§ Ilverin (RS:180,187)
§ Neldorín, Elberin, Diarin (RS:187)
The first name appears instead of Dairon in a poem about Beren and Lúthien entitled Light as Leaf on Lindentree, the others are added in pencil on the margin.
Ilverin already occurs in the Book of the Lost Tales, where he is an elf from the ’Cottage of Lost Play’. In English he is called ’Littleheart’. The first form written was Elwenildo, apparently containing Elwen (n) ’heart’ (QL:35,52) from LEFE, whence also Q. lepsa ’liver’. Some Gnomish forms are also given: Ilfing, Ilfin, Ilfiniol ’little one, little heart’ with ilf ’heart’ (GL:50) and #-ing, #-in, #-iniol being diminutive suffixes (the last two appear to be adjectival, however).
Since nothing similar to these early elements appears in later sources (Q. lepse means ’finger’ (LEP-, LEPET-)), we might assume that Tolkien liked the sound of this name and took it over, intending to reinterpret its meaning.
Neldorín may be clearly referred to Dor. neldor ’beech’ (NEL-, NÉL-ED-). The suffix -ín may have agentive sense (cf. Duil Rewinion, Melin below (2.43, 1.19)), but curiously there is a long vowel (which might also be a misreading). Alternatively -in may be an adjectival ending, compare for instance Dor. ngorthin ’horrible’ (ÑGOROTH). Finally, it could also be the Doriathrin cognate of N. ind, inn ’inner thought meaning, heart’ (ID-); thus either *’one of the beech tree’ or *’beech-heart’. Elberin could be the masculine counterpart to Elberil above (1.1), i.e. containing Dor. el ’star’ (EL-) and #berin *’lord’ (BAR- + agentive #-in). But #berin could also be the adjective ’bold’ cognate to N. beren (BER-) or even lenited perin *’half, divided in middle’ (PER-), if such a sound change occurred in Doriathrin. In this last case, one would have to interpret the name as *’half-elf’ (cf. the remarks on the confusion between ’elf’ and ’star’ in WJ:378), but there is no hint that Dairon or Daeron was conceived to be a half-elf in the legendarium. Compare also the Doriathrin name El-boron (BOR-), later removed.
Diarin looks similar to Dor. Dior ’successor’ (name of Thingol) which is derived from ndeu̯ro < NDEW- ’follow, come behind’. Assuming that Diarin is derived from the same stem, the change -eu̯- > -ia- rather than -eu-̯ > -io- is difficult to explain, however (unless it is a misreading). The ending #-rin could be now a variant of -in, just as we see e.g. nathron ’weaver, webster’ (NAT-) beside #faron ’hunter’ (SPAR-). But also the meaning *’following heart’ would suit Dairon’s role in the legend, so perhaps #diar might be an adjective from NDEW- or itself mean *’follower’?