Hobbit Naming Traditions

At first glance, the ways in which hobbits name their children seems rather normal to those of us in the English-speaking world. (Since the Shire was JRRT’s idealized vision of rural England, this makes a certain amount of sense.) They generally have both a first name and a patronymic surname, just as people do in most English-speaking countries.

Many of the names sound familiar to us: Tom, Dora, Sam, Ted, Bob, Rose and so forth. And many of the other names sound close to ours.

But there are some very important differences. First of all, we know that the names that seem so familiar to us are not, in actuality, any such thing. JRRT used a system in which he drew names from Old English and other European languages and called them “translations” from the Westron.

In the case of persons, however, Hobbit names in the Shire and in Bree were for those days peculiar, notably in the habit that had grown up, some centuries before this time of having inherited names for families. Most of these surnames had obvious meanings (in the current language being derived from jesting nicknames, or from place names, or — especially in Bree — from the names of plants and trees. Translation of these presented little difficulty; but there remained one or two older names of forgotten meaning, and these I have been content to anglicize in spelling, as in Took for Tûk or Boffin for Bophin.

I have treated Hobbit first-names, as far as possible, in the same way. To their maid-children Hobbits commonly gave the names of flowers or jewels. To their man-children, they usually gave names that had no meaning at all in their daily language, and some of their women’s names were similar. Of this kind are Bilbo, Bongo, Polo, Lotho, Tanta, Nina, and so on. There are many inevitable but accidental resemblances to names we now have or know; for instance Otho, Odo, Drogo, Dora, Cora and the like. These names I have retained, though I have usually anglicized them by altering their endings, since in Hobbit-names –a was a masculine ending, and -o and -e were feminine.
(LotR, Appendix F, II, “On Translation”)

It is clear from a close scrutiny of the Family Trees in Appendix C of LotR, that there are definite patterns in the first names given within each family. And while many of the names were ultimately rejected, some of the first names in the Family Trees in Chapter III of The Peoples of Middle-earth also bear out many of the same patterns.

In some old families, especially those of Fallohide origin such as the Tooks and the Bolgers, it was, however, the custom to give high-sounding first names.
(LotR, Appendix F, II, “On Translation”)

The heroic and romantic names, of Fallohide legend according to the Hobbits, specially but not solely affected by Tooks, have been represented by names of a Germanic or Frankish cast. ‘Classical’ names or ones of similar form on the other hand represent usually names derived by Hobbits from tales of ancient times and far kingdoms of Men. (PoMe, Chapter II, “The Appendix on Language”)

And there is this: “The Carolingians were the dynasty holding the throne of France from the eighth century to 987 and centering on Charlemagne (742-814; ruled 768-814, created Emperor 800) They seem to have played little role in Tolkien’s imagination–though he used some of their names for contrast with the home family names of the Hobbits, as with Pippin Took.” (Jared Lordell, “Carolingians” from J.R.R. Tolkien encyclopedia: scholarship and critical assessment)

Mr. Lordell goes on to point out that Pippin was the name of Charlemagne’s grandson, and shows that the name Lotho also derived from the Carolingian line, while Meriadoc was a Merovingian name. (The Merovingians were the dynasty that preceded the Carolingians, just as the Oldbucks preceded the Tooks.) He does not mention the several minor names from these sources found on the Family Trees.

Indeed, any search for medieval names of Frankish, Merovingian, Carolingian, Anglo-Saxon or Germanic origin will turn up a large number of names familiar to readers of LotR, and to anyone who has spent much time looking over the Family Trees in Appendix C.

Here are a few suggested sites:

Masculine & Feminine Names from the Merovingian Line c.400-c.600 AD
compiled by Sara L. Friedemann (Aryanhwy merch Catmael)
Kate Monk’s Onomasticon: Franks
Medieval Names Galleria: Frankish Names
Eupedia: Ancient Germanic Names

Most of the Latinate names which JRRT originally considered for male hobbits were ultimately rejected, with the exception of Gerontius. The meaning of the name is “old one”, which seems very appropriate for the Old Took.

