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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1937, coined in the fantasy tales of J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973).\n\nOn a blank leaf I scrawled: 'In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.' I did not and do not know why.

[Tolkien, letter to W.H. Auden, dated 1955]

\nThe word also turns up in a very long list of folkloric supernatural creatures in the writings of Michael Aislabie Denham (d.1859), printed in volume 2 of "The Denham Tracts" [ed. James Hardy, London: Folklore Society, 1895], a compilation of Denham's scattered publications. Denham was an early folklorist who concentrated on Northumberland, Durham, Westmoreland, Cumberland, the Isle of Man, and Scotland.\n\nWhat a happiness this must have been seventy or eighty years ago and upwards, to those chosen few who had the good luck to be born on the eve of this festival of all festivals; when the whole earth was so overrun with ghosts, boggles, bloody-bones, spirits, demons, ignis fatui, brownies, bugbears, black dogs, specters, shellycoats, scarecrows, witches, wizards, barguests, Robin-Goodfellows, hags, night-bats, scrags, breaknecks, fantasms, hobgoblins, hobhoulards, boggy-boes, dobbies, hob-thrusts, fetches, kelpies, warlocks, mock-beggars, mum-pokers, Jemmy-burties, urchins, satyrs, pans, fauns, sirens, tritons, centaurs, calcars, nymphs, imps, incubuses, spoorns, men-in-the-oak, hell-wains, fire-drakes, kit-a-can-sticks, Tom-tumblers, melch-dicks, larrs, kitty-witches, hobby-lanthorns, Dick-a-Tuesdays, Elf-fires, Gyl-burnt-tales, knockers, elves, rawheads, Meg-with-the-wads, old-shocks, ouphs, pad-foots, pixies, pictrees, giants, dwarfs, Tom-pokers, tutgots, snapdragons, sprets, spunks, conjurers, thurses, spurns, tantarrabobs, swaithes, tints, tod-lowries, Jack-in-the-Wads, mormos, changelings, redcaps, yeth-hounds, colt-pixies, Tom-thumbs, black-bugs, boggarts, scar-bugs, shag-foals, hodge-pochers, hob-thrushes, bugs, bull-beggars, bygorns, bolls, caddies, bomen, brags, wraiths, waffs, flay-boggarts, fiends, gallytrots, imps, gytrashes, patches, hob-and-lanthorns, gringes, boguests, bonelesses, Peg-powlers, pucks, fays, kidnappers, gallybeggars, hudskins, nickers, madcaps, trolls, robinets, friars' lanthorns, silkies, cauld-lads, death-hearses, goblins, hob-headlesses, bugaboos, kows, or cowes, nickies, nacks necks, waiths, miffies, buckies, ghouls, sylphs, guests, swarths, freiths, freits, gy-carlins Gyre-carling, pigmies, chittifaces, nixies, Jinny-burnt-tails, dudmen, hell-hounds, dopple-gangers, boggleboes, bogies, redmen, portunes, grants, hobbits, hobgoblins, brown-men, cowies, dunnies, wirrikows, alholdes, mannikins, follets, korreds, lubberkins, cluricauns, kobolds, leprechauns, kors, mares, korreds, puckles korigans, sylvans, succubuses, blackmen, shadows, banshees, lian-hanshees, clabbernappers, Gabriel-hounds, mawkins, doubles, corpse lights or candles, scrats, mahounds, trows, gnomes, sprites, fates, fiends, sibyls, nicknevins, whitewomen, fairies, thrummy-caps, cutties, and nisses, and apparitions of every shape, make, form, fashion, kind and description, that there was not a village in England that had not its own peculiar ghost. Nay, every lone tenement, castle, or mansion-house, which could boast of any antiquity had its bogle, its specter, or its knocker. The churches, churchyards, and crossroads were all haunted. Every green lane had its boulder-stone on which an apparition kept watch at night. Every common had its circle of fairies belonging to it. And there was scarcely a shepherd to be met with who had not seen a spirit!\n\n[Emphasis added] It is curious that the name occurs nowhere else in folklore, and there is no evidence that Tolkien ever saw this. The word also was recorded from 1835 as "a term generally used in Wales to express a quantity made up of four Welsh pecks." Hobbitry attested from 1947.

Etymology 1 n. 1 A fictional race of small humanoids with shaggy hair and hairy feet. 2 An extinct species of hominin, ''Homo floresiensis'', with a short body and relatively small brain, fossils of which have been recovered from the Indonesian island of Flores. Etymology 2

n. 1 A Welsh unit of weight, equal to four Welsh pecks, or 168 pounds 2 (context archaic English) An old unit of volume (2½ bushels, the volume of 168 pounds of wheat).


n. an imaginary being similar to a person but smaller and with hairy feet; invented by J.R.R. Tolkien


Hobbits are a fictional, diminutive, humanoid race who inhabit the lands of Middle-earth in J. R. R. Tolkien’s fiction. They are also referred to as Halflings.

Hobbits first appeared in the novel The Hobbit, whose titular hobbit is the protagonist, Bilbo Baggins. The novel The Lord of the Rings includes more hobbits as major characters, Frodo Baggins, Samwise Gamgee, Peregrin Took and Meriadoc Brandybuck, as well as several other minor hobbit characters. Hobbits are also briefly mentioned in The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales.

According to the author in the prologue to The Lord of the Rings, hobbits are "relatives" of the race of Men. Elsewhere Tolkien describes Hobbits as a "variety" or separate "branch" of humans. Within the story, hobbits and other races seem aware of the similarities (hence the colloquial terms "Big People" and "Little People" used in Bree). However, within the story, hobbits considered themselves a separate people. At the time of the events in The Lord of the Rings, hobbits lived in the Shire and in Bree in the north west of Middle-earth, though by the end, some had moved out to the Tower Hills and to Gondor and Rohan.

