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Old 08-05-2020, 01:31 PM   #1
Huinesoron
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Father-names among the Noldor

Noldor men are really terrible at naming their children.

I've known aspects of this for a while: Finwe, famously, named all three of his sons Finwe, and then differentiated them later (into Skilled, Wise, and Noble Finwe - Curufinwe, Nolofinwe, and Arafinwe). And of course, equally famously, Finwe - sorry, I mean Curufinwe - sorry, Feanor - named all seven of his sons... Finwe. I don't think Tolkien explicitly stated that he added individual parts later, but he did say that Curufin has his dad's full name because he was Feanor's favourite, which seems hard to square with him getting it at birth.

Okay, fine. I assumed this was just a quirk of the Finwe-Feanor relationship. After all, Curufin named his own son 'Telperinquar', which has nothing at all to do with his own name!

... haha. Nope. Check out the full family tree:

-FINWE had three sons - Finwe, Finwe, and Finwe. He also had two daughters, one of whom he named Findis, because she was the daughter of Finwe and Indis. (Írimë/Írien seems to have gotten away unscathed.)

--(Curu)Finwe named all seven of his sons Finwe. We know this one.

--(Nolo)Finwe (aka Fingolfin) had three sons, whose names are listed as Findekáno, Turukáno, and Arakáno. 'Kano' means 'commander', so yes, he called all his sons 'chief'. As in 'hey there, chief, how was school today?'. (His daughter... well, 'Aredhel' means 'noble elf', which is a pretty awful name, but he may have named her Írissë.)

--(Ara)Finwe (aka Finarfin) had four or five kids, depending on where you count Orodreth. Their names? Findaráto, Angaráto, Ambaráto, Artaresto (or Artaher), and Artanis (no escape for Galadriel here!). And yes, that's the same -ara- element in all the names - it means 'lofty' or 'exalted'. 'Arato' means 'champion'. If we treat Orodreth (Artaresto) as Angrod's son, then all three of Finarfin's sons were named... 'champ'.

---Artaresto, according to Tolkien's preferred family tree, doubled down on the theme. His own son (aka Gil-Galad) was called Artanáro. (Finduilas seems to have done okay, though her name might mean 'shiny hair' and be essentially a mirror of Galadriel's nickname).

And that takes us through the entire House of Finwe... what's that? There's more? Oh, yes, of course there are:

---Finwe and Finwe - sorry, that's Third-Finwe and Loud-Finwe, or Maedhros and Maglor to you - found a couple of kids in a cave. "Hey, look," they said, "elves! Let's call them Elrond and Elros!" (Sure, that might be 'star'; that's not any better.)

----Elrond had two sons (by Celebrian, who was a Finwe by blood, and indeed has a name made from bits of her parents names). "Hey, look," he said, "elves! Let's call them Elladan and Elrohir!" Presumably at this point Celebrian rolled her eyes, but didn't bother to say anything, because men just suck at names. Nor did she say anything when he named her daughter 'noble lady'.

I wonder if this is why Noldorin mothers insisted on giving their own names to their kids - because they knew that men had a huge cultural blindspot which led them to either give them all the same name, or name them something daft like 'pretty'.

... oh, and in case you think this is just House Finwe being daft - go check out Guilin. We don't know his sons' original names, but Gelmir and Gwindor certainly have a conspicuous first letter in common with dear ol' dad.

(And Edrahil of Nargothrond was also named Enedrion, which means 'son of Enedir'... yes, that could well be the same element!)

All of which means that I have to conclude the most creative Noldorin man was... Curufin, who gave his son an actually original name.

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Old 08-05-2020, 02:58 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Huinesoron View Post
--(Ara)Finwe (aka Finarfin) . . .
I assume you mean Finwe Arafinwe (aka Finrod) here.

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had four or five kids, depending on where you count Orodreth.
Well (not that you said otherwise) but going by Tolkien's latest know design, Artaher was moved down, so four in my opinion.

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Their names? Findaráto . . .
Ingalaure rather (aka Inglor Felagund). Indis preferred the Telerin-in-form Mother-name Findaráto for Arafinwe, Findaráto Sindarized in Middle-earth as Finrod, even though he stayed in Aman.


:cough:


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---Finwe and Finwe - sorry, that's Third-Finwe and Loud-Finwe, or Maedhros and Maglor to you - found a couple of kids in a cave. "Hey, look," they said, "elves! Let's call them Elrond and Elros!" (Sure, that might be 'star'; that's not any better.)
I think this story is outdated, though the names remain to protect the innocent

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Old 08-05-2020, 05:42 PM   #3
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So I have a question:

If a woodchuck can chuck wood, how many Finwes can a Finwe Finwe?