About the Flower Names

While JRRT does not address the various jewels used for the names of some hobbit females, such as Diamond, Adamanta (which means “diamond”) Esmeralda (for “emerald”), Berylla, Pearl and so forth, he does mention the flower names. He says:

“Hobbits very frequently gave their daughters flower-names. But even these are not so simple to deal with as might be expected. Where the flower is certainly to be identified I had naturally translated the name into English (or botanical Latin). But not all the wild flowers of the Shire, and cerainly not all the flowers cultivated in its gardens can be identified with flowers that are now familiar. In cases of doubt I have done the best that I could. For instance: I have translated Hamanullas by Lobelia, because although I do not know precisely what flower is intended, hamanullas appears to have been usually small and blue and cultivated in gardens, that the word seems to have been a gardener’s rather than a popular name. ( “The Appendix on Languages”, Chapter II of PoMe )

In some ways this note may be a bit disingenious and tongue in cheek. Lobelia was also known to be an herb used as a purgative– something which would suit the character’s personality, and it would seem natural that JRRT would know this, although this is mere speculation. But it is clear from this note, that he used garden-flowers for his purpose, without regard to whether they were species native to England, or even Europe. Indeed, on the Family Trees we find Camelia (which is native to China and Japan) and Mimosa (which is native to the tropics). This also fits in with his introduction into the story of such plants as tobacco, potatoes and tea– he is not particularly concerned with botanical accuracy.

Shire Surnames

Most of the surnames in the Shire fall into three broad categories: Names which have no obvious meaning and tend to belong to the oldest of families, descriptive surnames, and geographical surnames. The Breeland hobbits add a fourth category, botanical names.

Names which fall into the first category are Took, Baggins, Bolger, Boffin and Bunce. These are actual English names, and they do not appear to have any particular meaning. A careless glance might connect Baggins with Bag End, and suppose the name to have derived from the place. However, it is clear that the name Baggins was an old one even before Bungo Baggins built the smial for his bride, Belladonna Took. Bag End as a Baggins dwelling only goes back one generation from Bilbo and the name of the smial was much more likely to have derived from the name of its owner than the other way around.

There are a number of descriptive surnames, such as Proudfoot, Goodbody, Headstrong, Goldworthy, Brown, Brownlock, Goodchild, and Greenhand. Assuming that Roper is a surname, it is descriptive of an occupation– if so, it seems to be unique, as we find no Baker or Butcher or other such occupational names. Hornblower also seems an unusual descriptive name, and it would be interesting to discover what the story was behind that name.

Most of the names appear to be geographical, which is to say, playing off a feature of the landscape or the name of a town or village. Some are quite obvious: Banks or Burrows or Longhole fall into that category. Other geographical names seem to have evolved– Gamgee is shown to have gradually mutated from the name Gamwich, the village from which Sam’s ancestor came. Cotton evolved from Cottar– who must have lived in a cot and not in a smial. One name which began as a descriptive name– Oldbuck– became a geographical name when Gorhendad Oldbuck moved across the Brandywine River and changed the family name to Brandybuck. (An interesting sidelight to this is that at least at some point in time, male hobbits must have referred to themselves as “bucks”.)

Although the only botanical specifically hobbit name mentioned in Bree was Mugwort, the implication is that there were others. Some of the Mens’ botanical names, such as Heathertoes, sound more hobbity than Mannish. It is possible some of these names may have crossed over.

Also interesting to note is that out of sixty listed surnames (which include the rejected names), fully one-fourth (or fifteen) begin with the letter “B”, while one-sixth, or ten, begin with the letter “G”. With the exception of the Tooks and the Gamgees, all of the “main” families begin with “B”: Baggins, Brandybuck, Bolger, and Boffin.

About Hyphenated Surnames

Only two hyphenated surnames made it into the LotR canon: Sackville-Baggins and Chubb-Baggins. There were others which were considered by JRRT and then rejected: Bolger-Baggins, Took-Brandybuck and Took-Took.

