Q. silmë n. “starlight” (Category: Starlight)
A word for “starlight” and also the name of tengwa #29 [i] (LotR/1123), clearly derived from the root √SIL.
Conceptual Development: The earliest hint of this word was in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s where ᴱQ. silmea seems to be an adjective meaning “*lunar” (QL/56). ᴱQ. silme also seems to be an adjectival element “gleaming, silver” in ᴱQ. silmerána “gleaming moon, silver moon” from the Oilima Markirya poem and its drafts from around 1930 (MC/220; PE16/75). In The Etymologies of the 1930s ᴹQ. silme was derived from primitive ᴹ✶silimē “light of Silpion, †silver” under the root ᴹ√SIL “shine silver” (Ety/SIL) and thus seems to mean “moonlight”. Indeed, silme had the gloss “moonlight” in notes on The Feanorian Alphabet from the 1930s and 40s (PE22/22, 51), where it was already the name of tengwa #29. It became “starlight” in Appendix E of The Lord of the Rings, however (LotR/1123), and elsewhere “moonlight” was isilmë (MC/223).
Reference ✧ LotR/1123 ✧ silme “starlight”
References ✧ Ety/SIL; EtyAC/SIL; PE22/22, 51
|ᴹ✶silimē > silme||[silimē] > [silmē] > [silme]||✧ Ety/SIL|