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"Grelvish" is a concept which has only appeared in an adaptation of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Grelvish, or Grey Company Elvish, is a fanon form of "elvish". It was intended to be used primarily by roleplaying sites.


Grelvish originated on Tel'Mithrim, or "the Grey Company", an RPG players' online community. The website's FAQ mentions that they "simplified the grammatical structure [of Tolkien's Elvish] and expanded the dictionary heavily". It is simplified to the standards of a native English speaker since the grammar as laid out, blindly follows English structure, grammar, syntax and word order.

The language meant by "elvish" seems to be Quenya, though Sindarin words and elements are used as well.

It is used primarily for interjectional phrases in roleplaying, and as such it has been copied by several other sites.


Trademarks of Grelvish are long words with strange plural markers (ea, ie, oo) and double vowels (which replace the long vowels of Tolkien's Elvish, but not consistently). There is also an affinity with apostrophes. The pronoun amin for the first person in all its forms is also a trademark. These elements are original (fanon) and don't come from Tolkien's Elvish

Some obscure Elvish words from Tolkien's corpus have found new translations. A well-attested greeting is vedui il'er meaning "Greetings everyone"

Here, il'er which intended to mean "everyone" could be analyzed to il for "every, all" (from canonical Elvish Root (IL cf. ilya) and er "one" (from ER, cf. Eru). Of course, this compounding is not the way Tolkien's Elvish works. The Quenya word for "everybody" is ilquen.

Vedui means "last" in Sindarin (lenited), but the creators of Grelvish considered it a greeting, since it appears in Glorfindel's greeting to Aragorn.

Linguistic response[edit]

"I don't know if I should cry or laugh when I read something like this, or if I should just look away."
Thorsten Renk, Elfling Message 34930

Grelvish tended to be mistaken for authentic Tolkien's Elvish by new fans. During the hype of The Lord of the Rings (film series) they sought online for further info about the strange languages heard in the movies; seeking for "Elvish" in search engines, brought the website of "Tel'mithrim" high in results, and therefore Grelvish had been their first resource, not having a way to know it is non-canon.

The members of Elfling mailing list coined the term "Grelvish" (from Grey Company Elvish) to differentiate it from canonical Elvish.

External links[edit]