Dictionary.com

Where Does the Word Hobbit Come From?

hobbit, Tolkien

J.R.R. Tolkien was born on January 3, 1892. In honor of the author’s beloved Lord of the Rings series of books, we pay tribute to his fantastic creation, the hobbit. Hobbits are similar to humans, but they are short and have hairy feet. Bilbo Baggins, Samwise Gamgee, and Frodo Baggins are the most-well known hobbit examples. In J.R.R. Tolkien’s fiction, they’re

 the peaceful folk who reside in Middle Earth.

(On a side note, if you’ve ever wanted to know what the “J.R.R.” in Tolkien’s name stands for, here’s the answer.)

As you may have guessed, hobbits are a fictional race born in Tolkien’s imagination. He even created an etymology for the word; hobbit derives from the word Holbytla, which means “hole-dweller” in Old English. Tolkien invented three groups of hobbits. The Harfoots were the smallest of all the hobbits and also the first to enter Eriador, a large region of Middle Earth. The Fallohides are the least numerous of the Hobbits and tall and fair. The Stoors were the last to enter Eriador. They stand out as being the only hobbits that are willing to swim.

Now here’s the fascinating and slightly spooky detail. There are no references to hobbits before Tolkien’s publication, except for one. In 1895, the folklorist Michael Aislabie Denham published a long list of supernatural creatures. Here’s an excerpt: “. . . nixies, Jinny-burnt-tails, dudmen, hell-hounds, dopple-gangers, boggleboes, bogies, redmen, portunes, grants, hobbits . . .”

While Tolkien was a masterful adapter of mythology and folklore, there isn’t the slightest suggestion that he was aware of this list. Synchronicity, coincidence, or serendipity? Tolkien’s interest in language predates his career as a professional writer. After World War I, the Oxford English Dictionary was Tolkien’s first employer. His job at the dictionary involved working on the history and etymology of Germanic words that begin with “W.”

Tell us about your favorite hobbit, or a Lord of the Rings word you’d like us to explore, below.

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216 Comments

  1. Matt Darby -  July 21, 2014 - 10:10 am

    There is a welsh word Hobet wich is a unit of measure for grain. Trains for carting away the grain from sarehole mill may have been labeled in welsh, and this may have gotten lodged in tolkiens boyhood subconscious mind in the years before he was paying attention to welsh. just a theory.

    Reply
  2. Cody Hornbuckle -  January 19, 2014 - 8:17 am

    I am a hobbit and I find this article offensive.

    Reply
  3. An Awesome Minecrafter With Several Awesome Minecrafting Friends -  January 6, 2014 - 1:55 am

    Pippin, Frodo, and Sam are my favorite hobbits, but Legolas and Gandalf are my favorite LOTR characters. Not to mention Shadowfax, Gandalf’s horse; and Snowfire, Frodo’s horse.

    My horses in Minecraft:
    Windrunner – very fast brown-and-white pinto from a wild herd
    Snowfire – strong white horse from a wild herd
    Shadowfax – beautiful dappled gray horse with black mane & tail
    Shadowfire – dappled gray-and-white pinto; colt of Snowfire and Shadowfax

    @wolf tamer and tree puncher:
    You breed horses by right-clicking on 2 horses in a row with a golden apple in your hand.

    Reply
  4. Rosemary -  December 19, 2013 - 4:18 pm

    I’ve always liked Bilbo the best. I grew up watching that ancient cartoon version of The Hobbit, and I prefer it to Lord Of The Rings. However, I do love the bit in The Fellowship Of The Ring when Bilbo says, “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”. And all his guests just sit there and try to work out whether or not it’s an insult or a compliment or both.

    Reply
  5. wolf tamer and tree puncher -  December 17, 2013 - 5:11 am

    And, of course, Fatty Bolger. Frodo & Co. could never have escaped from the Shire without him.

    I want to know more about the Barrow-wights.

    @Katie:
    Frodo was not whiney. He was carrying the Ring for goodness’ sake! Give just one example of Frodo being “whiney.”

    Does anyone here play WolfQuest?

    Reply
  6. wolf tamer and tree puncher -  December 16, 2013 - 4:09 am

    Samwise Gamgee is my favorite hobbit! Frodo would be dead without him. Of course I like Frodo too; he’s the only one who could finish the Quest and he *was* brave. Don’t you think that if you were carrying the Ring, you’d get a little “annoying” too? And I like Pippin, too. He’s great.

    @Matthew:
    Aragorn/Strider/all his other names I keep confusing with other people isn’t a hobbit.

    @Dragonfly:
    What the Minecraft does that mean? (I made that expression up, thank you very much.)

    @Apurwa:
    I agree. But he’s a hobbit, not a human. :)

    @Dewey18:
    Sméagol was one of the River Folk (a type of hobbit, I think), but he became…something else when he got hold of the Ring. You couldn’t really call him a hobbit anymore. He’s the one and only Gollum.

    @Lala72:
    Ha ha. :)

    @Mermaid:
    He was actually a hobbit before he was corrupted by The Ring.

    @just so you know:
    Just so you know, you’re wrong. Obviously you’re one of those shallow people who go “Oh look – two friends who are the same gender! They must be gay!” Ugh! It’s stupid.

    @FrodoFan:
    It’s saying a lot too much! :)

    @ha:
    Ha. ;)

    @All you people who keep comparing Harry Potter to LOTR:
    *Of course* there are similarities! Basically *all* mythological books have similarities. Although, yeah, the horcruxes (by the way, how do you say “horcrux”?) and the Ring are awfully similar…but J.K. Rowling must have gotten some good ideas from Tolkien and wanted to use them in her writing.

    BTW, does anybody know how to breed horses in Minecraft? (If I get a black one, I’ll call it Shadowfax [of course]. ;) )

    Reply
  7. james holk -  October 5, 2011 - 3:08 pm

    he is great!

    Reply
  8. Anonymous -  January 28, 2011 - 1:44 pm

    Oh, and @Kinar Ohanian:
    All right, all right, sorry if I was a dunderhead and essentially called you an idiot! But still, I stand by my original objection about Sam being a “loyal coward”. I looked it up, and the definition of “coward” is: “lacking courage; very fearful or timid.” He did NOT lack courage; he was afraid: he felt fear. Feeling fear does not make one a coward. They were not all cowards.
    And for your information, I also have read the book five times, soon to be six, but I haven’t watched the movies much because, though they were great as movies go, they just can’t compare with the book. They didn’t portray Treebeard/Fangorn right at all, and with the whole thing about him needing Merry to PERSUADE him to go to Isengard, or the Ents not knowing about the trees being felled. That and the complete change of the character of Faramir in The Two Towers are my two problems with the movies. Other than that, they were pretty accurate!
    So, I didn’t have the right to say you didn’t read the book; it just sounded like you didn’t. My apologies, it was harsh.
    Yeah, I don’t think that last sentence was appropriate.

    Reply
  9. Anonymous -  January 28, 2011 - 1:05 pm

    Sorry for the numerous posts, but:

    @Meridol:
    1. Exactly! He’s not a very likable character that often, but he does play an important role in the book. (By the way, he might have been a Stoor originally. I found that out in the foreword of The Fellowship of the Ring.)
    2. YES! I completely agree with you! He is my favorite (dare I apply that overused term?) author, and I am NOT exaggerating.
    3. I also agree with you about the Ring/Horcrux copying. I hadn’t realized the similarities between Gandalf and Dumbledore’s deaths! However, I do NOT agree with Harry Potter or JK Rowling’s repeated “the ends justify the means” theory throughout her series. I don’t mean to offend you, but being a Christian, the entire series is not to my taste. For instance, there is no reason, really, for their having magic powers; however, that’s just my opinion. Again, I don’t mean to offend!

    Reply
  10. Anonymous -  January 28, 2011 - 12:43 pm

    @Kinar Ohanian:
    I agree with what you said to @garret203.
    To @garret203:
    Tolkien was born in 1892, for heaven’s sake. JK Rowling was born in 1965. Doesn’t make sense! And anyway, how is there ANY resemblance between The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter?? OK, so they both have wizards, but they are COMPLETELY different. In LOTR, wizards were essentially angels on earth in human form; their power was given to them for a reason by Iluvatar, the God-figure of that world. In HP, wizards and witches had magical power for no apparent reason: they just…had it, and, to my mind, it seemed like anybody who didn’t have power was stupid and clumsy. JK Rowling had a lot of inspiration FROM Tolkien, not vise versa. I’d say someone’s forgetting his history.

    In any case, I think all of us Tolkien-fans would greatly appreciate it if you would refrain from saying that one of the most well-known and beloved authors known to men “sucks”.

    Reply
  11. Anonymous -  January 27, 2011 - 12:34 pm

    I agree, @Kitti. He didn’t have enough…nobility in the movies; he had the scared/tired look down jot, but beyond that, there really isn’t the right Frodo-wisdom.

    Reply
  12. Kitti -  January 20, 2011 - 6:08 am

    I… did not like Elijah Wood in those movies. All he really did in the way of acting was clutch at his chest, looking pained. It would’ve taken a much more talented actor (or director, or even screenwriter, if one wants to give Elijah Wood the benefit of the doubt) to portray a character with as much complexity and subtlety as Frodo.

    Reply
  13. in light of HOBBITS :D -  January 16, 2011 - 10:06 pm

    “PIPPIN FTW! (for his cute innocent mischievous behavior :)
    I also like Merry. brandybuck<3
    Sam is cool too. I like his cheerful nature and his love for taters(:
    [AND his extreme loyalty to sam!!]
    Bilbo is splendid, what a fine chap! Funny too ;) wise old fart.
    And Frodo is alright." yeeg… But elijah wood is hot ;D

    Reply
  14. Kitti -  January 12, 2011 - 11:02 pm

    HEE. :D

    Reply
  15. smoothius -  January 12, 2011 - 12:50 pm

    and he lived happily ever after, till the end of his days:)

    Reply
  16. Kitti -  January 12, 2011 - 4:28 am

    Ahhhh, how I love the smell of overly emotional fandom squabbles in the morning. [/snark]

    Reply
  17. Grenvar -  January 11, 2011 - 8:01 pm

    i think the man is the coolest hobbit ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  18. Kinar Ohanian -  January 7, 2011 - 10:05 pm

    @Anonymous
    Okay first of all, coward doesn’t always mean stupid and scared. It meant he was afraid of the journey but stayed loyal to Frodo and went with him which was brave. They were all cowards actually. And by the way, I did read the books. 5 times each. And I’ve seen the movies over ten times each. Clearly you’re not smart enough to understand anything that I said so don’t trash me. Maybe before you start accusing me of anything, understand what I said. You don’t know me or what I’ve read or seen, so you don’t have a right to go saying I “didn’t read the book”. I know everything that Sam has done so hop off my nuts.

