√PHAL root. “foam, splash”
This root was connected to Elvish words for foaming waves for much of Tolkien’s life. It first appeared as unglossed ᴱ√FALA² in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s with derivatives like ᴱQ. falas “shore, beach”, ᴱQ. falmar “wave as it breaks” and ᴱQ. falmo “foam” (QL/37). It had a similar set of derivatives in the contemporaneous Gnomish Lexicon such as G. falm “a breaker, a wave” and G. falos “sea-marge, surf, coast, line, beach; margin, fringe, edge” (GL/33).
In The Etymologies of the 1930s the root appeared as ᴹ√PHAL “foam” with extended form ᴹ√PHÁLAS and derivatives like ᴹQ. falasse/N. falas “beach” and ᴹQ. falma/N. falf “(crested) wave, breaker” (Ety/PHAL). The root appeared a couple of times in Tolkien’s later writings with glosses like “foam” (PE17/62) and “splash” (PE17/73).
References ✧ PE17/62, 73, 173
ᴹ√PHAL root. “foam”
References ✧ Ety/NYEL, PHAL, SPAL; EtyAC/SPAL
ᴱ√FALA² root. “*foam, wave”
References ✧ GL/33; LT1A/Falman; QL/37