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Decided this would better go in languages...


Brego wrote: How about "Hiril Osellëier Envinyatar" for Leelee. Lady Sister Healer?

That looks like a mix of Sindarin and Quenya: Envinyatar is Quenya for 'Renewer' for example, although I'm not sure what 'Oselleier' intends to mean; and we have Sindarin hiril 'lady'.

In Etymologies we have Noldorin thêl 'sister' but this might have been superseded much later, noting the opinion -- admittedly an opinion and stated with 'probably' -- of the editors of the journal Vinyar Tengwar: '[just as NETH- 'sister' in HFN probably replaces the Etymologies base THEL-, THELES- 'sister'].'

 So in this late *text we end up with Sindarin nîth for 'sister' For feminine 'healer' someone coined a Neo-sindarin word *nethril (with masculine *nethron) for the game 'Elendor Mush' although I forget who coined it (it might have been the person who worked on the Neo-elvish for the films), based on Bair Nestad (nestad *healing) published in The War of the Ring. So if one wants 'lady sister healer' using nethril, this would leave...

*hiril nîth nethril

While employing the older word...

*hiril thêl nethril ...

might break up the repetition of n at least, if that sounds better.


*in the context of these papers various names appear with respect to a particular finger, as part of the Eldarin 'play names' for fingers. 'Little sister' for example thus refers to a finger as 'little father' also refers to another finger -- although so far I would agree that one could arguably use some of these words otherwise.

For more on that, see 'Eldarin Hands, Fingers & Numerals' and related writings by J.R.R. Tolkien, published in Vinyar Tengwar 47 and 48, edited by Patrick H. Wynne.

Thanks Galin. I only put it together because I liked the sound of it, and the mixture of Sindarin and Quenya words sounded like a nice name for a wonderful member like Leelee. There is more to a name, Galin than just strict word use discipline. If there wasn't, what a boring world we'd live in.

Well you posted earlier in the original thread...

Ill look something up in Sindarin....

... giving the impression, at least, that you were after Sindarin, not a mix. But that aside...

 ... what does 'Oselleier' mean in any case?


This seemingly has something to do with the 'sister' part (given 'lady' and 'renewer' for the rest), which is why I titled the thread as I did.


The name means Lady, Sister, Healer or at least that's the meaning behind it. You've already answered your own question Galin. By the way, it's a name, not a literal interpretation but the feeling behind the meaning. I tell you what Galin, you can continue using yours If you find it too cumbersome or unlovely. I won't mind.

Brego wrote: You've already answered your own question Galin.


I'm questioning the word 'Oselleier' Brego -- I'm guessing that you're claiming it means 'sister' as I know without checking what attested hiril and envinyatarr mean, and where they come from.  meanr mean, and where they come from).r  So let's put it this way as a simple question... 

... from what source does 'Oselleier' meaning 'sister' (in any Elvish tongue) come from?


Can you please source or explain this specific word.

How very Elvish language challenged I am. With learning Hebrew and tuning up all the romance languages and preparing to learn Okanagan I am sorry to say I left off looking into the beautiful languages of the Elves. So this is totally fascinating and amazing to me.

Honestly though, no such words should apply to me, especially after wiping out one of my most beloved threads, poor Elbereth. I am surprised I did not accidentally remove all of Planet-Tolkien in my stupor. And honestly, the very most honest feelings of my heart, Amarie, Ilse, and about two dozen other females should be called that here way,,,WAY above me. Not joking.

Back to Quenya and Sindarin. Where would I find a book or site that would be the most informed and correct to learn these languages. I feel I simply must.

Oh dearest Rachel. Just because you say such things about me and others you deserve it. Really. Love.

Back to Quenya and Sindarin. Where would I find a book or site that would be the most informed and correct to learn these languages. I feel I simply must.


Leelee, I often recommend starting with the FAQ and resource link at the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship (E.L.F.), at...



