S. Asfaloth m. “Sunlit Foam”
The horse of Glorfindel (LotR/213). In Tolkien’s notes on “Words, Phrases and Passages from The Lord of the Rings” from the 1950s-60s, he translated this name as “Sunlit Foam”, a compound of ast “light or heat of the sun” and faloth “large foamy wave” (PE17/18). He immediately rejected this etymology, stating that “Q. áze is from √GAS”, so that its Sindarin cognate would be *gast, not ast.
Elsewhere, however, Tolkien derived Q. árë “sunlight” < áze < √AS¹ “warmth” (PE17/145, 148; VT43/18). If this is the correct root instead of √GAS, perhaps S. ast (and the translation of the name of Asfaloth) could be considered valid as well.
Conceptual Development: When this name first appeared Lord of the Rings drafts from the 1940s, it was already in the form N. Asfaloth (RS/368).
References ✧ LotR/213; LotRI; PE17/18
|ast||“light or heat of the sun”||✧ PE17/18 (ast)|
|faloth||“large foamy wave”||✧ PE17/18|