√NDAK root. “hew, slay”
This root and similar ones were the basis for “slay” words for much of Tolkien’s life. The root first appeared in the Early Qenya Phonology of the 1920s as ᴱ√dag- with numerous etymological variants, including ᴱQ. taila/ᴱN. dail “axe (blade)” < dagla, ᴱQ. tanga-/ᴱT. danga- “to beat” < tang-, and ᴱQ. nahta-/ᴱN. dag- “to slay” (PE14/65-66); these last two words for “slay” appeared regularly in Tolkien’s writings thereafter. The root reappeared as ᴹ√NDAK “slay” in The Etymologies of the 1930s with similar Noldorin derivatives (Ety/NDAK), apparently a strengthened form of ᴹ√DAK “slay” (EtyAC/DAK).
The root was given as ᴹ√NDAG “slay” in the Quenya Verbal System of the 1940s (PE22/102, 115), but unglossed ᴹ√NDAK appeared in the same document (PE22/112), and verb ᴹQ. nak- was sometimes glossed “kill” as well (PE22/120). The root appeared as √NDAK “hew, slay” in the Outline of Phonology from the 1950s (OP2: PE19/91) and again as √NDAK “hew” in Late Notes on Verbs from 1969 (LVS: PE22/156). This introduction of the sense “hew” in the 1950s and 60s may be a partial restoration of the senses of the 1920s root ᴱ√dag-, which meant more that just “slay”. If so, √NDAK may be compared with √MAK which had a similar variety of meanings (“cleave, sword, slay, fight, forge”); see that entry for details.
References ✧ PE19/91; PE22/156; SA/dagor; VT49/24
ᴹ√(N)DAK root. “slay”
References ✧ Ety/NDAK, ÑGWAL; EtyAC/DAK, NAK; PE22/102, 112, 115
ᴱ√DAGA root. “*slay”
Reference ✧ PE14/65 ✧ dag-