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809Re: [Lambengolmor] The _Born_ Identity

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  • Rich Alderson
    Aug 6 4:27 PM
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      Patrick H. Wynne wrote:

      > Tolkien appears to have had considerable fun with "historical
      > punning" in the derivatives of PURU-, which also include
      > _pur (n)_ 'a fire (an artificial fire)' (cp. Grk. _pyr_ 'fire'
      > and Eng. _pyre_ 'a heap of combustible material, esp. one
      > for burning a corpse') and _pus (pust-)_ 'boil' (cf. Latin/Eng.
      > _pus_ 'pus').

      I just want to point out that English _pyre_ is not a cognate of
      Greek _pur_ but a borrowing of same. The actual English cognate
      is, of course, _fire_!

      Rich Alderson

      [Good point. Tolkien's historical puns from the "Lost Tales"
      period often hinge on similarities of later forms rather than
      coincidence of etymologies. An excellent example cited by
      Christopher Tolkien in his appendix "Names in the _Lost
      Tales_ -- Part I" is Q. _n�nu_ 'yellow water-lily' and _n�nuvar_
      'pool of lilies', with which he compares Eng. _nenuphar_
      'water-lily', Fr. _n�nufar_ (I:248). The Qenya forms appear
      in QL as derivatives of NENE 'flow', but the etymology of
      Eng. _nenuphar_ is totally different -- it traces back to
      Sanskrit _n�l�tpala_ 'blue lotus', < _n�l_ 'blue' + _utpala_
      'lotus, water-lily'.

      Similarly, Latin _pus_, _puris_ 'corrupt matter' (< IE *_p�-_,
      *_pu-_ 'to rot, decay') has no actual etymological connection
      with Grk. _pyr_ 'fire' (< IE *_pew�r_, *_p�r-_), though the
      similar Qenya forms _pus_ 'boil' and _pur_ 'a fire' both
      derive from the same root PURU- 'consume by fire'. --PHW]
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