    Reply
  19. Anonymous -  January 7, 2011 - 6:29 am

    OK, right about now I am SERIOUSLY feeling sorry for Frodo. Why is everyone harping on about how “whiny” and “annoying” he is? You’d think he’d get more than criticism for saving Middlearth as they knew it. I ask you, have any of you even read the book?? He was the one who left the Company on the shores of the Anduin *because he didn’t want to lead his friends to certain death*. You *apparently* can’t understand the magnitude of the burden that was laid upon him—or rather that he took upon himself. If ANYONE had an excuse to complain, it was him. But he didn’t complain. He knew he had to complete the Quest, and it took his every ounce of strength and more. He was the only one who could bear the burden—but it’s only human to need help. Frodo couldn’t have survived without Sam; Man can’t survive without God. Needing help didn’t make Frodo weak.
    @elfin: Thank you! I quite agree. I mean, as movies go, The Lord Of The Rings movies are great; but comparing them to the book, they really aren’t that accurate.
    @Kinar Ohanian: Honestly. Please excuse me as I rant:
    A loyal coward?? SERIOUSLY? He was loyal, as loyal as one can be: but a coward! Where in the name of wonder did you get THAT thought? What part of Samwise Gamgee’s appearance in The Lord Of The Rings *ever* portrayed him as a coward? Please tell me. If he was *afraid*, well, again, it’s only human to be afraid, and it doesn’t mean he was a coward.
    Anyway you can’t *have* a “loyal coward”. It doesn’t make sense. You can’t be loyal and cowardly at the same time. If you’re loyal, you stick by whoever it is. Of you’re cowardly, you *wouldn’t* stick by the person: you would run away.
    Have you even read the book, anyway? Clearly not. Who confronted and defeated (in a way) the tower of Minas Morgul when Frodo was captive? Who *carried* Frodo up the trail on Orodruin? Who followed through to the end, even though it broke his heart to?
    Three guesses.

    Reply
  20. Kinar Ohanian -  January 6, 2011 - 2:17 pm

    I agree because JK Rowling got some of her ideas from Tolkien but not all. Yet I don’t like the fact that she made Dumbledore exactly like Gandalf. That whole scene in Harry Potter where he’s in the hospital wing in bed and Dumbledore is sitting by him. Yeah, Frodo was in a bed in Rivendell and Gandalf was sitting beside them. Well JK Rowling did mention she was inspired by Tolkien. On the wall in Dumbledore’s office (in the movie), one of the pictures of headmasters has a picture of Gandalf.

    Reply
  21. Mermaid -  January 6, 2011 - 11:31 am

    OMG!!! So I just looked back on the article and they TOTALLY changed it. Before it said that, “Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin were like the elvis and lady gaga of hobbits”. And now that line is gone. Dictionary.com totally changed it!!!
    And stop comparing Harry Potter to Lord of the Rings. They are completely different concepts. And if they have similar aspects, then who cares? A TON of fantasy is similar. And JRR Tolkein and JK Rowling are both brilliant, so keep in mind “Great Minds think Alike”. Plus many authors subconsiously (did I spell that right?) insert concepts they’ve absorbed from the world around them to use in their stories.
    And it makes sense that two of the world’s greatest fantasy sagas have similarities.
    And if it appears that this is the second time this comment has been posted, sorry! Just a glitch!!! ;)

    Reply
  22. Amy -  January 6, 2011 - 10:39 am

    I’m pretty sure Theoden was derived from Old English also. “Theod” (or something similar) meaning “people.” Theoden would literally mean “of the people.” I always thought that was cool.

    Reply
  23. guru -  January 6, 2011 - 4:48 am

    real

    Reply
  24. Kinar Ohanian -  January 5, 2011 - 2:17 pm

    garret203:
    That’s just a lie. Tolkien was born way before Rowling. And if you actually appreciated his series, you’d understand.

    Reply
  25. garret203 -  January 5, 2011 - 2:15 pm

    Tolkien just sucks. He totally stole JK Rowling’s story.

    Reply
  26. Kinar Ohanian -  January 5, 2011 - 2:13 pm

    I honestly think no one acknowledges Merry, let alone spell his nickname right. I’ve noticed that everyone has just about answered Samwise as their favorite, but it seems to me as I read the books and watched the movies, Sam is simply a loyal coward. Not that I don’t adore him. I will always love Meriadoc and wish that Tolkien incorporated him more in the trilogy. Peter Jackson chose the perfect role to play him, too. (Dominic Monaghan was the actor.)

    This may have been answered but I’ve been to lazy to read everyone’s answers; how come of all the names Tolkien used in these books, why did he name one of the main characters ‘Sam’?

    Also, I think it’s stupid how everyone is accusing Tolkien of plaugerism (if that’s spelled correctly). Tolkien’s books were created in the 19th century. This “list” is profound…

    Reply
  27. starzndices -  January 5, 2011 - 2:11 pm

    It seems to me (and take that for what you will, it is simply my opinion from reading through the comments, after reading the article) that many people here are jumping to conclusions, and even some heavy emotional responses through misunderstanding.

    Reading through the blog entry, it seemed to me a lighthearted attempt to provide Tolkien fans with some additional information they may not have, perhaps inspire them to learn more, provoke interesting discussion in the comments, provide a way to get answers to questions about the vocabulary of the books, garner interest in the books for those who perhaps have not read them but saw the movies, and possibly, though I admit this is a stretch, pique curiousity in those who have neither read the books or seen the movies.

    The word plagiarism has no place in the comments, it is not used in the blog entry itself and I don’t see it as even being hinted at. In fact, this sentence means that the author is absolutely NOT accusing Tolkien of plagiarism: “While Tolkien was a masterful adapter of mythology and folklore, there isn’t the slightest suggestion that he was aware of this list.” The three words the author uses afterward, asking the reader which they feel best describe the situation, while trying to inspire the reader to perhaps broaden their vocabulary if they do not know the definitions, also back up the notion that accusing Tolkien of plagiarism is the exact opposite of what the author was in fact doing. It was meant to be interesting, fun, and playful. At least, that is my take on it.

    Perhaps the worst, and possibly the only mistake the author made was not using sources to back up the statements made. It is entirely possible, in fact, extremely likely, that the word hobbit was used not just in that list by Michael Aislabie Denham before Tolkien used it, but used elsewhere, if not in print, then at least in verbal language. Otherwise, what would be the basis of that word being IN that list in the first place? I could believe Tolkien created an etymology for the word hobbit, it was after all part of his job at the least when he worked for the Oxford English Dictionary, and an important part of something he obviously enjoyed doing, considering he was a philologist.

    Another good reason that plagiarism has no place here is that, even if Tolkien had read the list, that doesn’t make him a plagiarist. It is simply a word, nobody then or now owns it. So, it really matters little if he had never heard or read the word, if he heard and/or read the word, if he read it off that list, or anything else. It means less than nothing, and is certainly no stain on his character, and it was brought up here only as a point of interest anyway.

    Frankly, whether or not it would make him a plagiarist aside, giving a list of circumstancial “evidence” to suggest he must have read it is ridiculous. The author of the blog is correct, there is no proof he was even aware of it. That it was created in his time, and he reads a lot, that he was a master of language, he was a professor.. blah blah blah.. really? Frickin’ really!? That must mean he read one of these rather obscure-seeming tracts? Whatever. I like Christmas, I like watching movies, I like reading, I like horror.. does that mean I MUST have watched Silent Night, Deadly Night, or that I MUST have read Shivers for Christmas? This is why nobody likes the court of public opinion – because there is too much assumption, too little logic. It’s a hypothesis based on fact, not a foregone conclusion! It is what it is – he may have read the list, he may not have read the list. There is no proof one way or another, and since there is no negative connotation to it either way, who cares?

    The worst that can really be said, based on what I’ve read, is that his family should perhaps not hold to the idea that he created the word hobbit, and should not have rights to it. Then again, if it’s being used to describe a Tolkien type hobbit, rather than the other hobbits the word has slowly dredged up, they just might have a case, because what a hobbit was deemed to be before Tolkien seems to be wildly different.

    I agree with Tolkien himself – it’s possible he read it somewhere in his youth or perhaps in passing and simply forgot about it, but his subconscious held onto it. It’s certainly a commone enough occurence with many people. Based on the evidence at hand, that seems the most likely explaination, and it’s perfectly plausible. From what I’ve read about the man, I find it hard to believe he would lie about it, he seemed a very good, very decent man. I don’t think he had anything to hide regarding the matter, in fact, he seems to have gone to great lengths to help figure out if he invented the word or not, in the interest of the truth rather than some selfish need to have it attributed to him.

    Again, my opinions may be taken, may be left, whatever.

    Silverwing and nate – Bravo! Excellent posts.

    Ian – I agree completely! I would love to know more about the words dunedain/dunadan and Numenorean

    Michael Ford – Silmarillion, another great word!

    I was thinking of those three myself, that’s why I pointed them out. :)

    Based on the blog post, what opinions I’ve expressed here, and certain questions arising in the comments, these may be of interest to some:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._R._R._Tolkien

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%C3%BAnedain

    http://www.reference.com/browse/+Michael+Aislabie+Denham?__utma=1.1912883198.1292798447.1293430177.1294207521.3&__utmb=1.11.9.1294207859659&__utmc=1&__utmx=-&__utmz=1.1292798447.1.1.utmcsr=(direct)|utmccn=(direct)|utmcmd=(none)&__utmv=-&__utmk=9647157

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hobbit?o=100074

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denham_Tracts

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aragorn

    Reply
  28. Fabulousphillip -  January 5, 2011 - 2:07 pm

    anyone who has only seen the lord of the rings movies NEEDS to refrain from commenting, because you don’t really know anything about tolkein, or middle earth and it’s inhabitants you’re going to sound like a freaking idiot. the lord of the rings movies are almost as inaccurate and filled with fluff as the chronicals of narnia movies. the movies cut out the 18 years that passed between bilbo’s leaving the shire and frodo’s escape from the shire, the hobbits’ journy through the old forest & tom bombadil and the entire trip to bree, and various details of every important event. AND THATS JUST IN THE FIRST HALF OF THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING!!!!!!! please, if you’ve only seen the movies, don’t try to look like you know something about tolkei’s stories, because you don’t. read one of tolkein’s works on middle earth: the lord of the rings, the hobbit, the silmarillion, unfinished tales, the book of lost tales parts 1 & 2, the peoples of middle earth, etc. (there are soooo many more)

    Reply
  29. Raven -  January 5, 2011 - 9:21 am

    Pippin of course, hes the best hobbit. Hes smart and funny and he never gets enough credit. Pippin is just as important 2 Frodo as sam is even though he is not seen as much. He riskes his life and causes a little mischief on his adventures.He is sweet and he is my favorite hobbit.

    Reply
  30. Everett -  January 5, 2011 - 8:24 am

    Hannah and Cody:

    I can see how one could infer that goblins and orcs are different “breeds” of the same race. In the Hobbit, Tolkien makes a distinction between “goblins” and “great mountain-orcs;” incidently, the word “orc” only appears once throughout the whole course of The Hobbit. Also, I’m only aware of one mention of “goblin” in LOTR, when Gimli uses the word as they approach Lothlorien.