About the subject of hyphenated surnames, JRRT has this to say in Letters, in Letter #214, in which he speaks of much of the social arrangements of the Shire:

Customs differed in cases where the ‘head’ died leaving no son. In the Took-family, since the headship was also connected with the title and (originally military) office of Thain, descent was strictly through the male line. In other great families the headship might pass through a daughter of the deceased to his eldest grandson (irrespective of the daughter’s age). This latter custom was usual in families of more recent origin, without ancient records or ancestral mansions. In such cases the heir (if he accepted the courtesy title) took the name of his mother’s family– though he often retained that of his father’s family also (placed second). This was the case with Otho Sackville-Baggins. For the nominal headship of the Sackvilles had come to him through his mother Camellia. It was his rather absurd notion to achieve the rare distinction of being ‘head’ of two families ( he would probably have then called himself Baggins-Sackville-Baggins); a situation which will explain his exasperation with the adventures and disappearances of Bilbo quite apart from any loss of property involved in the adoption of Frodo. (The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter #214, to A.C. Nunn)

Therefore, when Longo Baggins married Camelia Sackville, their son Otho took the hyphenated name Sackville-Baggins, and so became the head of the Sackville family in order that the name would be carried on; however, the Sackville-Baggins line came to an abrupt end with the murder of Lotho. Since customs differed among families, it is possible that there were other reasons for the Chubb-Baggins line, or it could be that Chica Chubb, who wed Bilbo’s Uncle Bingo, may have been the eldest daughter of a lesser family among the Chubbs, a collateral line, which had only daughters.

Since the Tooks and Brandybucks are rather numerous, it could explain why he ultimately rejected the names Took-Took and Took-Brandybuck.

The Bagginses

One of the most obvious things that may be noted on the Baggins Family Tree is the predominance of the -o ending for the male names. The fact is, every male born a Baggins has that suffix, as well as several from other families.

Even an examination of the rejected lineages in Peoples of Middle-earth continues to bear this out. The only name to appear there which is not on the Appendix Family Tree is “Inigo”, which also contains the -o ending.

However, there are some interesting patterns among the female names, as well. There are several flower names: Rosa, Peony, Daisy, Poppy, Myrtle and Angelica, but no born Baggins female bears a jewel name. And there are many of the names that fall into the category of “names that had no meaning at all in their daily language”, such as Laura, Linda, Belba, Dora, and Prisca.

It may also be noted that on the Bagginses’ Family Tree, no names are repeated.

The Boffins and the Bolgers

While there were no Family Trees for these two families to appear in Appendix C, JRRT had nevertheless drawn up versions of them which appear in Chapter III of Peoples of Middle-earth*. He clearly considered both of these families to be in the category he called “the Great Families” in Letter #214 of The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.

The Boffins follow the pattern of the Bagginses when it comes to male names: we have Folco and Griffo and Hugo. There is a paucity of female Boffins, however the one who appears on a Family Tree in the Appendix has a jewel name: Berylla. And in the Boffin Family Trees in The Peoples of Middle-earth, we see a couple of plant names and “high-sounding” names for the females of the family.

The Bolgers eschew the -o names in favor of other “high-sounding” names. On the Baggins tree we see, for example Fastolph, Rudigar and Filibert Bolger; on the Took tree, Odovacar, and on the Brandybuck tree we have Gundabald. Though there are several names with various endings, the Bolgers seem to be the only family who uses the suffixes -var, -gar and -car.

The Brandybucks

Of all the hobbit families, the Brandybucks seem to have the strictest naming conventions.

First of all, they use the “high-sounding names” but in a very restricted manner. All the male names end with one of the following suffixes: -doc, –roc, -as, -ac, or -ic. Also in a preponderence of the names, the letter -r ends the first syllable. They also tend to names of at least three syllables. There are only three two-syllable names: Madoc, Sadoc and Marroc, who appear rather far back, and one four syllable name: Meriadoc.

We do know that the last Oldbuck, who became the first Brandybuck, was named Gorhendad, but by the time of the Family Trees shown in Appendix C, the -dad or -ad suffix appears to be no longer in use. However, the first syllable of his name does carry out the pattern by ending in -r.

