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See also: Hobbit and hòbbit



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Etymology 1Edit

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The word hobbit has an unknown origin. However, as designating a diminutive legendary creature, it fits seamlessly into a category of English words in hob- for such beings. The Middle English word hobbe has manifested in many creatures of folklore as the prefix hob-. Related words are : hob, hobby, hobgoblin, Hobberdy Dick, Hobberdy, Hobbaty, hobbidy, Hobley, hobbledehoy, hobble, hobi, hobyn (small horse), hobby horse (perhaps from Hobin), Hobin (variant of the name Robin), Hobby (nickname for Robert), hobyah, Hob Lantern.

The only source known today that makes reference to hobbits in any sort of historical context is the Denham Tracts by Michael Aislabie Denham. More specifically, it appears in the Denham Tracts, edited by James Hardy, (London: Folklore Society, 1895), vol. 2, the second part of a two-volume set compiled from Denham's publications between 1846 and 1859.

The text contains a long list of sprites and bogies, based on an older list, the Discovery of Witchcraft, dated 1584, with many additions and a few repetitions. The term hobbit is listed in the context of boggleboes, bogies, redmen, portunes, grants, hobbits, hobgoblins, brown-men, cowies, dunnies.

The most famous use comes from J.R.R. Tolkien in 1937, featuring in the novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Ostensibly from a hypothetical Old English *holbytla "hole-builder".


hobbit (plural hobbits)

  1. A fictional race of small humanoids with shaggy hair and hairy feet.
    • 2008, Tom Holt, Falling Sideways, Orbit books, ISBN 1-84149-110-1, p. 3:
      It was his thirty-third birthday and already he had [] a little round tummy like a hobbit
  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.
    • 2007 September 20, Christopher Joyce, “Case Grows for ‘Hobbit’ as Human Ancestor”, All Things Considered, National Public Radio:
      Although partial remains of other Hobbits have surfaced at the same site, they say it could have been an isolated colony of inbred people who shared the same genetic abnormalities.
    • 2011, Chris Stringer, The Origin of Our Species, Penguin 2012, p. 215:
      And in the island regions of southeast Asia, where the descendants of erectus, and the Hobbit, and any similar relict populations lived, climate changes would have greatly disrupted connections between regions and populations, as sea levels rose and fell by 100 metres or more.
Derived termsEdit

See alsoEdit

Etymology 2Edit

Probably from hoppet, hobbet, (a basket).


hobbit (plural hobbits)

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




  1. hobbit




hobbit m f (plural hobbits)

  1. hobbit (fictional small humanoid creature)



hobbit m (plural hobbits)

  1. hobbit