    Also, in The Return of the King, there are the fighting “Uruks” who are bigger and stronger than the tracking breed of orc shown helping to locate Sam and Frodo.

    However, I’m not sure there’s a hard and fast distinction between goblins and orcs as separate races. I don’t think Tolkien fully understood how all the terminology would change between The Hobbit and LOTR. For instance, the Necromancer becomes Sauron, Fairie becomes Valinor, the Shire takes on a much more distinct shape with all the different Farthings included, and a magic ring becomes the most powerful weapon in Middle Earth.

    In regard to inconsistencies in general, Glorfindel, the elf, dies fighting a Balrog in The Silmarilion but reappears in The Fellowship of the Ring to save Aragorn and the hobbits. Tolkien later claimed that it was a rare case of reincarnation, but he may have just made a mistake or wanted to include a previous character he liked. He was very defensive about any discrpencies.

    I believe that the differences between The Hobbit, LOTR, and The Silmarilion demonstrate an author simply reshaping his craft and fine-tuning some ideas, names, definitions, and connotations.

    Tolkien would probably be gratified by the lively debate over what he wrote and meant. For a creation of so large a scope, Middle Earth is remarkably well-crafted and consistent. However, it’s still the work of one person, who was incidently happy to be influenced by other languages, histories, and cultures. If you read his scholarly essay, “On Fairy-tales,” you get a great idea of how he crafted a mythology from the recovered histories of Old English, Norse, and Finnish cultures. I think the methodical manner in which he synthesizes the mythology is what makes his work truly excellent.

    Reply
  31. Rodney -  January 4, 2011 - 11:02 pm

    I think Frodo and Samwise are my favorites among the hobbits. They are wise and kind and they really seem to be good men. I wonder if there were warrior hobbits, those who are really experienced in weaponry and warfare.

    I`m curious about the origin of the word Urukhai and how to use the elvish language.

    Reply
  32. Estel -  January 4, 2011 - 10:09 pm

    “Elrond had a brother Elros and both were half-elven, having one human and one elven parent.”

    You are correct, except that they weren’t the sons of a human and an elf. Their parents were both half-elven. Of course, as you say, Aragorn had some elvish ancestry, but he was essentially a human. Having one half-elf at the beginning of a long, long line of Men hardly makes one “half elf, half man” as the other commenter claimed.

    Reply
  33. Natalie -  January 4, 2011 - 9:43 pm

    I still think Mary and Pippin were the best in the series, mainly due to the fact that they were extremely quirky.

    Reply
  34. Mithrillium -  January 4, 2011 - 9:15 pm

    Sorry, I’m getting a little carried away, but I also want to say that I highly doubt this information has any real evidence involved. If indeed it does, then I want to say four words: Tolkien.Is.A.Genius. Note the ‘is’. His legend has survived decades over decades over decades because of his profound and highly interesting pieces of work. They’re wound with emotion, love, flame, and the force of a 400 horse-power truck with a train behind it in the story telling. The writing itself is whittled with compassion. I am 13, and have been reading his books since I was ten years old. That just goes to show how his creativity has inspired those of many generations. And… so what? So what, if there is “evidence” of the creation of the hobbit before Tolkien included them in his masterpieces? What about the elves of the Woodland Realm? The dwarves in the deep halls of Moria? Are those to be overlooked? I would think not, personally.

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  35. Mithrillium -  January 4, 2011 - 9:00 pm

    Pippin was my definite favorite: brave, loyal, mischievous, and the epitome of innocent in his youth. Then next comes Sam Wise, for his abounding courage and love for Frodo. Frodo should not be congratulated for his part in depositing the Ring in the realm of Sauron too much… if it weren’t for Gollum, the Ring wouldn’t have gone in the fiery depths anyways, if it weren’t for Sam, he wouldn’t have made it 10 kilometers before he was struck dead. But I must also defend Frodo… he definitely has backbone for admitting that the Ring is corrupting him and that he is surely going to die in the midst of his mighty task. All of this being said, Pip is still my favorite.

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  36. Mike -  January 4, 2011 - 8:54 pm

    To Heather, Aragorn was not half elf half human, he was fully human. To Ian, Aragorn was both; Dunadin and Numenorian. The men of Numenor were the first men to enter Middle Earth, and the second creation, after the elves. They live longer than regular humans. I believe Aragorn was nearly 140 years old in Lord of the rings. The men of Numenor once occupied Gondor, but the line of kings was broken when Isuldur took the One Ring. Aragorn and the descendants of Gondor went north and became the Dunedin.
    God, I can’t believe i actually know that stuff. Awesome Books

    Reply
  37. Raymond -  January 4, 2011 - 8:28 pm

    I once read an English thesis that made the case for the idea that Sam Gamgee was the main charachter of the Lord of the Rings. Interesting idea.

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  38. Cody -  January 4, 2011 - 8:19 pm

    Orcs are a completely different race than Goblins.

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  39. Anonymous Intelligence -  January 4, 2011 - 8:13 pm

    Mythology isn’t something that can be claimed. These tales of creatures such as hobbits, and those of J.K. Rowling’s world, Rick Riordan’s, Holly Black’s, and to say numerous others, were not “plagiarised,” but have been passed down from century to century, through tongue, until someone had of course eventually written them down. So do we give credit to these people that have written them down? After all, it is not their story – not theirs specifically. Mythology is a collection of imagination, creativity, and no one has a claim to it. Therefore, it is absolutely not considered plagiarism if we borrow such characters. As for hobbits, J.R.R. Tolkien’s creatures were adopted from the more familiar family, dwarves. Not much to say there but that we all thrive off eachothers’ ideas, and must be willingly able to share these ideas, because they belong to no one person.

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  40. Will -  January 4, 2011 - 8:12 pm

    I want to know were he got the names Gondor, Mordor, Rohan, Dale, Harad, Rhun, & Eriador

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  41. Lisa C -  January 4, 2011 - 8:07 pm

    This above article seems accurate enough from where I stand. I do recall Tolkien claiming to have invented the Hobbits. Doesn’t it say so in the introduction to LOTR? I know I read it. I was surprised when I read it that he invented them because they seemed like such great little creatures…I thought for sure they were as common and say, gnomes or elves.

    But what’s this deal about plagiarism? Is someone claiming he copied someone else’s work?

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  42. Marc-Andre Renaud -  January 4, 2011 - 7:58 pm

    To anwswer Hannah’s question from Jan. 3rd regarding the origin of Orks (as pertains to Tolkien anyways) here’s a funny anecdote.

    Tolkien, being a scholar, had a pointed dislike for jocks and found them to be quite base and insulting creatures. In honour of their antics one particular team, the “Oxford Rowing Club”, was given the key role in his novels through their inspiration of the acronym for the principal antagonists of the series.

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  43. Brieanne -  January 4, 2011 - 7:57 pm

    Why does everyone forget Frodo Baggins? He wasn’t whiny, he was being taken over by the Ring. You would want to complain, too, if you were forced to carry such evil and pain. Do you know how wounded he was in the end? So terribly pained…. He saved us all, Sam was just support. I go for Frodo. But what is the etymology of Harfoot, Fallofide, and Stoors?

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  44. Molvar -  January 4, 2011 - 7:38 pm

    i like Gandalf he is the coolest one ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  45. Augie -  January 4, 2011 - 7:37 pm

    Shneable was the best character! “My prrreeeciousss!!” Haha the most notice line from this series.

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  46. Kinar Ohanian -  January 4, 2011 - 7:14 pm

    Each hobbit is different and unique in their own way. When people say Merry and Pippin were the same, I completely disagree. When people say it was Sam that got the Ring to Mount Doom, I don’t believe it. When people say Frodo was whiney and pathetic, I beg to differ. We all know every movie is different than the book. In this case, it is. Peter Jackson made Frodo slightly unstrengthened in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. But he had reasoning behind that. Frodo became attatched to the Ring and was weakened by its power. I’m sure none of you could have coped with that around your neck or finger.

    Frodo Baggins is an independent hobbit, though with Samwise Gamgee listening outside his window, Gandalf had no choice but to send him along with Frodo. Yet in the book we see Frodo remember the song that saves the hobbits in the barrow. He gets Tom Bombadil to save them. And standing up in the Council of Elrond and telling a group of strangers that he will take the Ring to Mordor is pretty brave to me.He has times when the Ring corrupts him and causes him to be angry with Sam, or make stupid decisions, but it is not his fault.

    Samwise Gamgee is definitely a caring, loving, and protective hobbit. He knows who is friends are and stays loyal to them all the way to the end of it all. I’m sure if Sam had a choice whether to join Frodo or not, he’d have a 50/50. He was afraid to leave the Shire because he heard stories and poems of the creatures out in the world or Middle-earth. But being Frodo’s close friends and companion, he would be willing to “jump into a dragon’s mouth for Frodo.” I think Sam symbolizes bravery, courage, and loyalty. Loyalty most of all. (He kinda even looks like a golden retriever…)

    Peregrin “Pippin” Took was and adventurous hobbit. Of course, he’s Tookish! The Old Took-as we learned in The Hobbit-was an adventurous hobbit. That’s how Bilbo came to complete his adventure. The “Took side took over.” He is also Frodo’s cousin, twice removed from his mother’s side. You can see in the books (and movies) that Pippin enjoys to get out of the Shire and go on a little journey. Obviously he did not realize how perilous Frodo’s journey really was. Pippin (often joined by Merry, his best friend) would rake through Farmer Maggot’s crops and take food. We all know hobbits LOVE food. Though Pippin could be very, very foolish at times, when he picked up the Seeing Stone from Gandalf’s hands as he was sleeping, he found out a few things. His foolishness became great knowledge to Gandalf. Gandalf realized that Gondor was under attack. Pippin was also the one to notice that Faramir was still alive in The Return of the King and saved him from being burned alive. Pippin, I think, is one of the bravest characters. Plus, what’s a book or movie without a little comic relief?

    Meriadoc “Merry” Brandybuck is my personal favorite, however. His character is both the smartest hobbit and Pippin’s pal, which leads to more comic relief. In the books we hear Merry’s words of wisdom get the hobbits through rough spots. His quick escape onto the Buckleberry Ferry saved them all from the Black Riders (also known as Ring Wraiths). I don’t think the band of hobbits would have gotten far without Merry. I wish Peter Jackson would have shown more than his knowledge about the Ents in the trilogy. Tolkien represented Merry quite well. In the Two Towers, who was it that managed to get the Ents to fight against Isengard? Merry. Merry was also appointed a servant to Rohan. He wasn’t not encouraged to fight in battle, save Eowyn. I don’t have much like for her, but had she not brought Merry along, she would have been killed by the Witch-King. Merry took the reins of their horse and allowed Eowyn to take down one of the Oliphaunts. Then when Eowyn fell during her battle with the Witch-King, Merry stabbed him in the back, causing him great pain (and Merry) and giving Eowyn time to stand up and stab the Witch-King and finish him. I feel in my opinion Merry is truly the bravest character.