Another interesting feature of the Brandybuck tradition is that all of the born females on the Brandybuck tree have flower or plant names. There are no jewel-derived names except for those who married into the family. The same thing goes for the “high-sounding names” for females.

Of all the families, the Brandybuck names underwent the most revisions before JRRT arrived at his final decision. At first, he used the end syllable -duc instead of -doc, and there were several four-syllable names shown. Among rejected names, we find Theodoric, Athanaric, and Meneaduc. Another change was that at one point, JRRT had considered using grandiose Latin nicknames for the various Masters of Buckland: “Superbus”, “Pancrator” and for Meriadoc, “Porphyrogenitus”! He wisely decided to do away with this indulgence; however, he kept the idea of the nicknames, and so Meriadoc became “the Magnificent” while his father was “Scattergold” and his grandfather “Goldfather”.

And originally, the females also had some of the “high-sounding names” as well. These too, were ultimately rejected in favor of the flower and plant names. However, jewel names were not used for any of the Brandybuck females, even among rejected names.

The Tooks

The Tooks are considered the pre-eminent family of the Shire so far as social status and wealth were concerned, though less so in terms of “respectability”. Seven hundred years after the founding of the Shire, the office of Thain passed to the Tooks from the Oldbuck family, and they had held that office ever since.

It is, perhaps the reason for some of the peculiarities of the Took family’s naming traditions. The Baggins, Bolgers, Boffins and Brandybucks do not seem to repeat names within the family, or at least not for very many generations– too many to appear on the Family Trees, at any rate. But the Tooks do repeat names, not least among the heirs to the Thainship, and not only that, but they add numbers after those names, much in the manner of certain Kings in European history.

Another peculiarity is the way in which they repeatedly combine similar elements of a name. There are so many Isens, Isums, Isems, and Hildis that it must have made calling the children to supper difficult. All of the Took male first names are three syllables, with the exception of the four-syllable name Gerontius (which is the one name JRRT kept that was taken directly from the Latin without passing first through another language).

Among the female names, we find flower/plant names: Belladonna, Rosamunda, Pimpernel and Pervinca; jewel names such as Pearl and Esmeralda, and among the daughters of the Old Took, a rather odd way of combining the female names– Belladonna was the first, with a plant name, but her younger sisters were Donnamira and Mirabella, both using elements of her name and of one another’s names. This particular naming device is not found in any other family.

The Gamgees

There are a number of ways in which the Family Tree of Sam Gamgee differs from that of his fellow Travellers. This is part and parcel of the fact that Sam, unlike the others, was a working class hobbit, who found himself unexpectedly upwardly mobile.

First of all, it cannot properly be called the “Gamgee Family Tree”, and JRRT has shown this by calling it “The Longfather Tree of Master Samwise”.

The family last names are shown as they evolve, for it is actually a depiction of both the Gamgee family ancestry and that of the Cotton family. Three ancestors are involved: Hamfast of Gamwich, Holman the greenhanded of Hobbiton, and Cottar. Sam’s family descended from Hamfast, while Rose’s family were descendants of Cottar, and they shared a common ancestor in Holman, whose older daughter Rowan, married Hob Gammidge and whose younger daughter Rose married Cottar’s son Cotman.

We see, especially on the Gamgee side of the family, the sort of repetition of elements found among the Tooks and Brandybucks, though the most common prefixes used seem to be Hol-, Hob-, Hal- and Ham– while the most commonly used suffixes appear to be -wise, -man and -son.

Like the Tooks, and unlike the other hobbit families we have looked at, Sam’s family tend to re-use names. Among the males, Halfred, Holman, Hamfast, Tolman and Wilcome are repeated. Female names repeated are Rose and May.

Sam carries on the idea of naming his children for others, though he goes outside his own clan for the most part, naming his first three male children after the friends of his travels, and his fifth son after his old Master, Bilbo. He does name one son after his father and another after Rose’s father. His daughters all bear flower names with the exception of his middle child, Goldilocks, and the youngest, Ruby. (Elanor, of course, is named after the flower of Lothlórien.)

