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The Prince of Magnets
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So, Elves had a max of 3 names
Name 1: Given by father, usually reminiscent of of his own name (i.e. Fingolfin/Fingon or Finwe/Curufinwe
Name 2: Given by mother, using her foresight to specify your character (i.e. Curufinwe being named Feanor)
Name 3: Given by your peers, usually to commemorate something you've done, but could be for any reason (i.e. Ereinon Gil-Galad, Gil-Galad meaning bright spear, or Elrond Peredhel, Peredhel meaing half-elven)

From: Kyouma | Registered: Oct 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
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I believe they could have more than one type 3 name, perhaps given on different occasions.
They would probably only use the most recent one - unless they preferred another. I have the impression that they could choose which of the names they would use.

Which name the loremasters would use about them when writing history after their death, might be different from their own preference []

This wasn't necessarily universal amongst all Elves, it is presented as the naming customs of the Noldor.
They may or may not be the same as the naming customs of other Elves, like the Sindar or the Greenwood Elves.

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Galin
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Yes Eldarin naming customs can get a bit complicated (I have a longish, possibly boring post about this floating around somewhere I think), especially if we consider external issues like the seemingly Noldorin custom of the Chosen-name (possibly abandoned as an idea, but this is not wholly certain I think).


I don't think Gil-galad means 'Bright Spear' but 'Starlight' (noted in the text of The Lord of the Rings and likely imagined as gil + calad at that point), or later in The Shibboleth of Feanor, 'Star of Radiance' (with a new root in play).

[ 10-15-2012, 01:37 PM: Message edited by: Galin ]

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Snöwdog
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Galin said:
quote:
" (I have a longish, possibly boring post about this floating around somewhere I think)"
We await your finding of this said post Sir Galin. []

[ 06-25-2013, 07:35 AM: Message edited by: Snöwdog ]

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Galin
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Oh oops.

I've constructed the following primarily based on two accounts from The History of Middle-earth. It is not entirely clear whether the 'Note on Mother-names' [the later if briefer text in any case] is intended to replace 'Of Naming' though I note in advance that the Chosen-name could be a Noldorin custom which differs from other Eldar. Also, even according to Christopher Tolkien the concept of the Chosen-name [this 'probably Noldorin' type of chosen name] might have been abandonded [if not merely left out due to brevity].

Of Naming from Laws And Customs, Morgoth's Ring

The description begins with respect to the naming of Children among the Noldor.

Father-name It was the right of the father to devise this first name. It remained unaltered save for such changes as might befall its spoken form in the passing of the long years (even the tongues of the Eldar were subject to change).

Chosen-name In which point, maybe, the Noldor differed from the other Eldar. It is said here that the Elf-child had the right to name himself or herslf. The ceremony of Name-choosing could not take place before the child was deemed ready and capable of lámatyáve, as the Noldor called it: that is, of individal pleasure in the sounds and forms of words. In elder times the Chosen-name or second name was usually freshly devised. In later ages, when there was a great abundance of names already in existence, '...it was more often selected from names that were known. But even so some modification of the old name might be made.' JRRT

This wording does not seem to imply (in my opinion) that it was absolutely necessary that some modification must be made to the Chosen-name, but that it 'might' be made. In any case the 'true-names' are here said to be the Father-name and Chosen-name, and the Chosen-names were said to be regarded by the Noldor as part of their personal property. New chosen names could be added.

Anessi given or added names.

Here we have the Mother-name, a name of insight or of foresight. A Mother-name was given in the hour of birth or on some other occasion of moment, indicating some dominant feature of the Elf-child's nature as perceived by her, or some foresight of its special fate. When solemnly given a Mother-name could also be regarded as a true name and was sometimes placed immediately after the Father-name. Mother-names of insight in general use sometimes replaced the Father-name and Chosen-name, however the Father-name and the Chosen-name (among those that had the custom of essecilme that is) remained ever the true or primary name, and a necessary part of any full title.

Other Given-names were not considered true names, and names or nicknames of this kind might be given by anyone... in memory of some deed, or event, or in token of some marked feature of body or mind.

Note On Mother-names The Peoples Of Middle-Earth

The Eldar in Valinor had as a rule two names, a Father-name and a Mother-name. Mother-names were given later, often some years later, but also sometimes soon after birth.

Epesse 'After-name' a nickname not necessarily given by kin and mostly given as a title of admiration or honour. Later some among the Exiles gave themselves names, as disguises or in reference to their own deeds and personal history: such names were called cilmessi 'self-names'. The true names remained the Father and Mother-names it seems, according to this account.

This description seems to be about naming with respect to the Eldar in Valinor, noting also that the cilmesse here does not seem to be identical with the Chosen-names of Noldorin Elf-children.

Repetition of Names The Peoples of Middle-Earth (Late essays on Glorfindel)

Glorfindel would appear to be a 'striking name' according to JRRT, and though its repetition seems 'possible' Tolkien appears to conclude it would not be credible, seemingly for the reasons that follow: 'This repetition of so striking a name, though possible, would not be credible. No other major character in the Elvish legends as reported in The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings has a name borne by another Elvish person of importance.' JRRT

I notice the description no other 'major character' in the Elvish legends has a name borne by 'another Elvish person of importance'. This arguably implies that minor characters and Elvish persons of minor importance (to the stories) could have the same name, and with respect to the name Galdor: '... but the name [Galdor] is of a more simple and usual form [than Glorfindel] and might be repeated'. JRRT

Also, for example, there appears to be two Elves named Rumil according to The Lord of the Rings. Interestingly, according to some texts Nerdanel gave her last two sons the same name, which was Ambarussa (Amros). In The Peoples of Middle-Earth it's noted (the last bit especially):

quote:
'Arakano was the tallest of the brothers and the most impetuous, but his name was never changed to Sindarin form, for he perished in the first battle of Fingolfin's host with the Orks, the Battle of the Lammoth (but the Sindarin form Argon was often later given as a name by Noldor and Sindar in memory of his valour)'
This is still a short version compared to the actual texts of course, or examples.

[ 06-27-2013, 12:32 PM: Message edited by: Galin ]

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Roll of Honor Varnafindë
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Not so boring []

An example of an epesse that became a true name (or at least functioned as a true name) would be Galadriel - if that name was an epesse? It was certainly given her by someone other than her parents, namely by Celeborn, her husband. And it was the name that she chose to use ever after, rather than Artanis or Nerwen, her father name and mother name.

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Galin
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Thanks Varnafinde!

And just to add, yes if I recall correctly the name Galadriel was specifically said to be an epesse [in The Shibboleth of Feanor I think], although I must argue a bit with Tolkien [gasp] as to when Celeborn gave this name to her...

... since I'll have no 'revised' Telporno -- that is, no Celeborn of Aman from draft text or letters compared to author published work in which Celeborn is Sindarin -- in my internal Middle-earth, he cannot have given her a nickname early on in Aman, and probably not in Telerin form either, but more directly in the Sindarin of Doriath.

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Hamfast Gamgee
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I'm not convinced that every Elf had a separate name, though.
From: Bagshot Row, Hobbiton, The Shire! | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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