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N. herves n. “wife” (Category: Wife)

N. herves, n. “wife” (Category: Wife)
ᴱN. gweth “wife”
ᴱN. urweth “without wife”

A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s for “wife”, a combination of ᴹ√KHER “govern” and N. bess “woman” (which itself archaically meant “wife”), the latter element based on the root ᴹ√BES “wed” (Ety/BES, KHER).

Conceptual Development: A precursor to this word was ᴱQ. herivesti “wife, *lady spouse” from Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s, which was assembled from elements similar to N. herves, but in the Qenya branch of the language instead.

Neo-Sindarin: In later writings, Tolkien seems to have revised ᴹ√BES > √BER as the basis for marriage words (VT49/45). However, I prefer to retain the 1930s root ᴹ√BES and would therefore use herves for “wife”. However, in later writings Tolkien also used the short form bess for “wife” as well (SD/129), so I consider herves to be more formal.

References ✧ Ety/BES, KHER




ᴹ√KHER “rule, govern, possess” ✧ Ety/BES
bess “woman; †wife” ✧ Ety/BES
ᴹ√BES “wed” ✧ Ety/KHER


Phonetic Developments

ᴹ√KHER > hervess [kʰerbesse] > [xerbesse] > [xervesse] > [xervess] > [hervess] > [herves] ✧ Ety/KHER

ᴱQ. herivesti n. “wife” (Category: Wife)

A word in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s glossed “wife” (QL/40), a combination of ᴱQ. heri “lady” and a feminized form of ᴱQ. vesta “marriage”, the female equivalent of ᴱQ. heruvesto “(lord) husband” from the same entry.

Reference ✧ QL/40 ✧ “wife”


heri “lady” ✧ QL/40
vesta “state of marriage”