    All in all, each of the hobbits are great. Without them, the book would not be as good a read as it has been printed. Thank you J.R.R. Tolkien for creating such facinating and amazing characters for us to learn about.

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  47. Zenobia -  January 4, 2011 - 7:04 pm

    To Markitron, so that’s where the Hobbits originated from, interesting to know.

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  48. Zenobia -  January 4, 2011 - 7:01 pm

    From whither did Tolkien come up with the word (and the character, really), “Ent?” Of all the races in “Lord of the Rings”, the Ent happen to be one of my favourite.

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  49. Joyce -  January 4, 2011 - 7:00 pm

    Gollum is my favorite, I was in the play the Hobbit in high school, I was an elf. And the guy who played Gollum was really cute when he was in character, not so cute out of…but can’t think of Gollum without thinking of him.

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  50. Chris Mostek -  January 4, 2011 - 6:56 pm

    i dont understand why many think frodo’s whiney, he was carrying the most difficult burden. It weakened him so much and just to even sleep was a challenge. Yes sam did help him tremendously, but thts not to say Frodo is a weakling.

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  51. gigi -  January 4, 2011 - 6:47 pm

    I named my golden retriever Samwise after Samwise Gamgee. He is the greatest of friends and a protector of the finest sort and as faithful as they come just like Samwise was for Frodo. And he has beautiful red hair just like Samwise Gamgee too.

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  52. luke -  January 4, 2011 - 6:17 pm

    orks in lord of the rings orks are the bad guys but what do they mean

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  53. Imjustaguy -  January 4, 2011 - 6:07 pm

    Obviously it’s Sam. Frodo was turned into a real dick by the end of Book 3, no thanks to the Ring. If it wasn’t for Sam he’d be dead and so would everybody else in Middle-earth.

    Oh, yeah, and I like how he had those spices with him in Mordor, or wherever they were…he was hoping they’d have some roast chicken when they “got back”.

    Like the spirit, Samwise!

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  54. iTouch myself -  January 4, 2011 - 5:53 pm

    @Hannah near the top

    They used goblin in the hobit but also in the first lord of the rings as well. They were in the mines of moria and found all of the dwarves dead, one with a “goblin” arrow in it.

    Keep in mind that was the movie by peter jackson, whether that coinsides with the book is a different story.

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  55. iTouch myself -  January 4, 2011 - 5:53 pm

    @Hannah

    They used goblin in the hobit but also in the first lord of the rings as well. They were in the mines of moria and found all of the dwarves dead, one with a “goblin” arrow in it.

    Keep in mind that was the movie by peter jackson, whether that coinsides with the book is a different story.

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  56. noopy -  January 4, 2011 - 5:15 pm

    I think I heard about the ‘orcs’ somewhere else… but not sure. Please tell me about it.

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  57. a LOTR fan -  January 4, 2011 - 5:04 pm

    In answer to the question of Arwen and Glaladriel. The history of Lady Galadriel and Arwen is complicated. Galadriel lived in Valinor before the elves went back to middle earth. Her hair inspired Feanor to create the three Silmarils. she refused to give Feanor a hair from her head (That was why it was so funny when Gimli asked for three hairs and she gave them). Later when Feanor and his seven sons revolted and took a ton of the elves with them to middle earth, Galadriel went with them because she wanted power. (That was why she said “I have passed the test” when Frodo offered her the ring and she refused) Her mother was athletic. She was independent for a long time (looooonnnnggg) then she married Celeborn (once called Celeborn of the forest for some reason). She had a daughter named Celebrin, Celebrin married Elrond (Celebrin went across the sea in 2510) Celebrin had Arwen. There’s not too much to Arwen except that she was called the “Evenstar” evenstar was another name for the silmarils (because an elf lady, possibly Celebrin, went across the sea and set one of the silmarils as a star in the sky, the last of the beautiful light that the elves love) So basically Arwen’s title implies how much she was cherished by the elves. Galadriel’s other accomplishment was keeping her ring (Nenya) safe and using it well. She refused pardon for revolting and only went back to Valinor after the dark lord’s rule was broken.

    That was very badly composed, but that’s ok. I don’t have tons of time to waste on this thing. :)

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  58. Nim -  January 4, 2011 - 4:43 pm

    @iq145 what do you type in when googling?

    Otherwisedly, I’d like to know where the names Sauron and Morgoth came from….

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  59. Distracted -  January 4, 2011 - 4:41 pm

    THEORY ALERT!!!!
    Sorry about that, but it’s exactly how it is.Anyway, I don’t know about Tolkein, but is it possible that the “hobbit” on the list of creatures was a misspelling of “Hobbes”, short for Hobbegoblins? No relation to the nasty little creatures with big teeth, but more like a type of “Fairy” or “Pixie”. It’s known for being somewhat mischievious. I been told once or twice that Puck from a “Midsummer Nights Dream” being one.
    Also, is it possible that the “Jinny-Burnt-Tails” have any simialarities to a Jenny-Green-Teeth, which I hear so much about? It’s even mentioned in the game Scribblenauts, which, if you didn’t know, is a game with a ditionary that has the abilities of Harold’s Purple Crayon. I hope I’m right then in assuming you know something about it?

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  60. bilbo -  January 4, 2011 - 4:34 pm

    also to frodofan, no offense but he is a wimp

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  61. bilbo -  January 4, 2011 - 4:32 pm

    my favorite Hobbit is Bilbo because he kicks goblin arse

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  62. Chloe -  January 4, 2011 - 4:29 pm

    These people are killing me with their misspellings and SO INCREDIBLY incorrect information. xD
    My favourite hobbit is Meriadoc Brandybuck, in the books of course! ;P
    ARAGORN WAS NOT A HOBBIT.
    SMEAGOL WAS.
    ARGH. THIS MAKES ME ANGRY. :o
    Read the books, my good people. Then watch the movies. Extended Editions, for sure. c:
    ~estelio veleth: estelio han~

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  63. hi -  January 4, 2011 - 4:28 pm

    tell us about Aragon. it seems like a lot of themes in the LOTR and the hobbit come straight from the history of Spain. Such as the scene where Gandalf the White rides in to save his men with the blinding Sun at this back and the Orc symbol of the white hand and the name Aragon is a place in spain.

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  64. Keegan Sherman -  January 4, 2011 - 4:02 pm

    Tolkein and I share the same birthday. Which was yesterday. This totally makes me suuuuppperr happy.

    XDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

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  65. Affe -  January 4, 2011 - 3:51 pm

    Plagiarism? Everyone is influenced by what they read. One could say he plagiarized Elves, Dwarves, Goblins, and even Men. Seriously, it doesn’t matter. Samwise is obviously a favorite; I’ve no problem with that. Frodo was fine in the books. I don’t think he was a very good actor. Instead of looking pained, he looked constipated. And he couldn’t have done it without Sam. He was a whiner. “No, Sam. The Ring is mine.” But Sam didn’t give up. “I can’t carry the Ring for you, Mr. Frodo, but I can carry you!” The movies skimped on a lot of interesting stories. Tom Bombadil, the whole Sackville-Baggins story, and the very end where there is the war in the Shire. Read the books.

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  66. Jocelyn Binder -  January 4, 2011 - 3:46 pm

    I love Frodo Baggins!!! And Elijah Wood does a great job playing him!!!

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  67. Frank -  January 4, 2011 - 3:35 pm

    Lobelia Sackville-Baggins and her spoons O.O

    Well to the one who commented on Tolkien not taking anything, sorry he took many. Most of his research and stories he made up revolved around old lore from various countries but he tried to focus this as a historical account of great britain. That is how he saw it himself and used many words and ideas, stories from many languages and adapted them to his own. Words are words and all of them are so called made up and no I don’t believe anyone has the right to own one from a source so old. Yet it is lovely to see so many people argue as if they knew the man.

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  68. Courtney Byrd -  January 4, 2011 - 3:31 pm

    PIPPIN FTW!
    I also like Merry.
    Sam is cool too. I like his cheerful nature and his love for taters(:
    Bilbo is splendid, what a fine chap!
    And Frodo is alright.

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  69. Exasperated -  January 4, 2011 - 3:25 pm

    “Just so you know, Sam and Frodo are definitely supergay for each other”

    Obviously you are one of those shallow people who go, ‘oh, look, there are two friends who are the same gender! They must be gay!’ Why does everyone always do that? First Dumbledore from the HP series, now Frodo and Samwise. They are just friends, people.

    And anyway, if they were gay, then why was Sam in love with that girl back at the Shire the whole time, huh? How was he ‘gay’?

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  70. Ollie -  January 4, 2011 - 2:56 pm

    Fatty Bolger of course! This is the least know hobbit of Frodo’s friends. He is only in the first BOOK but he is not in any movies. He helped Frodo escape the Shire from the Black riders into Buckland-the home of Merry’s family. Fatty is very cheerful and always willing to take a whiff of that pipe.
    And also I love Frodo even though his father, Drogo, died at a young age he was adopted by Bilbo. And those are my favorite Hobbits.

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  71. Everett -  January 4, 2011 - 2:45 pm

    Also, I suppose it was third-person-omniscient perspective, since he sifts through multiple points-of-view. O.K., I’m done talking to myself; someone else please post.

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  72. Gabriel Borges -  January 4, 2011 - 2:42 pm

    It would be great to hear more about some of the mythic creatures of middle earth that are not explained in detail in Tolkien’s works, such as wights and wargs.

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  73. ha -  January 4, 2011 - 2:42 pm

    The word “hobbit” appearing on a list! How completely awe-inspiring and freaky! I mean, it’s just UNCANNY that someone could put pen to paper and write the species name of a mythological creature! (At this point I faint with awe)

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  74. Everett -  January 4, 2011 - 2:32 pm

    Sorry, The Return of the King–no “s”.

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  75. _________ -  January 4, 2011 - 2:28 pm

    What was Michael Aislabie Denham’s definition of “hobbit”? If it is completely different, it should prove that Tolkien came up with the creature on his own. Even if he didn’t, it would by no means be plagiarism to use a mythical creature in writing.

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  76. Everett -  January 4, 2011 - 2:22 pm

    I can’t remember the exact resource, but I do remember reading that the word “orc” was derived from a similar Old-English word in Beowulf; if I’m not mistaken, the word referred to Grindel, the monster. Apparently, Tolkien switched to “orc” in The Lord of the Rings from “goblin” in the Hobbit because the latter word has so many childish societal connotations. In other words, we all have preconceived notions of what a goblin looks like (not all of which are scary), while Tolkien was more free to craft the image of an orc in our imaginations. I believe he went to some pains to explain that there was no relation to the word “orca,” which refers to whales.

    By the way, Sam’s my favorite hobbit, too. I enjoy the way the story’s third-person-limited perspective moves away from Frodo’s thoughts as the Ring takes hold and towards Sam’s in The Return of the Kings. That way, we must imagine what Frodo’s growing insanity feels like as the ring takes hold–we see it through Sam’s eyes.

