According to the naming traditions of High Elves, an Elf can have four types of names, acquired at various times of their lives. The three first names are called the anessi ("given-names"): the father-name, the amilessë ("mother-name"), and the epessë ("after-name" or honorary title). The last type of name is called the kilmessë: the chosen-name ("self-name").
- Father-name: chosen by the father and often based on the father's own name or derived from old legends. Given at or near birth.
- Amilessë: chosen by the mother and often prophetic in nature. Given sometimes at or near birth but often bestowed years later.
- Epessë: often acquired by an Elf as an honorific later in life.
- Kilmessë: a name chosen by an Elf for him- or herself as a disguise or to refer to deeds, talents and personal history.
The father-name and the amilessë were the Elf's 'true names' and were public names. The father-name is the name an Elf used in public until an epessë was chosen. In The Silmarillion, when an Elf does not yet have an epessë, the Sindarin version of his mother- or father-name is used instead.
- Maglor: The son of Fëanor of the House of Finwë, was given the essë Kanafinwë ("Strong-voiced [of] Finwë"). His amilessë was Makalaurë ("Forging Gold" in a poetic sense). The name Maglor is the Sindarin version of his mother-name.
- Ereinion Gil-galad: The son of Orodreth was given the essë Rodnor. His amilessë was Gil-galad ("Star of Radiance"). As High King of the Noldor, his epessë was Ereinion ("Scion of Kings").
- Finrod Felagund: The son of Finarfin was given the essë of Findaráto ("Golden-haired Champion"). His amilessë was Ingoldo ("The Noldo", singular for Noldor). He is usually referred to as Felagund ("Hewer of Caves"), originally a derogatory nickname given to him because of his dwelling at Nargothrond. Finrod adopted the name as his epessë and made it a title of honour. The name Finrod is the Sindarin version of his father-name.
- Galadriel: The only daughter of Finarfin was given the essë of Artanis ("Noble Woman") and the amilessë of Nerwen ("Man-maiden") because of her height and strength. Her epessë, Alatáriel ("Maiden Crowned with Radiant Garland"), was given to her by her husband, Celeborn. The name Galadriel is the Sindarin version of her epessë.
- Amras: The last son of the House of Finwë was given the essë Telufinwë, ("Last [of] Finwë"). His first amilessë was Ambarussa ("Top-russet" referring to his hair), his twin-brother Amrod had the same amilessë. To distinguish the two Amrod was given a second amilessë: Umbarto ("The Fated"). His mother's choice was prophetic, because Amrod was the first of the sons of Fëanor to die, accidentally killed in the swan ships of the Teleri when his father ordered them to be burnt at Losgar. The name Amras is the Sindarin version of Ambarussa.
Essë is also the name in later Quenya of the thirty-first letter of the Tengwar alphabet, representing SS. The original name of this letter was Áze, but over time the phonemes for "z" and "r" merged and the letter was renamed Áre. Since Óre (letter 21) represents untrilled "r" and Rómen (letter 25) represents trilled "r", Áre became superfluous. This letter was then renamed Essë and represents "ss", but only in written Quenya.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix E, "Writing", "The Fëanorian Letters", Note, The names of the letters
- There is no attested Quenya term for this name, but we can conjecture it is ataressë
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "XI. The Shibboleth of Fëanor", Note on Mother-names, p. 339
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "XI. The Shibboleth of Fëanor", The names of the Sons of Fëanor with the legend of the fate of Amrod, p. 353
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "XI. The Shibboleth of Fëanor", The parentage of Gil-galad, p. 350
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "XI. The Shibboleth of Fëanor", The names of Finwë's descendants, p. 347
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "XI. The Shibboleth of Fëanor", The names of Finwë's descendants, p. 346
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "XI. The Shibboleth of Fëanor", The Dwarvish origin of the name Felagund, p. 351