S. nethel n. “sister” (Category: Sister)
A word for “sister” coined by Tolkien in notes on Eldarin Hands, Fingers and Numerals from the late 1960s, based on the root √NETH of similar meaning and replacing the archaic form of the word †nîth (VT47/12, 14). The diminutive/affectionate form nethig “[little] sister” was used as a play name for the fourth finger (VT48/6); Tolkien considered an alternate diminutive netheg (VT47/14, 32) and also considered giving this diminutive an alternate meaning “little girl” (VT47/15, 33); see S. neth for discussion.
Conceptual Development: The Etymologies of the 1930s had N. thêl “sister” from the root ᴹ√THEL or THELES (Ety/THEL), and the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s had G. hethir “sister” from the early root ᴱ√HESE¹ [HEÞE] (GL/48; QL/40). See those entries for discussion.
Reference ✧ VT47/14
|†nîth||“sister”||✧ VT47/14 (†nîth)|
References ✧ VT47/14-15, 32-33; VT48/6
|neth||“(little) girl; sister (diminutive)”||✧ VT47/14; VT47/33|
|✶-i(n)ki||“diminutive suffix”||✧ VT47/14 (-iki)|
References ✧ VT47/14
|✶nēthā > nîth||[nētʰā] > [nētʰa] > [nēθa] > [nīθa] > [nīθ]||✧ VT47/14|