I am also imagining this scenario, which probably confirms exactly why Noldorin mothers named their kids separately:

Nerdanel: - Finwe!
*Voices from next door*:
- Mom?
- Mom?
- Mom?
- Mom?
- Mom?
- Mom?
- Mom?
- Honey?
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Old 08-05-2020, 09:35 PM   #4
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( . . . ) Feanor - named all seven of his sons... Finwe. I don't think Tolkien explicitly stated that he added individual parts later, but he did say that Curufin has his dad's full name because he was Feanor's favourite, which seems hard to square with him getting it at birth.
It's also noted that Feanor begged Nerdanel that the Mother-names of his last two sons -- Ambarussa - should be different.

Another reason Curufin received the name Curufinwe is that he resembled his father very much in face. This is reflected in his Mother-name Atarinke "Little father -- referring to his physical likeness to Feanor, later found also to be seen in his mind."

The Note on Mother-names (The Shibboleth of Feanor) begins: "The Eldar in Valinor had as a rule . . ." and states that the Father-name was given at birth, usually "recalling" the father's name by resembling it in sense or form, or "sometimes" it was simply the Father's name, to which some distinguishing prefix in the case of a son might be added later.

So what about Feanor's sons? Another, earlier text about naming (Morgoth's Ring) begins: "This is the manner in which the naming of children was achieved among the Noldor" -- and without going into detail here about the earlier text possibly being superseded -- in my opinion it's also possible that this account is simply more detailed concerning Noldorin customs specifically, where (in any case) it's said . . .

Quote:
Laws and Customs: "soon after birth the child was named. It was the right of the father to devise this first-name, and he it was that announced it to the child's kindred on both sides" [and in the early days of the Eldar]

"( . . . ) it was then still the custom for the father-name of a son to be a modification of the father's name (as Finwe/Curufinwe) or a patronymic (as Finwion "son of Finwe")."

JRRT, Morgoth's Ring
[note: in this text, version B, Finwe named Feanor Finwion, later modified to Curufinwe when his talent was revealed]

Here the Noldor have Father-names, Chosen-names -- meaning the right to name themselves at a given point --
and other names including Mother-names.

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Old 08-05-2020, 11:25 PM   #5
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We're talking about the work of John Ronald Reuel, son of Arthur Reuel, brother of Hilary Arthur Reuel, father of John Francis Reuel, Michael Hilary Reuel and Christopher John Reuel - and, for crying out loud, he even named his daughter Priscilla Mary Anne Reuel! (It carries on in subsequent generations.) What did you expect?
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Old 08-06-2020, 12:13 AM   #6
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LOL!

Plus I think Tolkien was friends with Bjorn Eriksson, son of Erik Bjornsson
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Old 08-06-2020, 02:45 AM   #7
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I assume you mean Finwe Arafinwe (aka Finrod) here.
My understanding is that the initial "Finwe" was added after the fact to emphasise his status as a High King (probably by his sons in Beleriand, as a counter to Fingolfin doing the same thing). Frankly we're lucky the others didn't do the same thing: "Finturgon! Your brother Finfingon has fallen, and you are now High King! After you will come Fingil-galad!" ^_~

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Well (not that you said otherwise) but going by Tolkien's latest know design, Artaher was moved down, so four in my opinion.
Yep, which actually makes more sense, since he's the one who doesn't quite fit the pattern. (Hilariously, it means Angrod half-named his son after his sister Artanis; weirdo.)

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Ingalaure rather (aka Inglor Felagund). Indis preferred the Telerin-in-form Mother-name Findaráto for Arafinwe, Findaráto Sindarized in Middle-earth as Finrod, even though he stayed in Aman.
-_-

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I think this story is outdated, though the names remain to protect the innocent
I think Tolkien threw up his hands in despair at these two, didn't he? But the idea that Maglor named them still stands, I think, which means "Hey look, elves!" is canon.

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It's also noted that Feanor begged Nerdanel that the Mother-names of his last two sons -- Ambarussa - should be different.
I can only imagine she reacted by just staring at him for over a minute, and then:

"Seriously???"

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We're talking about the work of John Ronald Reuel, son of Arthur Reuel, brother of Hilary Arthur Reuel, father of John Francis Reuel, Michael Hilary Reuel and Christopher John Reuel - and, for crying out loud, he even named his daughter Priscilla Mary Anne Reuel! (It carries on in subsequent generations.) What did you expect?
In fairness, they really liked Mr Reuel. ^_^ But yes - the idea of inherited family names doesn't sound so strange from that perspective.

I guess we're lucky Elves didn't have a high childhood mortality rate, or else we'd doubtless have seen the other pre-modern practice of slapping the names of your dead kids onto the living ones. It makes family trees a lively affair, let me tell you.

