S. naub n. “thumb” (Category: Thumb)
A word for the thumb given as nawb in notes on Eldarin Hands, Fingers and Numerals from 1968 (VT48/5), clearly based on the root √NAP “pick up” (VT47/29). Its dual form nobad was used to refer to the “thumb and index [finger] as a pair” (VT48/5).
Conceptual Development: In rough drafts of these notes, Tolkien used lebed for “thumb, picker” from primitive ✶lepet(ā) (VT47/27). In early writings N. lhebed was instead “finger” (Ety/LEP), and its use for “thumb” was likely a transient idea.
Reference ✧ VT48/5 ✧ nawb “thumb”
Reference ✧ VT47/27 ✧ “thumb”
|✶lepet(ā) > lebed||[lepetā] !!! [lepeta] > [lepet] > [lepet] > [lebed]||✧ VT47/27|