√LEK root. “loose, unbind, let, permit”
This root was the basis for the word S. leithia- “release” as in the Lay of Leithian “Release from Bondage” (S/162). This word dates back to Tolkien’s first version of this poem from the 1920s, where the primitive base seems to be ᴱ√LETH “set free” as suggested by Christopher Tolkien (LB/154), though the note where this etymology appears is undated and might be a contemporary of The Etymologies of the 1930s instead (Ety/LEK). In The Etymologies itself this root became ᴹ√LEK “loose, let loose, release” with derivatives like ᴹQ. lehta- “loose, slacken”, N. lheithia- “to release” and Ilk. legol “nimble, active, running free” (Ety/LEK). The root √LEK “loose, unbind, let, permit” reappeared in a list of roots from 1959-60 (VT41/6), and Tolkien’s continued use of Q. lehta and S. leithian indicates its ongoing validity (VT39/17; S/162).
References ✧ PE17/159; VT41/6
ᴹ√LEK root. “loose, let loose, release”
Reference ✧ Ety/LEK ✧ “loose, let loose, release”