Resources (books and the web and so on) 

 Especially see Carl Hostetter's essay 'Elvish as She Is Spoke' under articles 

Ah Ilse my love, I could rob Lloyds of London and you would hug me and say I must have had a good reason. Smile Smilie

Galin, thankyou for that, I mean that from the inward heart. For years I have been rambling about the information highway and seemed to only find dead ends. There was a course from London but at the time I was working with little Hasia to begin to bring back her speech following the dreadful virus she contracted, I had absolutely no time with her part home schooling. And now I am back free lance writing once more and have switched my para legal course for straight criminology, hand writing analysis and so don't have a great deal of time. so..........THANKS. And oh what a relief I did not erase my city or my beloved Planet-Tolkien today. what a dear relief.

Yes Galin I mean Sister. And Leelee you feel like a sister to me and definately a healer. Anyhow you'll always be Leelee to me.

Yes Galin I mean Sister. 


Brego, I asked: 'So let's put it this way as a simple question... from what source does 'Oselleier' meaning 'sister' (in any Elvish tongue) come from?' 

Where did Tolkien note 'Oselleier' as meaning 'sister' in any of his Elvish languages?

Hello Galin! How is your study of the elvish languages going?

If you got the pronounciation down I'd love to hear some simple sentences Smile Smilie

you can use to record them if you aren't shy Smile Smilie

I dabble once in a while Arath, mostly in Neo-name making or maybe a very short Neo-something; or when some question arises on the web -- for example a couple of people (including me) just recently took a closer look at the name Orcrist, given that the film is apparently going with Orchrist.

And not too long ago I posted (elsewhere) about a tattoo (someone wanted) with the word sister in it, so that's partly why I'm wondering about Brego's 'Oselleier' here.


For pronunciation I generally recommend Tolkien on CD, or Christopher Tolkien's pronunciation of names as he reads sections of The Silmarillion.

Plus hearing them read is just fun in itself 

Am I dreaming, Arath is it really you. How are you, oh joy, thank you for coming. What an honor.

And Brego, you are definitely a gentle brother to this forum. Gentle, gentle, gentle. With red hair, great skin, spiffy clothing and I am quite certain you smell great.

And Galin , if I had half your intelligence i should be someone to really listen to. However...........

Ah Ilse my love, I could rob Lloyds of London and you would hug me and say I must have had a good reason.

Oh dearest, If you would do that you definitely would have a good reason. And I'm serious. Really.


So far it appears 'oselleier' isn't going to be sourced. Perhaps it's from some website or maybe -ier intends to have some grammatical significance -- or perhaps it is attested somewhere in Tolkien's books, but I don't plan on reading 12 plus volumes again just to find out.

Anyway, as I noted, not too long ago I was involved in a discussion about a tattoo with the word sister in it, and so I already had done some footwork here, and here's what I found (checking Etymologies and VT47 at least).


In Etymologies we find the base THEL- and THELES- with a general meaning 'sister'. A base is not a word itself, although sometimes a word will echo it in form. At this stage 'Sindarin' had yet to be invented, and the external precursor of Sindarin was called 'Noldorin' (long story). In this entry we find the words (not all the words are noted here, and please excuse random lack of diacritics):

Noldorin gwathel 'sister, associate' thel 'sister' also muinthel [] Quenya seler 'sister' oselle 'sister, associate' onone 'usually' used of blood-kin in Quenya

The entry for the root WO- explains that the o- in o-torno and o-selle means 'together', so the semantic difference appears to be that these forms expressed a togetherness, or 'kinship' not necessarily of blood. This idea seems better expressed in the 'brother' entry under TOR-

'ON [Old Noldorin] wator (wa = together), especially used of those not brothers by blood, but sworn brothers or associates; N gwador.'

In Quenya the o- form again appears, noting toron 'brother' but otorno 'sworn brother, associate' otornasse 'brotherhood', but usually of the blood kinship was onoro.


So Quenya oselle would seem a good word to describe Leelee as a 'sister' in this sense.