Hobbit (disambiguation)

A Hobbit is a fictional creature created by J. R. R. Tolkien.

Hobbit or The Hobbit may also refer to:

Hobbit (word)

The invention of the word hobbit is traditionally ascribed to J. R. R. Tolkien, whose The Hobbit was first published in 1937. The Oxford English Dictionary since the 1970s has credited Tolkien with the invention of the word. Since then, however, it has been noted that there is prior evidence of the word, in a 19th-century list of legendary creatures. In 1971, Tolkien stated that he remembered making up the word himself, admitting that there was nothing but his "nude parole" to support the claim that he was uninfluenced by similar words of the hobgoblin family.

Hobbit (unit)

The hobbit (also hobbett, hobbet, or hobed, from ) is a unit of volume or weight formerly used in Wales for trade in grain and other staples. It was equal to four pecks or two and a half bushels, but was also often used as a unit of weight, which varied depending on the material being measured. The hobbit remained in customary use in markets in northern Wales after Parliament standardized the Winchester bushel as the unit of measure for grain, after which courts gave inconsistent rulings as to its legal status.

Hobbit (computer)

Hobbit (Хоббит) is a Soviet/ Russian 8- bit home computer, based on the Sinclair ZX Spectrum hardware architecture. It also featured a CP/M mode and Forth mode or LOGO mode, with the Forth or LOGO operating environment residing in an on-board ROM chip.

Hobbit was invented by Dmitry Mikhailov (Russian: Дмитрий Михайлов) (all R&D) and Mikhail Osetinskii (management) (Михаил Осетинский) in Leningrad, Russia in the late 1980s. Its first circuitry layout was designed on a home-made computer (built using ASMP of three KR580 chips in 1979), the Soviet clones of Intel 8080), by Dmitry Mikhailov as well. The computer was manufactured by the joint venture InterCompex.

Hobbit was marketed in the former Soviet Union as a low-cost personal computer solution for basic educational and office business needs, in addition to its obvious use as a home computer. Schools would buy it for a classroom, interconnecting several machines in a 56K baud network. It was possible to use either another Hobbit or a single IBM PC compatible computer as a master host on the network; a special Hobbit network adapter card by InterCompex was needed for the IBM PC in the latter case.

Hobbit was also briefly marketed in the U.K., targeted mainly at the existing ZX Spectrum fans willing to lay their hands on a better computer compatible with the familiar architecture. Though rarely available in the domestic market, export models featured the internal 3.5" drive, just like an Atari ST or an Amiga. Such models always had both the EGA and the TV output connectors operational, as well as the AY8910 sound chip. Domestic models often did not include either the TV output converter or the internal speaker or both. The AY8910 for the domestic models was sold separately as an external extension module, hanging off the same extension bus as the optional external disk drive.

Another extension was the SME board (Screen and Memory Extension). This featured 32 KB cache memory, some of which could be dedicated to video text buffer in CGA mode (this was supported by drivers available only in the FORTH or the CP/M environments; no known programs using the Sinclair-based BASIC mode used this feature). SME worked at astonishing speed - one machine command made an output of entire display line. SME was capable of rendering several dozens of windows per second. SME capabilities were fully utilized only in Forth environment.

Usage examples of "hobbit".

For The Hobbit is a direct descendent of the book in question, which is The Marvellous Land of Snergs by E.

She strapped on a detachable penis and raped Eve while I was looking at the Hobbit house with a lovely room for the baby.

I can suspend my disbelief enough to accept that a tiny hobbit could kill a huge orc, but Tolkien stretches it to the breaking point when he adds that the hobbit has never even used a sword before.

The small hobbit, Frodo, must take a dangerous ring into the very teeth of an all-powerful enemy and destroy it--and, of course, he succeeds.

The Three Mulla-Mulgars and The Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit and The Book of Three, Elidor and The Moon of Gomrath, Five Children and It, and Half Magic and Over Sea, Under Stone -- the kind of book that could distill an entire summer into a few hundred pages, the kind of book that can still summon up memories of hammocks and peach ice cream and the scent of lilacs, even if you actually first read them in a damp attic room smelling of wet sheetrock and ant traps.

Westchester County Library System suggested that children who enjoyed The Hobbit might also enjoy Animal Farm and Rootabaga Stories.

Tolkien, and he reverently opened the book to the marked page and plowed ahead on the great adventure of one hobbit, Mr.

They walked along the perimeter of the grotto, which seemed a cross between an old English village and an Art Nouveau hobbit housing project: irregularly shaped doors and windows looking into shops that displayed baked goods and other prepared foods.

The quote suggests that the hobbits have never even worn a blade before.

But when the time comes for the hobbits to fight, they do so, apparently instinctively.

The Three Mulla-Mulgars and The Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit and The Book of Three, Elidor and The Moon of Gomrath, Five Children and It, and Half Magic and Over Sea, Under Stone -- the kind of book that could distill an entire summer into a few hundred pages, the kind of book that can still summon up memories of hammocks and peach ice cream and the scent of lilacs, even if you actually first read them in a damp attic room smelling of wet sheetrock and ant traps.

But, as you will find explained, in this tale the name is a 'translation' of the real Hobbit name, derived from a village (devoted to rope-making) anglicized as Gamwich (pron.

In July, Allen & Unwin sent Tolkien the proofs of a new edition of The Hobbit, incorporating minor corrections to the text, and – much to Tolkien's surprise-substituting, for the original, the new version of part of Chapter V, 'Riddles in the Dark', which he had sent them in 1947 merely as 'a specimen of rewriting' (see no.

The Hobbit follows the story through Bilbo's eyes and tells of events in a chronological sequence.

But when they had come almost to the end of the line one looked up glancing keenly at the hobbit.