S. Curunír m. “Man of Skill”

S. Curunír, m. “Man of Skill”

The Sindarin name of Saruman, translated “Man of Skill” (LotR/1085), “Man of Craft” (UT/390) or “one of cunning devices” (RC/389). His name is a compound of curu “skill, craft” (SA/curu) and the agental suffix -n(d)ir.

Conceptual Development: Saruman’s Sindarin name did not emerge until late in the writing of The Lord of the Rings (PM/228), but the noun N. curunir “a man of craft, wizard” appeared in The Etymologies from the 1930s (Ety/KUR), where it had essentially the same derivation as above. This noun was capitalized (EtyAC/KUR) and so could have been Saruman’s name, but curunír also appeared in Tolkien’s later writings as a general word for “wizard” (PE22/151). Any even earlier precursor might be G. curug “wizard” in the Gnomish Lexicon from the 1910s (GL/28).

References ✧ LotR/1085; LotRI/Curunír, Saruman; PMI/Curunír, Saruman; RC/389; SA/curu; SI/Curunír, Saruman; UT/390, 392, 401; UTI/Curunír, Saruman



curunír “wizard”
curu “skill (of the hand), craft, magic” ✧ SA/curu

Element In