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S. guruthos [ng-] n. “dread of death, death-horror, shadow of death” (Category: to Die; Dead; Death)

S. guruthos [ng-], n. “dread of death, death-horror, shadow of death, [N.] fear of death” (Category: to Die; Dead; Death)

A word for the fear of death in the phrase le nallon sí di’nguruthos, translated in The Road Goes Ever On published from 1967 as “here overwhelmed in dread of Death I cry” or more literally “to thee I cry here beneath-death-horror” (RGEO/64), also translated in a 1958 letter to Rhona Beare as “to thee I cry now in the shadow of (the fear of) death” (Let/278). In notes from the late 1950s or early 1960s, Tolkien identified the elements as guru “death” and thoss “fear” (PE17/87), based on the roots √ÑGUR and √THOS (PE17/95).

Conceptual Development: The form N. {gurthos >>} guruthos “fear of death” appeared in the margin of The Etymologies next to the entry for the root ᴹ√GOS “dread” where the word’s final element was probably N. gost “dread, terror” (EtyAC/GOS). As such, its initial element when the word was first introduced was probably N. guruth “death” (Ety/ÑGUR).

References ✧ LotR/729; PE17/87, 95; RGEO/64




nguruthos soft-mutation; ng-mutation   ✧ LotR/729; PE17/87; PE17/95
nguruthos soft-mutation; ng-mutation “death-horror” ✧ RGEO/64


guru “death” ✧ PE17/87
thoss “fear” ✧ PE17/87 (thos(s))
ÑGUR “death; to die” ✧ PE17/95 (NGUR)
THOS “frighten, terrify; show dread of” ✧ PE17/95 (ÞOS)

Element In

N. guruthos [ng-] n. “fear of death” (Category: to Die; Dead; Death)

References ✧ EtyAC/GOS





guruth “death”
gost “dread, terror” soft-mutation ✧ Ety/GOS