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In the Etymologies, Tolkien derived Qenya Sauron from the Qenya word saura ("foul, evil-smelling, putrid") (root THUS).[1]

The same idea appears in a manuscript from the 1950s, where Sauron is said to derive from Quenya saura ("foul, vile"; from root SAWA). The manuscript continues saying that the name "could be a genuine Sindarin formation from saur; but is probably from Quenya).

However, Tolkien appears to have rejected this idea, adding the comment "No. THAW-, cruel. Saura, cruel" in the manuscript.[2] This points to the version provided by Tolkien in a draft letter, where Sauron is similarly derived from the root THAW ("detestable").[3]

In the published the Silmarillion, Christopher Tolkien links Sauron to Gorthaur from the word thaur ("abominable, abhorrent"). He suggests that Sauron thus derives from Thauron.[4] As the name Thauron appears to not be found in any other publsihed writings by J.R.R. Tolkien, it is unknown if Thauron is suggested (invented) as an intermittent form by Christoper, or if he had access to unpublished manuscripts when compiling the Appendix on "Elements in Quenya and Sindarin names".

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  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, Part Three: "The Etymologies", p. 393 (entry THUS-)
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), pp. 183-4
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 297, (dated August 1967), p. 380
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names"