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Minas Tirith Forums » Languages of Arda » The meaning of Niphredil
Author Topic: The meaning of Niphredil
Aulë the Smith
Soldier of Gondor
Citizen # 6457
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Niphredil, the white flowers of Lothlórien.

But what does 'Niphredil' mean?

Wikipedia says "the star of the earth"
Other resources say "snowdrop"
And still others say "pale devotion"
I even remember seeing "white points" somewhere.

Seems to be a word with many translations - but I'm convinced Wikipedia is wrong. Thoughts?

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
The delight and pride of Aulë is in the deed of making, and in the thing made, and neither in possession nor in his own mastery; wherefore he gives and hoards not, and is free from care, passing ever on to some new work. His lordship is over all the substances of which Arda is made - the fashioning of all lands was his labour.
http://t2tmud.org/

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Galin
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4975
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According to notes now published in PE17, Tolkien writes...

quote:
S. niphredil, name of a pale white flower (like snowdrop). niphred + til or + -il, point ending
(...)

S. nimp 'pale, pallid' niphred 'pallor'

In letter 312 Tolkien remarks that its light is remarkable, and '... Lit by that light, Niphredil would be simply a delicate kin of a snowdrop'
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Aulë the Smith
Soldier of Gondor
Citizen # 6457
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Ah, so "like snowdrop" is Tolkien comparing it to the real flower of that name, which is common in the U.K.

But as for the actual word, it is translated to "pallor points" ?
Is the "pale devotion" translation at all correct?

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Galin
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4975
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Since pallor means 'unusual or extreme paleness' for an English gloss I might write 'pallor-point' or '(very) pale point'.

Back in the Etymologies of the 1930s Tolkien did write N. nifred 'pallor, fear (...) nifredil snowdrop', and he also wrote (same entry) 'nieninqe 'white tear' = snowdrop'. So this was probably influencing some.

Who has 'pale devotion' incidentally?

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