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Old 08-06-2020, 09:25 AM   #8
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My understanding is that the initial "Finwe" was added after the fact to emphasise his status as a High King (probably by his sons in Beleriand, as a counter to Fingolfin doing the same thing).
I chose "Finwe Arafinwe (aka Finrod)" as the Sindarization doesn't match. It matches the Mother-name Findaráto. In other words, both these parts were tongue-in-cheek, using the Inglor Felagund scenario.


But my point with Feanor and Nerdanel was more serious. Deadly serious


And it's that if we use Of Naming among the Noldor from Laws and Customs (Morgoth's Ring), as I read it so far anyway, all of Feanor's sons can be distinguished early by their Father-names, and this could explain why he begged Nerdanel not to give his last two sons the same name . . .

. . . that is, Curufinwe did not name his sons Finwe soon after birth, but Nelyafinwe and so on, with Curufinwe (for Curufin) explained as above.

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Old 08-06-2020, 12:02 PM   #9
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Could be worse- could have named every damn one of them Ptolemy, and all the girls Cleopatra.
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Old 08-06-2020, 05:32 PM   #10
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( . . . ) I think Tolkien threw up his hands in despair at these two, didn't he? But the idea that Maglor named them still stands, I think, which means "Hey look, elves!" is canon.

According to late texts though, the names Elros and Elrond were formed to recall the name of Elwing (Shibboleth)


Or (The Problem of Ros) Elwing named Elrond and Elros -- Elwing giving the former name to her son in memory of "the great Hall of the Throne of Elwe in the midst of his stronghold of Menegroth that was called the Menelrond . . . "


In the earlier tale (1958, letter 211) Elrond was related to a primitive Elvish word for "cavern", with Elrond being found "within the cave" . . . in other words, a new meaning appears with the new, later story -- noting letter 345, 1972: Elrond "The Vault of Stars"

To The Problem of Ros again: "Now Elrond was a word for the firmament, the starry dome as it appeared like a roof to Arda, and it was given by Elwing in memory of the great Hall of the Throne of Elwe . . .
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Old 08-06-2020, 08:08 PM   #11
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According to late texts though, the names Elros and Elrond were formed to recall the name of Elwing (Shibboleth)


Or (The Problem of Ros) Elwing named Elrond and Elros -- Elwing giving the former name to her son in memory of "the great Hall of the Throne of Elwe in the midst of his stronghold of Menegroth that was called the Menelrond . . . "


In the earlier tale (1958, letter 211) Elrond was related to a primitive Elvish word for "cavern", with Elrond being found "within the cave" . . . in other words, a new meaning appears with the new, later story -- noting letter 345, 1972: Elrond "The Vault of Stars"

To The Problem of Ros again: "Now Elrond was a word for the firmament, the starry dome as it appeared like a roof to Arda, and it was given by Elwing in memory of the great Hall of the Throne of Elwe . . .
-rond meant "vault, vaulted space, dome" or the like from very early. Whether Elrond referred to a vaulted vave or the vault of the firmament, the root remained the same. Cf. Hadhodrond, Nargothrond. Related is Nogrod.
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Old 08-06-2020, 10:21 PM   #12
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-rond meant "vault, vaulted space, dome" or the like from very early. Whether Elrond referred to a vaulted vave or the vault of the firmament, the root remained the same. Cf. Hadhodrond, Nargothrond. Related is Nogrod.
Yes the letter I looked up reads:

Quote:
Elrond Elros *rondo was a primitive Elvish word for cavern. Cf. Nargothrond (fortified cavern by the R. Narog) Aglarond, etc.
And Tolkien goes on to say here that Elrond was found in a cave, with Elros found dabbling in the water -- in a cave with a fall of water over the entrance -- with -ros meaning "dew, spray (of fall or fountain".

The explanation intended at this point in time appears to relate to a "simple" cave. In the Etymologies scenario, the root ROD- "cave" produced Quenya and Noldorin words that had to do with "cave" or "hollow, cavernous" -- but in Ilkorin, a word "rond = domed roof. hence Elrond "vault of heaven"


Despite that -rond is generally more versatile, I mean that the meaning -- or perhaps better, Tolkien's gloss of the name for this specific character, changed, to go along with Elwing's naming. Or let's say, his focus shifted: despite the semantic relationship that hails back to a root, a natural cave is different from the dome of the firmament.

The Elwing scenario actually does "double-duty" in a sense, since the vault of heaven was reproduced in a cave in Elwe's halls.

Anyway, main point: Elwing named them

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Old 08-06-2020, 11:09 PM   #13
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Indis preferred the Telerin-in-form Mother-name Findaráto for Arafinwe, Findaráto Sindarized in Middle-earth as Finrod, even though he stayed in Aman.
I don't think so. According to the Shibboleth, it was Finrod's [i.e. Felagund's] and Angrod's mother, Eärwen of Alqualonde, Finarfin's wife, who named them Findaráto, Angaráto in her native tongue (vs Quenya Artafindë, Artanga). Indis was a Vanya, why would she use Telerin forms?
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Old 08-07-2020, 09:16 AM   #14
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I don't think so. According to the Shibboleth, it was Finrod's [i.e. Felagund's] and Angrod's mother, Eärwen of Alqualonde, Finarfin's wife, who named them Findaráto, Angaráto in her native tongue (vs Quenya Artafindë, Artanga). Indis was a Vanya, why would she use Telerin forms?
Because she preferred the sound of Findaráto.

