√NIS root. “woman”
This root first appeared in The Etymologies of the 1930s as ᴹ√NIS “woman”, an extension of ᴹ√NĪ¹ “female” (Ety/NIS). It also had a strengthened form ᴹ√NDIS, unglossed but apparently meaning “bride” based on its derivatives ᴹQ. indis/N. dîs of that meaning (Ety/NDIS). Unstrengthened ᴹ√NIS seems to have survived only in Quenya as the basis for ᴹQ. nis (niss-) “woman”, but this word was also blended with *ndis-sē to produce a longer form nisse of the same meaning.
In Tolkien’s later writings, both short Q. nís and longer nissë appeared as words for “woman” (MR/213; VT47/33) and Q. indis reappeared as well, though glossed “wife” (UT/8). As primitive forms, both unstrengthened √nis (VT47/33) and strengthened ✶ndī̆s “woman” also appeared in later writings, the latter given as the feminine equivalent of ✶n[d]ēr “man” (PE19/102).
References ✧ VT47/18, 33
ᴹ√NIS root. “woman”
References ✧ Ety/DER, NDIS, NĪ¹, NIS; EtyAC/NDIS; PE21/55
|NĪ¹/INI||“female”||✧ Ety/NĪ¹ (NĪ¹); PE21/55 (INI)|