Tolkien Gateway


Revision as of 19:45, 18 February 2010 by Gilgamesh (Talk | contribs)

elen (pl. eleni or eldi) means "star" in Quenya.

The Edain, however, equated elen and elda ("Elf"), so in some situations elen translates as "Elf".


PQ root EL.

It is said traditionally to come from the exclamation ele! "behold" being the first word the first Elves spoke at Cuiviénen, when they saw the stars.

Other forms

  • elenna "to a star": allative, also a name for Númenor.[1]
  • elelli "stars": partitive plural[2]
  • elenion "of stars": pl. genitive[3]
  • elenillor "from stars": pl. ablative[4]

Seen in

With the meaning "Elf"


El means "deity" in some Semitic languages, and is a common element in many Hebrew names, as happens with Elvish names.

Dante Alighieri in his De vulgari eloquentia suggests that the word El was the first sound emitted by Adam: While the first utterance of humans after birth is a cry of pain, Dante assumed that Adam could only have made an exclamation of joy, which at the same time was addressing his Creator.


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, Cirion and Eorl
  2. Parma Eldalamberon 17 p.127
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien, Humphrey Carpenter (ed.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 385
  4. The Monsters and the Critics, Markirya