See HOME XV, or my post in the thread above, where this happened

"I chose "Finwe Arafinwe (aka Finrod)" as the Sindarization doesn't match. It matches the Mother-name Findaráto. In other words, both these parts were tongue-in-cheek, using the Inglor Felagund scenario."

Sorry to leady astray!
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Old 08-07-2020, 10:36 AM   #15
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Yeah sorry, I'd overlooked your 'tongue in cheek' comment to Hui above. But I still think Findaráto as a Mother-name for Arafinwë is untenable. On the other hand I could imagine Eärwen calling her hubby thus, and their children using the Sindarized form when talking to grand-uncle Thingol and his people.


By the way, if Felagund was renamed Inglor, what does that mean for Gildor Inglorion? Was he literally Felagund's son? I rather liked the bit about Felagund not marrying because he foresaw his oath to Barahir and its fatal consequence (also Amarië).


That's the thing about Tolkien - you can't change a name without changing the story.
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Old 08-07-2020, 10:48 AM   #16
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Felagund was Inglor Felagund according to the first edition -- well not exactly, as the name Inglor itself didn't appear there for him -- but first edition: Finrod was the father of Galadriel and Felagund < named Inglor Felagund in the Silmarillion. You probably know this . . .

. . . but anyway, above I was just playing with giving Finwe's son (Arafinwe) a Father-name with Finwe, who stayed in Aman, and yet keep a Sindarized "Finrod" (House of Finrod) in Middle-earth . . .

. . . although Tolkien would be less constrained than I am, if he had desired to keep the first edition idea and work out all the names.

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Old 08-07-2020, 02:05 PM   #17
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Actually Tolkien himself could be remarkably uninspired in his naming of minor characters - cf. Gamling and Ioreth, whose names literally mean Old Guy and Old Woman in Norse and Sindarin, respectively.
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Old 08-07-2020, 02:39 PM   #18
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I smiled when I found that out (Gamling, Ioreth). Point of view, I guess. Also I like Tolkien's Noldorin/Eldarin naming customs, and don't find that it makes Noldorin fathers "terrible" at naming . . . although I'm not sure Huinesoron wrote that without a smile.


An idea I often run into online is that Elves don't repeat names! It's far more complicated than that, and in general . . . they do! It's interesting too, that while Feanor's last two sons called each other Ambarussa, others called them Minyarussa and Atyarussa.

This is (in my opinion) good stuff folks!
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Old 08-10-2020, 10:56 AM   #19
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We could have a scenario similar to this: "( . . . ) it was then still the custom for the father-name of a son to be a modification of the father's name (as Finwe/Curufinwe) or a patronymic (as Finwion "son of Finwe")." So Curufinwe wants his son's names to have Finwe in it.

Nelyafinwe -- straightforward enough "Third Finwe" . . . but note too, that every Father-name has a short form to go with it:

Nelyo,
Cáno,
Turco,
Curvo

and so on . . .

. . . and did Cáno (Maglor) have a "strong voice" as a baby? Or did Turco have a powerful grip? It's noted that Moryo was black-haired as his grandfather. In other words, even without the help of foresight, to me, these names seem quite possible as being based on observable things from birth.

Not that all names need be, of course. I can imagine some fathers liking a name "strong in body" for a son, whether the son turns out to be notably strong in body, or not.

Or a daughter!

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Old 08-10-2020, 11:42 AM   #20
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Not that all names need be, of course. I can imagine some fathers liking a name "strong in body" for a son, whether the son turns out to be notably strong in body, or not.
One then wonders who named Beleg, and when. Aspiration? Big, strong newborn? Mother-name? Or just an epesse?
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Old 08-10-2020, 12:16 PM   #21
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I smiled when I found that out (Gamling, Ioreth). Point of view, I guess. Also I like Tolkien's Noldorin/Eldarin naming customs, and don't find that it makes Noldorin fathers "terrible" at naming . . . although I'm not sure Huinesoron wrote that without a smile.
I'm always smiling.

The quote someone found about names containing the father's name rather kills my idea, which is that the evidence suggests they literally all named their kids the same thing over and over. Of course, it's always possible House Feanor rewrote the histories at some point... yeah, I'm going with that.

(It was Elrond and Elros. They were so embarassed by Adoptive Dads' story that they made sure none of the Numenorean or Rivendell...ian records admitted to it. And where were our source texts translated from...?)

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