√TER root. “pierce”
This root first appeared as unglossed ᴱ√TEŘE [TEÐE] in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s, with derivatives like ᴱQ. teret “auger, borer, gimlet”, ᴱQ. tereva “piercing, acute, shrill, sharp”, and ᴱQ. teste “worm”; another set of derivatives based on Q. teren “lissom, lithe” were marked by Tolkien with a “?” (QL/91). In the Poetic and Mythological Words of Eldarissa the root teře was glossed “pierce” (PME/91). Possibly related forms in the contemporaneous Gnomish Lexicon include G. tertha- “devour, destroy” and G. tereg “worm”, but if so they may represent a shift of the root from ᴱ√TEÐE >> *ᴱ√TERE (GL/70).
Indeed, in The Etymologies of the 1930s the root was given as ᴹ√TER “pierce” with derivatives like ᴹQ. ter/N. trî “through” and ᴹQ. tereva/N. trîw “fine, acute, [N.] very slender” (Ety/TER). As originally written, the root was ᴹ√TERÉW, but Tolkien changed this to ᴹ√TER and added an extended form ᴹ√TERES that was the basis for ᴹQ. terra/N. tess “fine pierced hole” (EtyAC/TER). The root √TER “pierce” appeared again in notes from 1957 on the origin of Q. Vairë “Weaver” as a variant of √THER “sew” (PE17/33). This specific note was marked through, but given Tolkien’s ongoing use of Q. ter “though”, the root √TER probably survived.
Reference ✧ PE17/33 ✧ “pierce”
ᴹ√TER root. “pierce”
References ✧ Ety/BAT, DUL, NAR², TER; EtyAC/TER
ᴱ√TEÐE root. “pierce, boring”
References ✧ LT1A/Ilterendi; PME/91; QL/91