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S. neth n. “(little) girl; sister (diminutive)” (Category: Girl)

S. neth, n. “(little) girl; ⚠️sister (diminutive)” (Category: Girl)

A word appearing in several sets of notes from the late 1960s having to do with Hands, Fingers and Numerals. It was related to the finger name of the fourth finger (representing the sister). Tolkien gave it a variety of glosses: “girl” (VT47/33), “little girl” (VT47/33), or as an archaic diminutive for “sister” (VT47/14; VT48/6), where it was replaced by nethig in modern speech. He also gave it several different derivations, from √NET “trim, pretty, dainty” (VT47/33) or the root √NETH which itself was given a variety of meanings: “sister” (VT47/12, 26, 34), “(young) woman” (VT47/15, 32, 39) or “fresh, lively, merry” (VT47/32).

Neo-Sindarin: For purposes of Neo-Sindarin, I think the meaning “(little) girl” is the most useful. For “sister” I would use †nîth or nethel, with nethig as the diminutive form.

References ✧ VT47/14, 33; VT48/6

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Phonetic Developments

NETH > neth [nettʰi] > [nettʰe] > [neθθe] > [neθθ] > [neθ] ✧ VT47/14
netthi > neth [nettʰi] > [nettʰe] > [neθθe] > [neθθ] > [neθ] ✧ VT47/33
net > neth [netti] > [nette] > [nettʰe] > [neθθe] > [neθθ] > [neθ] ✧ VT47/33