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  77. The Doctor -  January 4, 2011 - 2:13 pm

    I like stupid little Pippin. And ork sounds like ogre doesn’t it? Orks kind of look like ogres, so maybe they’re based on them. I think Tolkien should have had a creature 10 ft tall with an elephant’s head and a humanoid body with huge blades on both hands. They could take the place of the olliphants and their wierd riders. That would make the story a lot more exciting wouldn’t it? I think Tolkien needs a little more monsters in those books and movies.

    TRUST ME! IM A DOCTOR! :P

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  78. Frank -  January 4, 2011 - 2:11 pm

    Please research the etymology of ENT, as in Treebeard. Bilbo is my favorite hobbitt for his 100th birthday speech and ensuing theatrics.

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  79. kay -  January 4, 2011 - 1:57 pm

    regarding the statement, “there isn’t the slightest suggestion that he was aware of this list. Synchronicity, coincidence, or serendipity?”

    this seems like stretching. 100 years from now will there be evidence that you had breakfast this morning? JRRT might well have run across the list (or across someone else who had read it – a folklorist actually seems like someone that JRRT might well have had either direct or indirect contact with) and and just playfully added his own etymology to the word.

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  80. Spellweaver -  January 4, 2011 - 1:51 pm

    I love the movie Lord of the Ring– all sequels, too… i especially like this explanation of the term “hobbits”- it’s so cool how it relates to folklore of way back when! I personally thinnk Frodo of Shire isn’t so bad-looking in the movies… i like his hair ;D

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  81. FrodoSam -  January 4, 2011 - 1:42 pm

    The Lord of the Rings is my favourite book ever! My favourite character is Frodo. :)

    The movies made by Peter Jackson…well, they’re not so good. All those awful deviations. Like when Gollum persuades Frodo that Sam wants the Ring.

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  82. Sam Gamgee -  January 4, 2011 - 1:40 pm

    Sam is my favourite character, as you can see.

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  83. kane -  January 4, 2011 - 1:12 pm

    i always wondered where Tolkien got the word ‘ent’…and if Tom Bombadil was modeled after a mythical/folklore character.

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  84. someone -  January 4, 2011 - 1:07 pm

    where did they talk about lady gaga? am i reading the wrong article?

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  85. someone -  January 4, 2011 - 1:07 pm

    where did they talk about lady gaga? am i reading the wrong article?

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  86. Double A Battery -  January 4, 2011 - 1:05 pm

    @FrodoFan
    I love that quote. It makes me sad because when the movies ended I kinda felt as if I just lost a really close friend or something. My favorite hobbit is DEFINITELY Samwise the Brave :) (haha see what I did there) However my favorite character in the whole Lord of the Rings trilogy/ category is without a doubt Aragorn son of Arathorn, Isildur’s heir and heir to the throne of Gondor. Yea I got his whole title so you can see how much I love him :D

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  87. someone -  January 4, 2011 - 1:01 pm

    i totally agree with nate

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  88. HobbitReader -  January 4, 2011 - 12:54 pm

    I am going to show my teacher this website at school tomorrow! She’s going to love it!

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  89. HobbitReader -  January 4, 2011 - 12:53 pm

    im reading the hobbit right now for school and it is really good!

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  90. hannah -  January 4, 2011 - 12:46 pm

    i would like to know more about sauron. for axample how he lived & and what he did before the whole war.

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  91. Joe -  January 4, 2011 - 12:37 pm

    Sam Gamgee is my favorite hobbit. His bravest moment–greater than facing Shelob (and sadly ommitted from the films)–was when he took up the burden of The Ring and began heading down into Mordor alone (albeit he did not make it very far.)

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  92. Pema -  January 4, 2011 - 12:36 pm

    Surely it doesn’t matter whether Tolkein “invented” these names or borrowed them – there is no law that says a writer must not use an already existing name.

    The remarkable thing that Tolkein did was to bring Hobbits to life and give us delightful little beings – that’s enough for me! I love them all.

    ORC: Dictionary definition:
    –noun
    1. any of several cetaceans, as a grampus.
    2. a mythical monster, as an ogre.

    Origin:
    1510–20; < L orca O.R.C. 
    Officers' Reserve Corps. Dictionary.com Unabridged
    Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2011.
    World English Dictionary
    orc (ɔːk)

    — n
    1. any of various whales, such as the killer and grampus
    2. one of an imaginary race of evil goblins, esp in the fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien

    [C16: via Latin orca, perhaps from Greek orux whale]

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  93. Fatty Lumpkin -  January 4, 2011 - 12:29 pm

    Rose “Rosie” Cotton. She even married the chubby guy instead of pursuing the wealthier and (presumably) better looking Frodo or more dashing Knights of Gondor and Rohan (Peregrin and Meriadoc, respectively).

    Honorable Mention:
    * Hamfast “Gaffer” Gamgee: the kind of cantankerous old fart we should all aspire to be in our old age

    * Fredegar “Fatty” Bolger: the forgotten hero in getting Frodo et al. out of the Shire and away from the Ringwraiths–he even stayed behind at Crickhollow when the Ringwraiths were coming there; key leader in Hobbit resistance to Saruman prior to return of Frodo et al.

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  94. sarahthehobbit -  January 4, 2011 - 12:22 pm

    hey, “just so you know”, and where exactly are you getting your “facts”?

    Just so YOU know, you are wrong.

    and my favorite hobbit is Samwise. He’s definitely the best friend anyone could ever have, super loyal, courageous, optimistic and everything, I just love him. “Even darkness must pass, a new day will come, and when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer..” <3
    But I do love Frodo, Merry & Pippin so much toooo!!! ^.^

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  95. sarahthehobbit -  January 4, 2011 - 12:21 pm

    hey, “just so you know”, and where exactly are you getting your “facts”?

    Just so you know, you are wrong.

    and my favorite hobbit is Samwise. He’s definitely the best friend anyone could ever have, super loyal, courageous, optimistic and everything, I just love him. “Even darkness must pass, a new day will come, and when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer..” <3
    But I do love Frodo, Merry & Pippin so much toooo!!! ^.^

    Reply
  96. Chloe -  January 4, 2011 - 12:21 pm

    My favoritism regarding Hobbit(s) resides in Bilbo Baggins. Although it is clear that all of the Hobbits in the LOTR trilogy are both virtuous and original, Bilbo never ceased to bring smiles of amusement, chuckles of a blissful nature, and meaningful trains-of-thought. There is a slight puerility in Bilbo’s character that only magnifies my appreciation of him. Bilbo is a fascinating ficticious character, and I have never come across a character quite like him in another piece of literature. Tolkien was, indeed, ingenious :).

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  97. THE BLAH GUY -  January 4, 2011 - 12:17 pm

    Pippin was my favorite hobbit and his rather prank-like ways made him awesome

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  98. Jack Tollers -  January 4, 2011 - 12:12 pm

    Consider the two possibilities. Were Tolkien aware of the list, and of a creature called a Hobbit, but lacking any description besides a name, it would have not taken him long, being a master of language, to theorize the word originated from the Old English word for “hole-dweller.” From this he could easily craft a race to suit the name and meaning. I’m sure he would have liked the very word itself – “Hobbit” – for it sounded “earthy and English,” as he put it in an interview. This would have made it stand out on a list, however long. There would be no reason for him to reference the list however, because besides the name, the Hobbit was still entirely his own invention.
    The other possibility is that Tolkien invented it himself, and the fact that the Hobbit was mentioned elsewhere in the deep and chiefly forgotten recesses of folkloric history meant that somewhere in ancient times, a great mind thought alike with Tolkiens’. Were he alive today, our good friend Tolkien would take great pleasure knowing he thought just like an ancient storyteller.

    Reply
  99. Mothmoron -  January 4, 2011 - 11:56 am

    I really like hobbits. I wrote a story that combines hobitts and monty python. Its real funny.

    Reply
  100. Cass -  January 4, 2011 - 11:54 am

    I love pippin, even have a portrait of him in my notebook. Very innocent, but mischevious and impulsive. For a hobbit!

    Reply
  101. AsianHobbit -  January 4, 2011 - 11:50 am

    My favorite hobbit was Ken Jeong’s character in the Hangover.
    Toodleoo……

    Reply
  102. hksche2000 -  January 4, 2011 - 11:45 am

    Mateo on January 3, 2011 at 6:16 pm wrote:

    “As for a Tolkien-ish word to research, I would like to become more familiar with the word “Mirkwood”. This location had another name if I remember right: “Strangewood”, and was known as “Greenwood the Great”, before it was corrupted. But one day while watching Dr. Strangelove with English sub-titles on, I noticed that Dr. Strangelove’s surname (i.e. Strangelove) was the result of German-to-English translation of the surname “Mirkwurdigliebe”.”
    Strangelove translates into german “Merkwuerdigliebe”, probably not related to “Mirkwood”. “Strangewood” then would translate into “Merkwuerdigwald” which, too, would probably take a leap of etymologic faith to transform into “Mirkwood”.

    Reply
  103. Kate -  January 4, 2011 - 11:31 am

    The similarity of Hobbits to Rabbits and the likeness of these 2 words has made me wonder if Hobbits weren’t somehow related to Rabbits as well as humans. The huge appetites, huge hairy feet, their size as smaller animals … I’ve had Bunnies as pets for 5 years and they are peace loving, get carried away by their desire bodies, love to be outside in nature, and every day eat a second breakfast (at least!). I’ve been wishing we could ask Tolkien about this.

    Reply
  104. Gabriel Borges -  January 4, 2011 - 11:19 am

    I´d like to learn more about “wrights” mentioned in the Lord of The Rings.

    Reply
  105. FrodoSam -  January 4, 2011 - 10:48 am

    I love The Lord of the Rings! It is my favourite book in the whole world.

    Peter Jackson’s movies, though…they are still good, but I don’t so many deviations should have been made.

    Reply
  106. Saf -  January 4, 2011 - 10:43 am

    What would be the collective noun for a group of Tolkien fans?

    A fellowship?
    A shire?
    A ring?

    I think I’m going to settle on “A mordor of Tolkien fans.” Har har har.

    ~Saf

    Reply
  107. Isabel -  January 4, 2011 - 10:07 am

    I would love to see you guys explore the different Middle Earth words and languages. Like Dwarvish and Orkish, and where the names of locations come from, like Mordor and The Shire.

    Reply
  108. Meridol -  January 4, 2011 - 10:02 am

    1. Props to everyone who says Gollum is their favorite! He was as tortured and corruptable as any of us, and yet in the end he played a very important part.

    2. While Tolkien may have borrowed a few ideas from mythology, I do not believe it was plagiarism. He took those ideas and ran further with them than anyone had run before, fleshing out the ideas into a tangible lore that everyone could understand. Tolkien was the original and best of all fantasy writers, and almost every fantasy story that has come out in the decades since owes a huge amount of credit to Tolkien for laying the groundwork.

