S. Taur-nu-Fuin loc. “Forest under Night(shade)”
A forest in northern Dorthonion corrupted by Morgoth and turned to darkness (S/155). Its name is a compound of taur “forest”, nu “under” and fuin “night” (SA/taur, fuin). The final element was often translated “nightshade” (S/155, WJ/56), but this is an allusion to the other name of this forest: Deldúwath “Deadly Nightshade”.
Conceptual Development: This name dates back to the earliest Lost Tales, and always had the elements taur and fuin. Its development was G. Taurfuin “Forest of Night” (LT2/47) >> N. Taur-na-Fuin “Forest of Night, Deadly Nightshade” (LB/34, SM/26, LR/133) >> S. Taur-nu-Fuin “Forest under Night(shade)” (S/155), with the middle preposition changing from na “of” to nu “under”.
In some older writings, this forest’s name was translated “Mirkwood” (LR/282, WJ/239) and in at least one place Tolkien decided that Taur-nu-Fuin was the proper Elvish name of Mirkwood (UT/281). However, the canonical Elvish name of Mirkwood was Taur e-Ndaedelos “Forest of the Great Fear” (LotR/1134).
References ✧ LB/332, 348; LBI/Taur-na-Fuin; LotRI; LR/300; LRI/Taur-na-Fuin; LT2I/Taurfuin; PE17/81; S/155; SA/fuin, taur; SI; TII/Taur-na-Fuin; UT/281; UTI; WJ/56, 126; WJI
|taur||“forest, wood”||✧ SA/taur|
|fuin||“night, gloom, darkness”||✧ SA/fuin|
N. Taur-na-Fuin loc. “Forest of Night”
Earlier name of S. Taur-nu-Fuin, this form of the name first appeared in The Lays of Beleriand (LB/34). Early in this period, Tolkien often translated this name as “Deadly Nightshade” (LB/34, SM/103, SM/299), but he eventually decided that this translation was actually a second name for the forest, whose Elvish form was N. Deldúwath.
In The Etymologies, Tolkien also posited that this name was a punning alteration of N. Dor-na-Thuin, the proper Noldorin form of Ilk. Dorthonion, the name of the region before it was corrupted by Morgoth (Ety/THŌN). When the Noldorin language became Sindarin, this development no longer made sense.
See S. Taur-nu-Fuin for further discussion.
References ✧ Ety/ÑGOROTH, PHUY, THŌN; EtyAC/ÑGOROTH; LB/348; LR/133, 282, 300, 406; LRI; PE22/41; SM/103, 223, 299; SMI; TII; WJ/126, 239; WJI/Taur-nu-Fuin
|taur¹||“forest, great wood”||✧ Ety/PHUY|
|na||“with, by; of”||✧ Ety/PHUY|
|fuin||“night, dead of night”||✧ Ety/PHUY|
ᴱN. Taur-na-Fuin loc. “Deadly Nightshade”
References ✧ LB/34, 146, 155, 227; LBI; SM/26
G. Taurfuin loc. “Forest of Night”
See later S. Taur-nu-Fuin for general discussion. @@@
References ✧ LB/146; LBI/Taur-na-Fuin; LT2/47, 78; LT2A/Taurfuin; LT2I; SM/223; SMI/Taur-na-Fuin
|taur¹||“dense wood or forest”||✧ LT1A/Tavari|
|fuin¹||“secret, dark; hoarded”||✧ LT1A/Fui|