A long, narrow defile that ran down out of Dorthonion, cutting southwest between the impassable mountains of the Crissaegrim and Ered Gorgoroth. Towards its southern end, where it opened into the land of Dimbar, were the springs of the River Mindeb.
In the later years of the First Age, Dorthonion fell under Morgoth's control, and with it the Pass of Anach. His Orcs began to use it as a way down from the highlands (now renamed Taur-nu-Fuin), building a road down through the valley, and using it to reach and harass the lands beyond. Ultimately they succeeded in conquering not only Dimbar, but also the regions to the east that ran along the borders of Doriath.
The initial an- in this name is possibly 'long', but -ach is less clear. It is perhaps connected to achad, 'neck', but in a geographical sense that word usually meant a ridge rather than a pass or valley. Another possibility is the old word acha, which would make Anach the 'long waterfall'. That alternative certainly fits the geography, but the word acha is not attested in any but Tolkien's earliest writings.
A quite different interpretation might connect the name with the Elvish root ának-, meaning 'bite', which doesn't at first sight seem directly relevant, but might conceivably have been used to describe a valley cut out of the surrounding mountainous lands.
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