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S. dúath n. “night shadow, dark/black shadow” (Category: Shade, Shadow)

S. dúath, n. “night shadow, dark/black shadow, [N.] night-shade” (Category: Shade, Shadow)

A word meaning “night shadow” (PE17/152) or “dark/black shadow” (PE17/87), a combination of “night” and the soft-mutated form ’wath of gwath “shadow” (SA/dú, gwath), usually written dúath but sometimes dúwath or duwath. Most notably it appeared in the name Ephel Dúath “Mountains of Shadow; (lit.) Fence of Shadow” (LotR/636; RC/457). In one place Tolkien said it was used metaphorically for darkness as an ethereal substances, the opposite of glae(gal) which was light as a substance (NM/283).

Conceptual Development: N. Dú(w)ath “night-shade” appeared in The Etymologies of the 1930s, already with the etymology given above (Ety/DOƷ).

References ✧ NM/283; PE17/87, 152; SA/dú, gwath




“night, dimness; dim, dark” ✧ PE17/87; PE17/152; SA/dú ()
gwath “shadow, dim light” ✧ SA/gwath (wath)

Element In

N. dú(w)ath n. “night-shade” (Category: Shade, Shadow)

See S. dúath for discussion.

Reference ✧ Ety/DOƷ ✧ Dú(w)ath “night-shade”


“night, night-fall, late evening” ✧ Ety/DOƷ
gwath¹ “shade” soft-mutation

Element In