refers to her hair, and was given to her by Celeborn in Aman. (You're right, Allyssa.) It probably could also mean "lady of light" (galad= light, radiance, etc.) (riel =crowned, garlanded...) Virumor, "burning garland" would be in Sindarin "Bararî" (or something like it...)
In the Sil, it's mentioned that Celeborn and Galadriel met in Doriath and not in Aman (that's one of the two other stories which are included in the Unfinished Tales).

In the Sil, it's mentioned that Celeborn and Galadriel met in Doriath and not in Aman (that's one of the two other stories which are included in the Unfinished Tales).

That's right of course Virumor, and that's because here the Silmarillion tells the tale that Tolkien wove in the early 1950s, and more than this, the tale that I think best agrees with author-published text (thus I wholly agree with Christopher Tolkien's decision here)

In my opinion even Tolkien cannot simply disregard that he had already published that Celeborn was a Sinda, an Elf who had never been to Aman, and therefore could not have given Nerwende Artanis the name Alatárielle in Telerin while in Aman, which (in this conception) was later altered to Galadriel in the tongue of the Sindar.

It's in The Shibboleth of Feanor -- dated 1968 or later -- where Tolkien says that Celeborn gave Galadriel her name in Telerin form, but as a Teler of Aman. That's a pretty late text, but again, if Tolkien was going to go with this 'new'  history he was going to be stepping on more than one idea that he had already published.

In any case, a possibly later statement -- given that it dates from March 1973 -- reveals:

'(...) means 'Maiden crowned with gleaming hair'. It is a secondary name given to her in her youth in the far past because she had long hair which glistened like gold but was also shot with silver. She was then of amazon disposition and bound up her hair as a crown when taking part in athletic feats.'