The family name continues to evolve even into the Fourth Age as we see the family name of Sam’s oldest son become Gardner. Although there are some who think that the entire family takes on the name, there is no clear evidence that any of Sam’s other children used another surname than Gamgee.

About the Following Name Lists

These lists were compiled using the following sources: The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings (primarily Appendix C, but also names gleaned from relevant chapters in the story), The History of Middle-earth Volume VI: The Return of the Shadow and The History of Middle-earth Volume XII: The Peoples of Middle-earth. I have indicated the source of each name by the following abbreviations: TH=The Hobbit, LotR=Lord of the Rings, RotS=Return of the Shadow, and PoMe=Peoples of Middle-earth. One surname and one first name was taken from The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter #214.

I have done my best to include all the indicated names, including those which were ultimately rejected, those which were considered “Westron” translations, and those which would have been merely “historical” by the time of the War of the Ring. I may have missed a few– there were far more names than I even imagined when I began this project.

Fallohide, Harfoot and Stoor are not included as surnames. While it is not beyond the realms of possibilty that these were at some time actual names of hobbit clans, by the time of the main story, they are no longer used as such but as a designation of three main groups of hobbits divided by certain physical characteristics.

List of Hobbit Names
SURNAMES

Baggins (TH, LotR, RotS, PoMe)
Banks (LotR)
Boffin (LotR, RotS, PoMe)
Bolger ( LotR, RotS, PoMe)
Bolger-Baggins (RotS)
The last name originally considered for Frodo’s character, when he was still named “Bingo”.
Bracegirdle (LotR, RotS, PoMe)
Brandagamba (LotR, PoMe)
This is the Westron version of the Brandybuck name. It never appeared in LotR except in Appendix F, II, “On Translation”.
Brandybuck (LotR, RotS, PoMe)
Brockhouse [Bree] (LotR)
Brown (LotR, PoMe)
Brownlock (LotR)
Bunce (LotR)
Burrowes–a spelling variant of Burrows (TH)
This spelling variant appears only in The Hobbit, as one of the surnames of the firm in charge of auctioning off Bag End at the end of the story.
Burrows (LotR, RotS, PoMe)
Button (RotS)
The surname of a character that originally appeared in Sam’s conversation with Sandyman, later rejected in favor of Sam’s cousin Hal.
Chubb (LotR, RotS, PoMe)
Chubb-Baggins (LotR, PoMe)
Clayhanger (Letters, #214)
Diggle (PoMe)
Fairbairn (LotR, PoMe) Galbassi (PoMe) According to JRRT in “The Appendix on Languages”, Chapter II of PoMe, this is the Westron version of the Gamgee name
Gamgee (LotR, RotS, PoMe)
Gammidge (LotR, PoMe)
Gardner (LotR, PoMe)
Gaukrogers, Gawkroger (spelling variants) (RotS, PoMe)
Goldworthy (LotR)
Goodbody (LotR, RotS, PoMe)
Goodchild (LotR, PoMe)
Goold (LotR)
Greenhand (LotR, PoMe)
Grubb (TH, LotR, RotS, PoMe)
Hayward (LotR)
Headstrong (LotR)
Hogpen (PoMe)
Hornblower (LotR, RotS, PoMe)
Labingi (LotR, PoMe)
This is the Westron version of the Baggins name. It never appeared in LotR except in Appendix F, II, “On Translation”.
Lightfoot (PoMe)
Longhole [Bree] (LotR)
Lothran According to JRRT in “The Appendix on Languages”, Chapter II of PoMe, this is the Westron version of the Cotton name
Maggot (LotR, RotS)
Mugwort [Bree] (LotR, RotS)
Noakes (LotR, RotS, PoMe)
Oldbuck (LotR)
This was the original family name of the Brandybucks. Gorhendad Oldbuck changed the family name when he colonized Buckland. It is unclear whether all of the family changed the name, or only those Oldbucks who joined the colony at Buck Hill.
Proudfoot (LotR, RotS, PoMe)
Puddifoot (RotS)
Sackville (LotR, PoMe)
Sackville-Baggins (TH, LotR, RotS, PoMe)
The Sackville-Baggins were a very small family. There were only ever three: Otho, Lobelia and Lotho. Otho was the first of his line to bear the hyphenated name, and Lotho had no sons, so he was the last to bear it.
Roper (LotR, PoMe)
It is unclear whether this became an actual family surname, or simply an appellation adopted by Sam’s cousin Andwise.
Rumble (LotR)
Sandheaver [Bree] (LotR)
Sandyman (LotR, RotS)
Smallburrow (LotR)
Took (TH, LotR, RotS, PoMe)
Took-Brandybuck (PoMe)
At one point considered as a possible last name for Meriadoc, but later rejected.
Took-Took (RotS)
A last name considered for one of Bilbo’s uncles; later rejected.
Tûk (LotR, PoMe)
This is the Westron version of the Took name. It never appeared in LotR except in Appendix F, II, “On Translation”.
Tunnelly [Bree] (LotR)
Twofoot (LotR)
Underhill [Bree] (LotR, RotS)
Whitfoot (LotR, PoMe)
Zaragamba (LotR, PoMe)
This is the Westron version of the Oldbuck name. It never appeared in LotR except in Appendix F, II, “On Translation”.

