•  
  •  
 

Abstract

Hobbits…And what may they be? This study considers the possible origin of the word ‘hobbit’ on the eightieth anniversary of the publication of the first edition of Tolkien’s book - The Hobbit. It examines the most widely discussed supposed origin by contemporary commentators, and undermines its credibility. Instead, it foregrounds what was originally a medieval Welsh word widely used in agricultural circles, which Tolkien may have encountered in his youth. Proof that the word had a widespread use in a specific sector of the provincial Welsh press is amply demonstrated, and consideration is given to Tolkien’s childhood visit to Wales. Tolkien’s comments on the probable process of inspiration are examined and shown to be applicable to this example. A focus on a neglected, or underrated plausible origin of the word illustrates its true potential for being considered in the future when origins of the word are discussed.

Share

COinS
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.