    3. Speaking of plagiarism: I love the Harry Potter books, even enough to look past most of the similarities to Tolkien’s ideas. However, by the time I got to the last two books, I couldn’t believe how much J.K. Rowling was borrowing from Tolkien. The idea of a horcrux is almost identical to how Sauron’s ring captured part of his spirit, and how you couldn’t destroy the evil wizard without destroying the ring/horcrux. Dumbledore’s “death” was very similar to Gandalf’s “death”… seriously, next time you read/watch Harry Potter, look for all of the stuff she ripped off from Tolkien. In J.K. Rowling’s case, I’d say the idea of plagiarism is a little more appropriate.

    Reply
  109. Esri Allbritten -  January 4, 2011 - 9:56 am

    Oh, and the British Folklore Society was founded after it was suggested by Eliza Gutch in the journal ‘Notes and Queries’, “a long-running quarterly scholarly journal that publishes short articles related to “English language and literature, lexicography, history, and scholarly antiquarianism.” Gutch was a linguist. Tolkien was also a linguist.

    Reply
  110. Esri Allbritten -  January 4, 2011 - 9:45 am

    “Uncanny?” That’s a reach. Tolkien had written fantasy before his Lord of the Rings books. He studied English language, literature, and Anglo-Saxon history. Denham’s list of mythological creatures was published by the Folklore Society in 1895. The Hobbit was published in 1937. Tolkien was British, Denham was British, and their fields of study overlapped. It would be uncanny if he hadn’t run across the list, frankly.

    Reply
  111. Markitron -  January 4, 2011 - 9:16 am

    The Hobbits were once men who loved the Earth and peace. When they searched for a region of Middle-Earth to grow plants they founded the shire. They were thought to be men of Rohan. They shrunk in size due to never fighting and grew hair on their feet because they loved the feel of Earth on their feet they stopped wearing shoes.

    Reply
  112. FrodoFan -  January 4, 2011 - 9:01 am

    Frodo was really courageous, wasn’t he dad? Yes m’boy! The most famous’est of Hobbits. And that’s sayin’ a lot!

    Reply
  113. cocalenderhungitself -  January 4, 2011 - 8:54 am

    Frodo and Sam FTW!

    Reply
  114. Brewchief -  January 4, 2011 - 8:49 am

    Surprise, surprise! There are nerds bickering about Lord of the Rings subject matter! Just kidding it’s fascinating stuff.

    People don’t need to get their feelings hurt that Tolkien may have discovered the word hobbit in his research. His prolific creativity and literary gifts to us are still unmatched despite the possibility of him being aware of hobbits before writing about them. It would not be plagiarism as some are decrying is being suggested by this article. After all, if you write a story about dragons, are you plagiarizing because you yourself did not invent the idea of dragons?

    There is a good chance Tolkien did know about the mention of hobbits before he himself weaved them into his tales and gave them life. Tolkien was after all also a philologist.

    What I am really curious about is where “the folklorist Michael Aislabie Denham” who “published a long list of supernatural creatures” heard of hobbits from. Presumably he did not create them himself since it was a list he was compiling, and since according to this article there was no other previous written record of them, maybe it originates from oral tradition in the Welsh, Briton, or Gaelic tribes? There is after all an etymology for hobbit, Holbytla, which we are told means “hole dweller”.

    I am disappointed by the lack of definitive information here, “Dictionary” dot com!

    Wow I turned out sounding like a nerd myself. Anyway, my favorite hobbit is Samwise Gamgee for his depth of his love, loyalty and courage. A close second is Bilbo for his wanderlust and audacity. Meriadoc wasn’t depicted in the movies as being as clever as Tolkien made him–he is a much better character in the books, but I guess you could say that about any of Tolkien’s characters!

    Sorry about the essay, I obviously got carried away!

    Reply
  115. just so you know -  January 4, 2011 - 8:35 am

    Just so you know, Sam and Frodo are definitely supergay for each other

    Reply
  116. Dave -  January 4, 2011 - 8:07 am

    Sam is the man, no doubt about it, the world would be a better place if there were more like him,,,,

    Reply
  117. teej -  January 4, 2011 - 7:41 am

    I have cats named after hobbits – Frodo, Pippin and Merry – No Samwise however because Sam was my not so dearly departed son-in-law’s name (long sad story).

    Reply
  118. mark v -  January 4, 2011 - 7:29 am

    I’ve always wondered about the word “Mithril”, The strong but impossibly light metal in LOTR, also widely used in other fantasy settings.

    Reply
  119. megan -  January 4, 2011 - 7:11 am

    this is very interesting. LOVE IT :)

    Reply
  120. nate -  January 4, 2011 - 7:09 am

    By the way… who cares if he invented the word “hobbit” or not…?

    Does it change anything?

    He could have called them “chinashis” but it wouldn’t really change anything would it? Anyway, “hobbit” has a cool sound, right? Kind of sounds like the cute, sweet, stoic creature it represents… what is with all the arguing…

    Sorry to have joined the battle here… but what is wrong with the world… every internet posting inevitably has some battle…

    By the way, when is this comment trail going to lead to some ridiculous debate about Obama and his health care plan…? Long live the internet!! hahaha

    Reply
  121. SomeGuy -  January 4, 2011 - 7:07 am

    Sam, Mary, and Pippin are my favorite hobbits. Frodo would have died without them.

    Reply
  122. nate -  January 4, 2011 - 7:06 am

    A lot of people on this comment section seem to feel there has been some indignity dispensed in the article. They claim that there is an insinuation of plagiarism…
    Now, granted that I am the loser sitting here reading all of your ridiculous, excited posts, you must excuse me when I say… you guys are lame ass losers…
    Tolkein wrote a crazy book… like out-of-control awesome. Whatever.
    1. It is art… not a lifestyle. Lots of people love the ballet… they don’t wear tutus to work… unless they are ballerinas.
    2. Nowhere in the original article is there any mention of plagiarism.
    3. Tolkein is long dead… if there was an insinuation of plagiarism, I am sure he is too dead to care at this point… get over it, you dorks.

    Reply
  123. Gray Pilgrim -  January 4, 2011 - 6:59 am

    I’d like to know the origins of “Shadowfax”. I know his name means Shadow-mane (Old Norse fax meaning “mane”), but I’d like to know a bit more of the history of the Mearas.

    Reply
  124. Tyrael -  January 4, 2011 - 6:34 am

    I love the elves… I even told my friends Im half hobbit half elf…because I’m short but youthful face. lol

    Reply
  125. Phillip -  January 4, 2011 - 6:27 am

    ““Aragorn was half elf, half man.”
    No, he wasn’t. He was of Númenórean descent, i.e. Human.”

    Well, yes; however he did have elven ancestry. Elrond had a brother Elros and both were half-elven, having one human and one elven parent. As such, each was given a choice; Elrond chose immortality and so lived an elven life. His brother Elros chose to mortal and so fathered the line of Northern kings that culminated with Aragorn.

    Reply
  126. Silverwing -  January 4, 2011 - 6:25 am

    @ elfin

    Books? What are these ‘books’ you speak of? >.>

    You don’t think *anyone* in this ‘modern’ day and age will actually sit down and *read* their way through 1531 pages of *english* literature, do you? At most they *might* have glanced at the Crib Notes. If at that…

    /sarcasm

    @ merry Lynn

    Where in the article did you find *any* indication that the author was accusing Tolkien of plagiarism? Please quote…

    ***

    To understand all that Tolkien had to say with his saga, you really have to *read* the books not once, but several times. Savor the language, taste the vocabulary, drink the sweeping descriptions. That is the only way to pay true tribute to Tolkien’s masterwork.

    Reply
  127. olsteen -  January 4, 2011 - 6:15 am

    Aragon was not an ordinary man. While not an immortal like the elves, he did posess special powers not detailed in the movie, but you can read about him in Lord of….

    regards.

    Reply
  128. Lorenzo -  January 4, 2011 - 6:12 am

    Concerning the origin of the term ‘Ork’. I think it may derive from the Saxon word ‘Orka’ meaning foreigner/alien.

    Reply
  129. DahKahTah -  January 4, 2011 - 6:09 am

    Samwise rules overall. After reading all of this, I have come to realise that, even though I have only seen the movies at a younger age, I understood the plot as a whole. Which of the hobbits is the one that attempted to swim? I don’t clearly remember the details, while I remember that one, maybe Sam, tried to swim, and Froto had to dive in after him to save him. Clarify for me?

    Reply
  130. DahKahTah -  January 4, 2011 - 6:09 am

    Samwise rules overall. After reading all of this, I have come to realise that, even though I have only seen the movies at a younger age, I understood the plot as a whole. Which of the hobbits is the one that attempted to swim? I don’t clearly remember the details, while I remember that one, maybe Sam, tried to swim, and Froto had to dive in after him to save him. Clearify for me?

    Reply
  131. Jaezabel -  January 4, 2011 - 6:08 am

    My favorite was definitely Peregrin ‘Pippin’ Took. Not gonna lie. and yes, i have read the books, several times

    Reply
  132. Raina bo baina -  January 4, 2011 - 5:51 am

    Reading IS fundamental :) The Lord of the Rings books transport you to another world… two thumbs up way up John Ronald Reuel!
    –Raina

    Reply
  133. Poets Reach -  January 4, 2011 - 5:46 am

    @ elfin
    I agree, if you do not read the books you miss out on so much, like Tom Bombadil (spelling?) for example.
    Also you miss out on the Sacsvil Bagenses (spelling again, clueless).

    Reply
  134. David -  January 4, 2011 - 5:31 am

    Am I reading a different article? Where is the word “plagerism” used? Or Elis or Lady Gaga? Has the Blog been edited and reposted?

    I want to be a professor of Anglo-Saxon. Seems like a great career with loads of perks, and the babes really dig it. Either that or I want to live in a middle earth commune, learn the speak elvish, and wear cool clothes and stuff. Of cousre, having normal ears, it would be easy to spot me as an Elvish Impersonator.

    Reply
  135. Kobie LOVES Mike -  January 4, 2011 - 5:23 am

    That’s a lie, Sandy LOVES Mike! I know that website!! its a SCHOOL WEBSITE FOR HOMESCHOOLED KIDS!! How dare you tell a lie, Sandy!

    Reply
  136. Victoria -  January 4, 2011 - 5:18 am

    this is such a coincidence i just finished reading the book the hobbit yesturday!!!!

    Reply
  137. Duh Blak Elf -  January 4, 2011 - 5:11 am

    MY FAVORITE CHARACTER WAS GANDALF. HE TOLD FRODO ABOUT THE FOLLY OF KILLING FOR EXPEDIANCY. IT WAS A POIGNANT MOMENT IN THE FILM. IF YOU CAN’T CREATE LIFE DON’T BE SO QUICK TO WANT TO DESTROY IT, NEVER KNOWING WHAT PART SOMEONE MIGHT LATER PLAY IN YOUR LIFE OR THE IMPORTANCE OF THAT INDIVIDUAL’S LIFE IN THE GRAND PROCESS.