But this is Tolkien, who was not against changing his mind


Etymologies was written in the mid to later 1930s and ultimately abandoned sometime after Tolkien began writing The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien would drastically change the history of the language that was to be called 'Sindarin' in his published tale, as well as some points about the language itself (compared to Noldorin). Were any of these words meant to be part of Sindarin or Quenya as Tolkien would later imagine things?

Much later (roughly 1967 -- 1970), when looking at Elvish play names for the fingers, words for 'sister' would again arise. Now the base is NETH-

Note that back in Etymologies the base NETH- carried the meaning of 'young' and was connected to the name Nessa, and in Noldorin we have the words nith 'youth' neth 'young' as well. In this late text Tolkien will explain NETH- as 'fresh, lively, merry' adding that it had a special association with young women. So now we get Sindarin neth 'girl', while various other notes have 'woman, female person'.

But Tolkien changes his mind again, finally arriving at NETH- 'sister'. And thus we have...

Sindarin nith [] Quenya  þ a, né sa

The editors of Vinyar Tengwar explain, after noting that Eldarin tolerated homophonous bases if the meanings were sufficiently distinct [as KHAN- in Etymologies means 'understand, comprehend']:

'On the other hand, KHAN 'brother' probably replaces earlier TOR- 'brother' from the Etymologies [just as NETH- 'sister' in HFN probably replaces the Etymologies base THEL-, THELES- 'sister']. Vinyar Tengwar 47, editor's note 61


If so Quenya seler and oselle are out and Quenya  sa is in. Sound preference aside, in my opinion  sa is the safer choice for 'sister' in any case. And as noted hiril is Sindarin; so to keep things Quenya with a dash of Neo-quenya, for 'lady, sister, healer' I would suggest... 

Heri Né sa *Nestar

Or without any Neo-quenya: 

Heri Né sa Envinyatar ['Healer' but more properly 'Renewer']


Aragorn was called Envinyatar in the books, but this form seems to be gender neutral. Patrick Wynne (member of the Editorial Team who publish Tolkien's linguistic papers) writes:

'Aragorn's royal name Envinyatar 'the Renewer' in the chapter 'The Houses of Healing' (LR:845) -- this latter consisting of en- 're-' + vinya 'new' + -ta causative marker (i.e. envinyata- = 'to make new again' + -r agentive ending.' 

I remember reading, though where i am not sure, perhaps the Letters? where in Tolkien cautioned against trying to find the absolute roots of any words. He explained that there was often no rational or informed reason for the sudden changing of the meaning of a word or part of a word other than some one decided to say it or write it a different way. I am constantly reminded of that in my home and in my country. One of our family a philologist of ten years wears himself out constantly searching and searching, going from one country and culture to another in search of the ultimate root meaning of words. I always , but seemingly to no avail, remind him of our own country. Here in the west are the there is the cultered British accent, and some have the faint strains of the California accent, I guess from watching so much television from L.A.

In the Midwest we have the Irish and Scottish influence, of course also from many nations but I am speaking of speech having come over from Britain. And in the east the more Cockney version of English, it is very endearing. And Trav studied and saw how in the extreme east , depending on clans all of a sudden a word or phrase used in a certain way for a hundred years changed to mean something totally different and often started in one family. After a couple of generations the way that family member used that word or phrase stuck. So, the whole research of words to me eventually loses my interest, things change because, they change. Just like our ever changing Professor.

Interesting Leelee. I think the creation of names, in any language, need not follow the strict grammatical rules which usually apply to structured language. Names are a construct of meaning, well in my mind anyhow. Galin, sorry, yes I found oselleier on a website. I think it was Handy Elvish.

Brego wrote: Galin, sorry, yes I found oselleier on a website. I think it was Handy Elvish. 

OK but if I've found the correct page you appear to have mistakenly taken an intended plural inflection as part of the singular. Under 'Greetings' Handy Elvish suggests...


Hail guildbrother(s)/sister(s) Aiya otorno(-i)/osellë(-ier) 



The parentheses intend to suggest: singular oselle 'sister, associate' (which is correct according to Etymologies) and plural *osellier (leaving aside whether or not that is correct in itself for the moment).


