Tolkein Geekdom II - The meaning of -wë

A lot of the male Valar and Eldar in the Silmarillion have names with the suffix -wë.

See, for example, Manwë, Olwë, Elwë, Finwë, and Ingwë. But, the appendix doesn’t say what that suffix means. Does anyone have any idea?

I believe it’s just a suffix to turn adjectival roots into proper names. I could be wrong, though.

Except the roots in some of these cases are nouns, not adjectives:

“man” - good, blessed, unmarred

“fin” - hair

“el” - star.

Can’t find “ol” or “ing”, so don’t know if that’s the case with them.

According to the [url=“”]Ardalambion[\url] it means person, or being.

Qadgop, I bow to your vastly superior geekdom! Thanks!

Lessee now. According to that source, there are clear meanings to some of the names:

However, for two of them, there’s a bit of difficulty:

So - “Hairy being”? hmmm. and what about the great clan of “Fin-” elves: Fingolfin, Finarfin, Finrod, and so on? The “Hairy Noldor”? hmmm. Some obscurity here.

And Olwë, they just gave up on:

(and curiously, I see on preview that when I bold ë it turns into ë? hmmm again.)

Ardalambion is a great site, Northern Piper. Here’s a functioning link to it.


Just one question - how do you pronounce the vowel in the ë?

For example, is Aulë pronounced as:

OW’ lee


OW’ leh


OW’ lay

or even just

OW’ luh