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Otselen

Otselen "Seven Stars", an Elvish (Quenya) name for Valacirca (or the Great Bear), one of the constellations.[1]

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[edit] Etymology

The first element of the name is Quenya numeral otso ("seven"), and the second Quenya elen ("star") and thus refers to the seven stars of Valacirca.

[edit] Cognates

[edit] Real-world inspiration

J.R.R. Tolkien was perhaps inspired by otso, one of the many words for karhu ('bear') in Finnish. Karhu is also the name of the North Polar Bear, a frequent character in The Father Christmas Letters which Tolkien wrote to his children during the years 1920-1943.[2]

[edit] References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "The Etymologies" (but it is not used in any of the stories).
  2. Wayne G. Hammond, Christina Scull, J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist & Illustrator, "Art for Children" (see fig. 66)