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S. milbar n. “dear home, beloved dwelling [place]” (Category: Home)

S. milbar, n. “dear home, beloved dwelling [place]” (Category: Home)

A word appearing in some draft notes from the 1960s glossed “dear home” which Tolkien described as follows:

In emotional senses “home” as the place of one’s birth, or desire, or one’s home returned to after journey or exile milbar was used, “dear home”. Note absence of Sindarin mutation owing to the original presence of initial mb-: mēlā̆-mbar > mîl-mbar > milbar (PE17/164).

In the final version of these notes Tolkien said:

Mélamarimma “Our Home” was used [in Quenya] of their lost “home” in Aman, but not by the followers of the Sons of Feanor. Nonetheless this word was modelled on S milbar “beloved dwelling” applied to the places best known and most frequented. It was derived from older mēlā̆-mbar > mīl(a)mbar. In true Quenya the adjectival form “dear” had the form melda (PE17/109).

In this later version Tolkien gave milbar as an example of a Sindarin word that was adapted into Quenya: mélamar. The sense of both words is “emotional home” or “*true home” from which one is separated:

... “home” in its emotional uses as the place of one’s birth, or the familiar places from which one was separated by journeys of necessity, or driven out by war. These circumstances the Noldor had not suffered in Aman, but knew later only too well, not only in their exile from Aman, but in the increasing destruction of their new realms and settlements by the assaults of Morgoth (PE17/109).

The drafts of these notes had S. barð as the more ordinary word for “home” (PE17/164). S. bardh did not appear in the final version of these notes, but whether it was an intentional or accidental omission isn’t clear.

References ✧ PE17/109, 164



bâr “house, dwelling, home” ✧ PE17/164 (bar)




Phonetic Developments

mēlā̆-mbar > milbar [mēlambar] > [mīlambar] > [mīlmbar] > [milmbar] > [milbar] ✧ PE17/109
mēlā̆-mbar > mîl-mbar > milbar [mēlambar] > [mīlambar] > [mīlmbar] > [milmbar] > [milbar] ✧ PE17/164