In any case I doubt oselleier was ever meant as the word for 'sister' even according to this website (or if so they are incorrect anyway). I'm afraid you are in error here, even if this is where you got your suggestion from.

Thanks again for the correction Galin.

I remember reading, though where i am not sure, perhaps the Letters? where in Tolkien cautioned against trying to find the absolute roots of any words.

Can you remember the reference Leelee?

Whatever Tolkien said about Primary World languages and the difficulties of investigation into the past, with respect to the Elvish family tree of languages, he was the inventor of course. And the root or 'base' was present from the early days, noting the early Qenya Lexicon for example; and later the text called Etymologies groups words by Eldarin bases, and later again we have post-Lord of the Rings bases to work with of course, and commentary about base structure.

Tolkien still indulges in his own conceit, all to help lend a reality to his Sub-created World, as he does with other elements of his fiction (Bilbo wrote The Hobbit not JRR Tolkien for example): thus roots are hypothetical despite that, as inventor, Tolkien invents them. Some seeming connections are put into a somewhat dubious context like 'some think'.

Tolkien has his fictive loremasters and linguists 'knowing' some things (or at least being fairly certain based on the evidence), theorizing about others, just like in the Primary World, but I think studies in the Indo-European languages fascinated him and inspired him to dive into the Elvish root or base, tracing words through history, injecting shifts of meaning or noting borrowings from one type of Elvish tongue or dialect to another, and so on.

Plus, in the very early days at least, Tolkien did not imagine any second or third Age of Middle-earth, and the time period between the fading of the Elves from the 'Great Lands' and the present was not as long as it would later become. The editors of Vinyar Tengwar have suggested that, especially at this early time, some of the Elvish roots and words were intended to 'explain' words that ended up in Primary World Languages.


'I would hasten to point out that there is a very real connection between Tolkien's Eldarin tongues and the Indo-European languages. For instance, the root terH- "pass through, surpass, overcome" that Neil cites from Watkins is clearly related to the Eldarin base TER- 'pierce'. However, I can back such assertions up with phonological argument, with the preponderance of other Eldarin bases that also correspond to IE roots, and with several statements by Tolkien (most notably section 10 of The Lhammas) that show that he intended a relationship between Eldarin and Indo-European. (For the argument, evidence, and ongoing examination of this issue, see my and Pat Wynne's column "Words and Devices" in Vinyar Tengwar.) But Tolkien forcefully protests, esp. in Letters, that he did not  just snatch words wholesale and willy-nilly from various languages and plop them into his invented tongues. By Tolkien's own statements (...)'

Carl Hostetter, posted on Tolklang

For example: it is recorded that Beor's people called the Elven-king Felagund Nóm 'Wisdom', and his people they called Nómin 'the Wise'. This seems to suggest Greek gnome 'thought, intelligence'. Very early on the Gnomes or Noldoli, the later Noldor, became associated with knowledge. 


'The use of goblin and gnome as synonymous terms, and the inclusion of noldare 'mole' in the group, suggests that when these entries were first written the general sense of the group was 'earthdweller', the Paracelsian meaning of gnome (...) later the root NOL- 'to know' was added above, a change that now associated the gloss 'gnome' with 'knowledge' (...) The last entry noldare 'mole' didn't fit the changed root sense either, so Tolkien seperated if from the group with a horizontal line and added the root NDOLO- 'delve' below it...'

The Qenya Lexicon, Parma Eldalamberon


It was relatively somewhat late in the scenario that JRRT decided to drop the word Gnomes for the Noldor 'the Wise', but Nóm  survives in the 1977 Silmarillion at least. The editors of VT point out that Nóm    must be related to the Elvish base NGOL- 'wise, wisdom' [among others], and 'Tolkien obviously devised these forms to imply a genetic connection with Indo-European gno- 'to know'

Thus Tolkien has arguably devised a fictive 'history' for a group of words that can be connected in the Primary World, going (imaginatively) deeper into the past and suggesting an ultimate Elvish source!


 It was very late in the game that JRRT