FIRST NAMES
Male:

Adelbert (PoMe)
Adelgrim (LotR, PoMe)
Adelard (LotR, PoMe)
Alaric (PoMe)
Alberic (PoMe)
Andwise “Andy” (LotR, PoMe)
Ansegar (PoMe)
Arnor (PoMe)
Athanaric (PoMe)
Balbo (LotR)
Banazir (LotR)
This is the Westron version of Samwise’s name. It never appeared in LotR except in Appendix F, II, “On Translation”.
Bandobras (TH, LotR, PoMe)
Belisarius (PoMe)
A name briefly considered for Fredegar Bolger.
Bercilac (PoMe)
Name briefly considered for both Saradoc’s brother and nephew; later rejected.
Berilac (LotR)
Bilba (LotR, PoMe)
This is the Westron version of Bilbo’s name. It never appeared in LotR except in Appendix F, II, “On Translation”.
Bilbo (TH, LotR, RotS, PoMe)
Bilcuzal, Bildad, Bildat (PoMe) The Westron versions of the hobbit name often shortened to “Bill” Bildad (PoMe)
Replaced by Gundabald
Bingo (LotR, RotS, PoMe)
Bladud (PoMe)
Blanco (LotR)
Bucca (LotR)
A name of one of the Brandybuck ancestors, and the first Thain of the Shire. It is likely that “Bucca” pre-dated Oldbuck.
Bob (LotR)
A Bree hobbit
Basso (PoMe)
Bodo (LotR)
Bosco (PoMe)
Bowman (LotR, PoMe)
Briffo (PoMe)
Bruno (PoMe)
Briefly considered for a Bracegirdle, meant to be the brother of Lobelia and father of Hilda
Brutus (PoMe)
Briefly considered for a Bracegirdle, meant to be the brother of Lobelia and father of Hilda
Bungo (TH, LotR, RotS, PoMe)
Caradas (PoMe)
Replaced by Saradas
Caradoc (PoMe)
Replaced by Saradoc Brandybuck.
Carambo (RotS)
Carl (LotR, PoMe)
Cedivar (PoMe)
Celedor (PoMe)
Ceredic (PoMe)
Replaced by Seredic
Cerdic (PoMe) Chilimanzar (PoMe) According to JRRT in “The Appendix on Languages”, Chapter II of PoMe, this was to have been the Westron version of Meriadoc’s name, but was later rejected in favor of Kalimac
Columbus (PoMe)
Replaced by Gorbulas
Conrad (PoMe)
Cosimo (RotS, PoMe)
The name originally considered for Lotho; later rejected.
Cotman (LotR, PoMe)
Cottar (LotR, PoMe)
Crassus (PoMe)
Replaced by Milo.
Crispus (PoMe)
Replaced by Moro.
Déagol (LotR)
Historical, used by the settlement of Stoors along the Anduin, not found in the later Third Age
Dinodas (LotR)
Doderic (LotR)
Dodinas (LotR)
Drogo (LotR, RotS, PoMe)
Dudo (LotR, PoMe)
Elfstan (LotR, PoMe)
Erling (LotR)
Everard (LotR, PoMe)
Falco (LotR)
Faramir (LotR, PoMe)
Faramond (RotS, PoMe)
Name briefly considered for Frodo Baggins, and also for a son of Ferdinand Took
Fastred (LotR, PoMe)
Fastolph (LotR)
Ferdinand (LotR, PoMe)
