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S. †maw n. “hand” (Category: Hand)

S. †maw, n. “hand” (Category: Hand)

The Sindarin equivalent of Q. , likewise derived from the root √MAH or √MAƷ “hand; handle, wield” (PE17/162; VT47/6). However, in Sindarin this word was archaic, used only in poetry, having been replaced in ordinary speech by other words like S. mâb and (less often) cam. Other remnants of this word can be seen in compounds like molif “wrist, (orig.) hand link” and directional words like forvo and harvo for left and right hand side.

Conceptual Development: In the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s, G. from the early root ᴱ√MAHA was the normal word for “hand”, replacing mab “hand” (< ᴱ√MAHA) which in this document Tolkien decided was instead an irregular dual form of (GL/55). It had also had an irregular plural mabin based on this dual, replacing an older plural †maith. In the Gnomish Grammar, its archaic form was †, with the usual Gnomish sound change of ā to ō (GG/14), as opposed to later Sindarin/Noldorin ā to au, spelt -aw when final. Tolkien seems to have abandoned as a non-archaic word for “hand” early on, preferring ᴱN. mab “hand” by the 1920s and introducing N. cam “hand” in the 1930s.

References ✧ PE17/162; VT47/6, 18


Element In



Phonetic Developments

MAƷ > †maw [mā] > [mǭ] > [mau] ✧ PE17/162
> †maw [mā] > [mǭ] > [mau] ✧ VT47/6
mag > maw [mā] > [mǭ] > [mau] ✧ VT47/18

G. n. “hand” (Category: Hand)

See S. †maw for discussion.

References ✧ GG/14; GL/55, 57





maith plural ✧ GL/55