S. ernil n. “prince” (Category: Prince)
A noun for “prince” appearing in phrases like Ernil i Pheriannath “Prince of the Halflings” (LotR/768) and Dor-en-Ernil “Land of the Prince” (UT/245). Its initial element is likely a reduced form of aran “king, noble person”; compare to ar(a)- “noble” of similar origin. If so, the a became e due to i-affection. The final -il is harder to explain, because normally -il is a feminine suffix. Perhaps it is a reduction of hîl “heir”, so that the literal meaning is “*king’s heir, royal heir”.
Conceptual Development: N. ernil also appeared in Lord of the Rings drafts from the 1940s (WR/287).
References ✧ Let/425; LotR/768, 807; UT/245
|aran||“king, lord, chief, (lit.) high or noble person”|