√TOL root. “stick up or out, stand up (out and above neighboring things), raise the head”
This was the root for islands and other things that “stick up” for much of Tolkien’s life. This root appeared as unglossed ᴱ√TOLO in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s with derivatives like ᴱQ. tol “an island”, ᴱQ. tolda “hill with a flat top; town on a hill”, and ᴱQ. tolmen “boss (of shield), isolated round hill” (QL/94). The derivative G. tol “an isle (with high steep coasts)” appeared in the contemporaneous Gnomish Lexicon as well (GL/71). The root appeared as ᴹ√TOL² in The Etymologies of the 1930s with derivatives ᴹQ. tol/N. toll “island” (Ety/TOL²); the alternate root ᴹ√TOL¹ was the basis for words for “eight” in this document. The root was mentioned several times in writings on Eldarin Hands, Fingers and Numerals from the late 1960s, with glosses like “stand up (out and above neighboring things)” (VT47/10) or “stick up or out” (VT47/28), and Tolkien said it:
mostly applied to things that were, relatively to those that they were contrasted with, also larger and thicker: e.g. mountain-tops, very tall trees, or a tall strong man (VT47/10).
In this last respected it was the basis for various words for “thumb” and “big toe”, and could be contrasted with √TIL used for the tips of smaller things, including the smaller fingers and toes. √TOL also had extended form √TOLOB with derivative ✶tolbā “a protuberance, esp. one designed for a purpose: a knob or rounded tool-handle” (VT47/11), and in these 1960s documents (unlike in the 1930s) it was the basis for the root √TOLOD “eight” due to the prominence of the middle finger (finger 3 and 8) in counting (VT47/11).
References ✧ SA/tol; VT47/10-11, 16, 26, 28
ᴹ√TOL² root. “*stand up”
Reference ✧ Ety/TOL²
ᴱ√TOLO root. “*stick up”
References ✧ LT1A/Tol Eressëa; PE12/16; QL/94