S. Fëanor m. “Spirit of Fire”
Greatest of the Noldor and crafter of the Silmarils (LotR/657). His Sindarin name is a partial adaptation of his mother-name Q. Fëanáro “Spirit of Fire”, as opposed to a pure Sindarin translation, which would have been Faenor (MR/217, PM/343). As such, it is a combination of Q. fëa “spirit” and the suffixal form -nor of S. naur “fire”.
Conceptual Development: The earliest mention of this name is in the Gnomish Lexicon from the 1910s, where ᴱQ. Feanor is explicitly marked Qenya, with a cognate G. Fionor (< Fionaur) “Goblet Smith” in Gnomish (GL/35). The language of the name Feanor in earliest Lost Tales is not specified, but it is probable that Tolkien re-imagined the name as Gnomish at an early stage, since both Feanor and his father Bruithwir were of the Noldoli (LT1/128, 145).
In the Silmarillion drafts and The Etymologies from the 1930s, the name N. Feanor is explicitly marked as Noldorin, with a Qenya equivalent ᴹQ. Feanáro, both developed from primitive ᴹ✶Phayanāro “Radiant Sun” (Ety/PHAY). However, the phonetic developments leading from ᴹ✶Phaya- to N. Fea- are obscure, and the combination [ea] does not occur in any other Noldorin word. This is likely the reason Tolkien developed the mix-language derivation discussed above, which appears in notes associated with the Silmarillion revisions from the 1950s-60s.
References ✧ LotR/1116; LotRI; MR/217, 257; MRI; PE17/39, 118; PM/343; PMI; S/63; SA/fëa, nár; SI; UTI; WJI
|Q. fëa||“(indwelling or incarnate) spirit, soul”||✧ SA/fëa|
|naur||“fire”||✧ SA/nár (-nor)|
N. Feanor m. “Radiant Sun”
References ✧ Ety/NAR¹, PHAY; EtyAC/NŌ; LRI/Fëanor; RSI/Fëanor; SMI/Fëanor; TII/Fëanor; WRI/Fëanor
|ᴹ√PHAY||“radiate, send out rays of light”||✧ Ety/NAR¹|
|ᴹ√NAR¹||“flame, fire”||✧ Ety/NAR¹|
|ON. Phayanṓr > Feanoúr > Féanor||[ɸajanǭr] > [ɸaianǭr] > [ɸaianour] > [ɸaeanour] ? [ɸeanour] > [feanour] > [feanaur] > [feanor]||✧ Ety/PHAY|
G. Feanor m.
References ✧ LBI/Fëanor; LT1I/Fëanor; LT2I/Fëanor; PE15/63