    Reply
  138. amy-lou -  January 4, 2011 - 4:56 am

    wow u people really have no life!!!!!!!!! lol. the only reason i even get on this is because i have to go to school!!!!!!!! lol,

    Reply
  139. Mighty Mark -  January 4, 2011 - 4:46 am

    Bilbo was definately the coolest hobbit. He’s the only one who had the strength to abandon the ring, even after possessing it for over 50 years. Can’t wait for the new movie.

    Reply
  140. Junaid -  January 4, 2011 - 3:52 am

    Well, out of the hoobits i probably liked Merry and Pippin

    Sam was really fat and Frodo was the most useless of them all.

    Reply
  141. Jonathan -  January 4, 2011 - 3:22 am

    Tolikein is the GOD of imagination..

    Reply
  142. Yitzhak Klein -  January 4, 2011 - 2:27 am

    Tolkien was fascinated by Northern European mythology and languages from an early age. He records being ever on the lookout for literature of this nature and never finding enough to satisfy him. While it is nowhere recorded (that I know of) that he read Denham’s book, it’s the kind of book he would look for from the time he learned how to use a library catalogue. I’ll bet that if the book exists in the library of Tolkien’s college, Exeter (Oxford), Tolkien read it. He may not have remembered reading it but he may well have remembered the odd term “hobbit.” The question is where Denham found the word.

    Reply
  143. smaug -  January 4, 2011 - 2:09 am

    Wonder about the word ‘ent’–any info on that one?

    Reply
  144. 1c3d -  January 4, 2011 - 1:41 am

    p.s. Sam is short for Samwise and my best friends name is sam and i only half got through the hobbit cus it was a library book i typed this in cus i thought that u guys wouldnt mind the abbreviations but the again some idiot might think that i havent read or watched any bit of the movie or book so whoever thinks that i havent done so in my last comment is a ****** ***** ****

    Reply
  145. 1c3d -  January 4, 2011 - 1:33 am

    true my fav. hobbit is probably Sam mainly because its also the name of my best friend but i like the random thingy that bilbo meets in the cave when he was teleported by the ring or somehting i was half-awake cus of my lil sister

    Reply
  146. lotriole -  January 4, 2011 - 1:19 am

    oops! meant USE the translator and you’ll see!

    Reply
  147. lotriole -  January 4, 2011 - 1:18 am

    Just because someone came up with the WORD “hobbit” does not mean they came up with the race that we all know as hobbits. Most likely, Denham had some entirely different creature in mind. Besides, anyone can come up with a list of random non-words.

    A rose IS still a rose by other names! (You the translator and you’ll see!)

    Reply
  148. I Abhor Dead-links -  January 4, 2011 - 12:01 am

    John Ronald Reuel Tolkein

    Reply
  149. Brinda -  January 3, 2011 - 11:56 pm

    I love the innocence of the Hobbits. They are all lovable and humble but I think Sam is my favourite because he really loves his friend Frodo. Hobbits enjoy life. I wonder if I can live a life like a hobbit. It reminds me a lot about what our Lord Jesus said that if Christians are not like children, they will not inherit the kingdom of God. Hobbits are not ambitious, no lovers of wealth, prestige, no lovers of self. This is what Jesus gives to sinners washed in His blood. He makes us hobbits in character and attitude.

    Reply
  150. elfin -  January 3, 2011 - 11:37 pm

    From reading the comments already here, it seems obvious that most of you have only watched the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy movies.

    If you really want to understand Middle Earth, may I suggest that you READ THE BOOKS?

    Reply
  151. boo boo : ) -  January 3, 2011 - 11:28 pm

    Boo Boo wuvs Samwise best!

    Reply
  152. Inujo -  January 3, 2011 - 11:06 pm

    Did Tolkien claim to invent the term, “hobbit”? The article is unclear and the books are full of all other known “mythical” creatures.

    I do know all the hobbits are named after families in the Kentucky Appalachian mountains. I also know from experience that the mostly Scottish descendants are on the short, stocky and hairy side! Dancing and drinking could be considered the favorite pasttime of the whole region ;)

    Reply
  153. Cyberquill -  January 3, 2011 - 10:57 pm

    I don’t see anything spooky about the absence of an indication that someone was aware of a particular list. I’ve come across lots of stuff in my lifetime without a witness present.

    Reply
  154. fourthingsandalizard -  January 3, 2011 - 10:20 pm

    @Hannah (way up)
    “Orc” is taken from a word in Old English having to do with hell and demons. Tolkien said he liked the sound of it. I believe the in-word etymology is a reduction of a the word for “orc” in some variety of Elvish.
    The “goblins” of The Hobbit were simply a cave-dwelling, wild subtype of orcs.

    Reply
  155. dr. e -  January 3, 2011 - 10:18 pm

    CivilRoar, I remember reading a long time ago that Tolkien took the names of the dwarves in the Hobbit from Norse poetic sources, and this quote from http://lotr.wikia.com/wiki/Dwarves seems to bear that out:
    “Many dwarven names in the works of Tolkien are taken from the poetic Viking prophecies Völuspá.”

    I haven’t been able to verify this in any online Gaelic Dictionaries, so I could be wrong on this one, but if I recall my grandfather’s Gaelic correctly, a “galad” is similar to a “gallant” in English & the feminine of galad is galadi. And then there is Sir Galahad, ( http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/galahad ) whose name is thought to possibly be Welsh Gaelic in origin. Don’t know if there is an etymological relationship or it is just coincidence, but imho it’s not much of a jump from galadi (IF I got the word right) to Galadriel / Galadhriel. But then again, Wikipedia says that Galadi are “extinct … predatory bandicoots.”

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  156. anon -  January 3, 2011 - 9:55 pm

    Was Tolkien the first person to have created the orc race? Please look into that word.

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  157. Estel -  January 3, 2011 - 9:48 pm

    “Aragorn was half elf, half man.”

    No, he wasn’t. He was of Númenórean descent, i.e. Human.

    But here’s an interesting point: it is claimed that in Tolkien’s earliest concept of The Lord of the Rings story, “Strider” actually was a Hobbit. His name then was “Trotter”. Look it up if you don’t believe it.

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  158. Trinity -  January 3, 2011 - 8:58 pm

    Dewey 18: Smeagol was a Stoor Hobbit; he lived on the boarders of the Anduin, where Isildor lost the Ring. Smeagol’s cousin, Deagol, found it while fishing, and Smeagol murdered him for it.

    My favorite Hobbit was Merry; if not for him, the Witch King surely would have killed Eowyn, and most likely the Ents would never have awakened, not to mention urging on Pippin’s endeavors and keeping a light mood in a dark time.

    Reply
  159. Maria Mak -  January 3, 2011 - 8:56 pm

    Frodo Baggins , my favorite hobbit.

    “If I were the dragon of the century, would fly over your hobbit hut and ask you for a dance.
    – by Maria Mak “

    Reply
  160. Mermaid -  January 3, 2011 - 8:55 pm

    BTW Smeagol was a human before he was corrupted by THE RING I’m almost positive.

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  161. Mermaid -  January 3, 2011 - 8:51 pm

    Thank you for this post! This is such a coincidence because I JUST started reading the Fellowship. OMG I’m not kidding. The whole creepy coincidence thing you talked about really creeped me out, hobbits are like surrounded by those evil creatures in the list and how did Tolkein find out about them???? I’ll bet he read the list one time though.
    Anyway why the reference to Lady Gaga? I mean she’s awesome but you can’t compare her to hobbits!!!! ;) Even though they’re awesome too.
    Anyway my favorite hole-dweller is Merry. Frodo is annoying, Sam is a naive suck-up, Pippin is cute but immature, but Merry is smart and philosophical! Totally my favorite. You should do something about Elves and put Legolas as the picture. SOOOO hot! I <3 Orlando Bloom. If I weren't a Mermaid I would totally be an elf maiden.
    Oh yeah and you should write about Tom Bombadil too! what's the deal with him? Tom Bom Jolly Tom Tom Bombadillo!

    Reply
  162. sanford -  January 3, 2011 - 8:48 pm

    What’s uncanny about this? If the word hobbit appeared in print before Tolkien, wouldn’t that suggest that the hobbit is not entirely Tolkien’s creation? It seems likely that Tolkien could have seen Denham’s list OR simply been familiar with whatever earlier folklore Denham took the word from. There doesn’t seem to be anything uncanny about this at all, unless this article is suggesting that the mythical beings on Denham’s list were Denham’s creation. But even so, why is it unbelievable that Tolkien would have seen the list, if it was published and out there?

    Reply
  163. Lala72 -  January 3, 2011 - 8:40 pm

    dragonfly876, it’s interesting that an internet “troll” (someone who simply comments to criticize) like yourself would have a comment on hobbit matters. That’s almost like an elf commenting on a gnome.

    Reply
  164. CivilRoar -  January 3, 2011 - 8:38 pm

    Sam is the true hero here. Absolutely.

    What about Lady Galdreile (I’m totally misspelling that one.) or Arwen? A good look at the possible origins of many name throughout the saga would be an interesting study. As pointed out, Tolkien knew much about languages.

    Reply
  165. dewey18 -  January 3, 2011 - 8:34 pm

    dragonfly876, I agree whole heartedly haha.
    Samwise Gamgee is my favoritest of hobbitses, although Merry and Pippin make quite the pair.
    Does anybody know what Smeagol was?

    Reply
  166. Apurwa -  January 3, 2011 - 8:31 pm

    My favourite hobbit is Samwise Gamgee. He is a true friend and equally true human being! Frodo couldnt have found a better companion than him.

    Reply
  167. Travis -  January 3, 2011 - 8:25 pm

    One day in a word a day sort of email I learned the word “sand-blind” meaning half blind. I read on to learn that the etymology of “sand-blind” actually comes from Old English “sam-blind” where “sam” means “half.” I immediately made the connection to Samwise Gamgee, and sure enough Samwise Gambee’s wiki page says that the elements of his name come from “half wise” or “simple.”

    Reply
  168. Dr. Flumbleshlorp -  January 3, 2011 - 8:22 pm

    whats our favorite hobbits, precious? Smeagol of course

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  169. kris -  January 3, 2011 - 8:21 pm

    mateo

    Tolkein was prof. of Anglo-Saxon as I’m sure you know. According to the A-S
    dictionary ‘mirce’ means dark or evil.

    Reply
  170. kris -  January 3, 2011 - 8:18 pm

    Sorry.
    dragonfly

    Fully agree. An analogy that makes no sense at all.

    Reply
  171. Turtles+Hobbits=LOVE -  January 3, 2011 - 8:12 pm

    Personally, i prefer to think of all hobbits as equal, therefore all the hobbits are my favorites.

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  172. kris -  January 3, 2011 - 8:08 pm

    <>

    Fully agree. What the hell is it supposed to mean? Ridiculous.

