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ethir is the form of two unrelated Sindarin words (homophones) with different meanings:



"mouth of a river, estuary"


It is derived from Primitive Quendian etsiri[1]

It can be analyzed as ed + sîr (s reduced to h because of lenition).


There is some controversy on the pronunciation of the word regarding the digraph th[2].

One view says that it can be viewed as a compound: ed/et + sîr would trigger a lenition ed/et + hîr. If preposition and stem are understood as different entities, t/h should be pronounced separately ([ˈethir]) (like English "at-home").

Another view would be that PQ etsiri evolved as Old Sindarin *etthire[3] before simplified as ethir. In that case the PQ cluster ts was directly derived as th in Sindarin. The word would be pronounced as [ˈeθir].




Derived from ed + tirn. Examples include Amon Ethir.[4]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Three: The Etymologies", entry ET
  2. Jim Allan (ed.) An Introduction to Elvish, "Proto-Eldarin vowels" by Christopher Gilson
  3. Didier Willis' Sindarin Dictionary version of 2001; containing etymological reconstructions by David Salo
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Túrin Turambar"