S. [N.] mûl, n. “slave, thrall”

A noun meaning “slave” or “thrall”, from primitive ✶mōl derived from the root √ having to do with “labour” (Ety/MŌ). In Sindarin, a primitive long [ō] became [ū] (PE18/96; PE19/91).

Conceptual Development: In the Gnomish Lexicon from the 1910s, one word for “slave” was G. guinir, apparently an agental form of the adjective guin² “possessed”. The suffix -(n)ir was usually limited to feminine word, so perhaps this word was exclusively female.

Another word for “slave” or “servant” was G. drog (GL/31), and the word ᴱN. drog “slave” reappeared in the Early Noldorin word lists of the 1920s (PE13/142, 155). This word was derived from primitive ᴱ✶norokā́ with the initial [nr] becoming [dr] (GL/31), though at this early stage its relation to other roots is unclear.

The form N. mûl appeared in the Etymologies from the 1930s, having the derivation given above (Ety/MŌ). This form did not reappear in Tolkien’s later writings, but its Quenya cognate mól did, along with its primitive form and its root (VT43/31).


N. mûl n. “slave, thrall”

Reference ✧ Ety/MŌ ✧ “slave, thrall”



Phonetic Developments

ᴹ✶mōl- > mûl [mōlǝ] > [mōl] > [mūl] ✧ Ety/MŌ.008

ᴱN. drog n. “slave”

References ✧ PE13/142, 155-156




*dhrog soft-mutation “slave” ✧ PE13/156.1701-2

Element In

G. drog n. “slave, thrall, servant”

Reference ✧ GL/31 ✧ “slave, thrall, servant”

Element In



Phonetic Developments

ᴱ✶norokā́ > drog [noroka] > [nroka] > [nrok] > [ndrok] > [ndrog] > [drog] ✧ GL/31.0301

G. guinir n. “slave”

Reference ✧ GL/43 ✧ “slave”


guin² “own, held, possessed” ✧ GL/43.0101
*-(n)ir “(feminine) agent” ✧ GL/43.0601-2 (*-ir)