    Reply
  173. Lyric -  January 3, 2011 - 7:58 pm

    No one has even mentioned Pippin! I like him the best…. but Sam’s pretty cool too. Although I also like Smeagol, but he’s such a sad creatures. I was wondering where Tolkien got the names Mordor and Sauron. Did he just make them up or do they actually come from a certain language?

    Reply
  174. Jazz -  January 3, 2011 - 7:37 pm

    Too bad Mr. Tolkien didn’t get to reap the benefits of his creation that Hollywood has made off his name and his work. :(

    Reply
  175. Poets Reach -  January 3, 2011 - 7:36 pm

    My favorite hobbit is Gollum; nun of it could have happened without him. He is really one of the River Folk, a sort of proto-hobbit, but it is close enough.

    Reply
  176. iq145 -  January 3, 2011 - 7:35 pm

    NOT “coincidence”. Tolkien borrowed several names from true life history: Aragorn, Pippin, and even Gandalf. Start Googling and see…

    Reply
  177. LRR -  January 3, 2011 - 7:34 pm

    Something interesting about words that I read in the Lord of the Rings appendices: we know the hobbits as Frodo, Sam, Bilbo, Merry, Pippin, etc. But, those aren’t their real names. Tolkien made up languages for each of his races. The names of the Hobbits in their own language are actually different, and the names we know them by are ‘translations’ by Tolkien to make them more accessible to us. Or something. Frodo’s name is actually Maura, and Bilbo is Bilba. I don’t remember the others.

    Reply
  178. Chief -  January 3, 2011 - 7:32 pm

    One of my favorite Middle Earth words is “drownded” from “The Hobbit”. It’s obviously a distorted spelling/pronunciation of the word “drowned”, which, as a verbicide, I get tickled at.

    Interesting article, by the way! I enjoyed it muchly.

    Reply
  179. Mebediel -  January 3, 2011 - 7:26 pm

    My favorite hobbit? Pippin…just because. =)

    The word I’d like to know more about is…Mathom. It’s supposedly a Hobbit word for small gifts and the like (oftentimes useless) and can be found somewhere in the beginning of the Fellowship of the Ring (I’m too lazy to look it up, heheh).

    Reply
  180. Carrie -  January 3, 2011 - 7:24 pm

    Dragonfly, I could not make heads nor tails of the author’s comment. Elvis? Lady Gaga? No idea what the comparison is supposed to be. That they’re the stars of the show? Ack…then at least make it Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne. I’m not even sure if the star connection is what the author intended. It was a truly unfortunate sentence.

    Reply
  181. Lori Darling -  January 3, 2011 - 7:16 pm

    Peregrin “Pippin” Took is my favorite.

    Reply
  182. EK -  January 3, 2011 - 7:07 pm

    What about Merry?! Or Pippin?! Still, gotta love Sam.

    Reply
  183. craz -  January 3, 2011 - 6:48 pm

    Matthew, you answered your own question. Aragorn isn’t a hobbit.

    Reply
  184. Timothy -  January 3, 2011 - 6:46 pm

    My favourite hobbit is Frodo. Only he was able to carry out the task that so many other (bigger) folk could not. I’d like to know where the term ‘Orc’ came from. Was that another of Tolkien’s invention?

    Reply
  185. dragonfly876 -  January 3, 2011 - 6:44 pm

    “Bilbo Baggins, Samwise Gamgee, and Frodo Baggins are the hobbit equivalent of Elvis or Lady Gaga.”

    Never have I heard a more misplaced or incorrect comparison drawn between two subjects that was not intended to be a joke.
    Congratulations.

    Reply
  186. Anonymous -  January 3, 2011 - 6:32 pm

    Matthew Aragorn was not a hobbit.

    Reply
  187. Bryant -  January 3, 2011 - 6:23 pm

    Samwise Gamgee is also my favorite! Followed by Bilbo.

    Reply
  188. Mateo -  January 3, 2011 - 6:16 pm

    Nice little read, thank you Hot Word. My favorite hobbit? Stout-hearted Sam, of course. One of the few to have had access to the ring of power, and yet (by all accounts in writing) was never tempted to assume the ring for himself. For too long anyway… He did save Frodo’s butt with the help of the ring, didn’t he? But he relinquished possession without hesitation when the time came.

    As for a Tolkien-ish word to research, I would like to become more familiar with the word “Mirkwood”. This location had another name if I remember right: “Strangewood”, and was known as “Greenwood the Great”, before it was corrupted. But one day while watching Dr. Strangelove with English sub-titles on, I noticed that Dr. Strangelove’s surname (i.e. Strangelove) was the result of German-to-English translation of the surname “Mirkwurdigliebe”. (Hope I spelled that right.) Do you see the similarities? ‘Liebe’ is of course German for ‘love’, but I don’t know if the rest is just coincidental.

    Let’s see what you guys come up with.

    Reply
  189. Juan -  January 3, 2011 - 6:13 pm

    The “Lord of the Rings” & “The Hobbit” were one of the most imaginative & visceral novel sets I’ve ever read. Although the language is a bit advanced & literary, I have a whole newfound respect for the J.R.R. Tolkien & literature overall.

    Reply
  190. Anthony -  January 3, 2011 - 6:12 pm

    My favorite Hobbit is Frodo, but I agree; he couldn’t have even gotten close to destroying the ring without Sam. I’d be interested to know which species within Middle-Earth are created by Tolkien. I’d also be interested to see if Tolkien had the etymology of some of his species as well. Also, are the names symbolic? Or do they only correspond with the race and their language?

    Reply
  191. merry Lynn -  January 3, 2011 - 6:09 pm

    The fact that you would hint of plagerism under the guise of tribute upset me, however, it does show your ignorance of your subject. I wish Tolkien was here to put you right himself. Tolkien did not plagerize anything nor did he invent anything. Nor did this folklorist Michael Aislabie Denham invent anything. The word has always been a part of the language. Tolkien discovered something we forgot about. And in 1895 when folklorist Michael Aislabie Denham printed his list, everything was already in common use with no copyright belonging to anyone. It was just old mythology. Thats like saying Shakespeare plagerized Romeo and Juliet. He wrote the play using an old myth which had many endings, much like the Cinderella story. He picked the ending he liked best and that was the version that became famous. You really need to do your research before you start opening your mouth.

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  192. Wringwraith -  January 3, 2011 - 6:02 pm

    This so-called article is completely lame. Uncanny coincidence my arse. The list by Denham was published in 1895, after Tolkien was born. Allong with being an Oxford professor, Tolkien wrote many fantasy stories and likely did much research into mythical beings, so how can you claim that “there is no evidence he was aware of the list”?

    Seriously… is the best you can do?

    Reply
  193. N. -  January 3, 2011 - 5:55 pm

    Pippin and Merry of course! So adorable in their friendship and their mischief!

    Reply
  194. CMS -  January 3, 2011 - 5:51 pm

    Yeah! Sam is always there for Frodo

    Reply
  195. Heather -  January 3, 2011 - 5:47 pm

    Aragorn was half elf, half man. I like Pippin:)

    Reply
  196. Marx Lenn Mendoza -  January 3, 2011 - 5:44 pm

    oh ol…so it is not his original creation? “whatever”

    Reply
  197. Henry -  January 3, 2011 - 5:39 pm

    I’d like to know the etymology of the word “orc” before Tolkien’s time.

    Reply
  198. Ian -  January 3, 2011 - 5:32 pm

    What About The Numenore Or The Duneadain (sorry if I spelled it wrong)

    Reply
  199. Phillie Billy -  January 3, 2011 - 5:30 pm

    to matthew. First of all this whole blog is about hobbits. Aragorn is not a hobbit… But anyway i thins Samwise Gamgee is my fav because of his creative name is and also how much of a friend he was to Frodo ex.he never gave up on him and to save his kind.

    Reply
  200. Phillie Billy -  January 3, 2011 - 5:29 pm

    to matthew. First of all this whole blog is about hobbits. Aragorn is not a hobbit… But anyway i thins Samwise Gamgee is my fav because of his creative name is and also how much of a friend he was to Frodo ex.he never gave up on him and to save his kind.

    Reply
  201. kate -  January 3, 2011 - 5:29 pm

    Sam was an amazingly loyal friend and Frodo definitely would have been dead without him. But I loved the side plot with Merry and Pippin– their experiences together, and experience of being apart. Meriadoc Brandybuck is my favorite hobbit:)

    Reply
  202. Michael Ford -  January 3, 2011 - 5:28 pm

    Silmarillion is a fasciating word..
    many of Tolkien’s word were

    Reply
  203. maya -  January 3, 2011 - 5:25 pm

    i really think that Tolkien’s creativity and intelligence is not to be compromised, he might have taken the idea from this list of supernatural creatures. But, that does not take away Tolkien’s extreme talent that he had expressed throughout his writing. Besides, most of the famous writers we know today such as, Shakespeare had taken the story of Romeo and Juliet from another writer and made it his own.

    Reply
  204. JackE -  January 3, 2011 - 5:18 pm

    I love Sam too! I remember when my sister was little and she couldn’t tell Merry and Pippin apart.

    Reply
  205. Kendall -  January 3, 2011 - 5:09 pm

    Aragorn was a man, not a hobbit.

    Reply
  206. Karen -  January 3, 2011 - 5:07 pm

    I liked Merry the best of the Hobbits. He was so sincere and good, if not imperfect.

    Reply
  207. Elbereth Gilthoniel -  January 3, 2011 - 5:04 pm

    I am interested to see the word ‘plagiarism’ in this instance. If they are mythological creatures, then how would it be plagiarism to use them in a story, especially since they have no exact creator?

    If what Tolkien did is indeed plagiarism, then I think that there are thousands of other artists we can accuse of the same thing: J.K. Rowling, for one. To name others, Christopher Paolini, Cassandra Clare, Rick Riordan, Emily Rodda, Eoin Colfer…the list goes ever on.

    Reply
  208. Bellethiel -  January 3, 2011 - 5:01 pm

    I love all the hobbits, but I especially like Pippins innocent mischievous youth.

    Reply
  209. Hannah -  January 3, 2011 - 4:57 pm

    I was curious about where word Ork comes from or if it even has an origin. I just found it sort of interesting that Tolkien used the more commonly used word of Goblin in the Hobbit, but then switched the word in the later books. Is there any reason, or different meaning to the word?

    Reply
  210. ganjalfthegreen -  January 3, 2011 - 4:54 pm

    Well now my favourite hobbit is my good friend bilbo a fine little chap !

    Reply
  211. Matthew -  January 3, 2011 - 4:54 pm

    What about the ranger Aragorn?

    Reply
  212. Katie -  January 3, 2011 - 4:34 pm

    Samwise Gamgee was my favorite. Frodo was whiney and couldn’t have done it without Sam.

    Reply
  213. Grammy -  January 3, 2011 - 4:29 pm

    Samwise Gangese is my favorite Hobbit! We should all be so lucky to have a friend like him!!

    Reply

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