Ferumbras (LotR, PoMe)
Filibert (LotR, PoMe)
Flambard (LotR, PoMe)
Flavus (PoMe)
Replaced by Mosco.
Folcard (PoMe)
Folco (LotR, RotS, PoMe)
Fortinbras (LotR, PoMe)
Fosco (LotR, PoMe)
Fredegar (LotR, PoMe)
Frodo (LotR, RotS, PoMe)
Fulvus (PoMe)
Replaced by Rufus Burrows and also by Minto Burrows.
Gerontius (TH, LotR, PoMe)
Goodwill (PoMe)
A name briefly considered for Fastred of Greenholm
Gorhendad (LotR) The last of the Oldbucks, he changed the family name to Brandybuck.
Gorbadoc, Gorbaduc [variant spelling] (LotR, RotS, PoMe)
Gorbulas (LotR)
Gormadoc (LotR, PoMe)
Griffo (LotR)
Gringamor (PoMe)
Grossman (PoMe)
Gruffo (PoMe)
Guido (PoMe)
Gundabald (PoMe)
Gundahar (PoMe)
Gundobad (PoMe)
Gundolpho (PoMe)
Habaccuc (PoMe)
Replaced by Orgulas
Haiduc (PoMe)
Replaced by Gorbulas
Hal (LotR)
Halfred (LotR, PoMe)
Hamfast (LotR, RotS, PoMe)
Hamilcar (PoMe)
A name originally considered for Fredegar Bolger.
Harding (LotR, PoMe)
Hending (LotR)
Heribald (PoMe)
Herugar (PoMe)
Hildibrand (LotR)
Hildigard (LotR, PoMe)
Hildifons (LotR, PoMe)
Hildigrim (LotR, PoMe)
Hob (LotR)
Hobson (LotR, PoMe)
Holfast (LotR)
Holman (LotR, PoMe)
Hugo (LotR, RotS, PoMe)
Ilberic (LotR)
Iago (RotS)
Inigo (RotS, PoMe)
A Baggins name. Originally considered for Bilbo’s great-grandfather, ultimately rejected in favor of “Balbo”.
Iolo (PoMe)
Isembard (LotR, PoMe)
Isembold (LotR)
Isengar (LotR, PoMe)
Isengrim (LotR, PoMe)
Isengrin (LotR)
Isumbras (LotR, PoMe)
Jago (PoMe)
Replaced by Hugo Boffin.
Jo (RotS)
The first name of a character that originally appeared in Sam’s conversation with Sandyman, later rejected in favor of Sam’s cousin Hal.
Jolly (LotR, PoMe)
Kalimac (LotR)
This is the Westron version of Meriadoc’s name. It never appeared in LotR except in Appendix F, II, “On Translation”.
Lamorac (PoMe)
Name briefly considered for both Saradoc’s brother and nephew; later rejected.
Largo (LotR, PoMe)
Longo (LotR, PoMe)
Lotho (LotR, RotS, PoMe) Madoc (LotR, PoMe)
Magnus (PoMe)
Marcho (LotR)
Marco (PoMe)
Marcus (PoMe)
Replaced by Merimas.
Marmadoc, Marmaduc [variant spelling] (LotR, PoMe)
Marmaduke (RotS)
The name originally considered for Meriadoc in the early drafts of the story; later rejected and not used for any other character.
Marroc (LotR, PoMe)
Matta, Mat (LotR)
According to Appendix F, II, “On Translation” a common hobbit name in Westron and its shortened form.
Mattalic, Mat (PoMe) According to JRRT in “The Appendix on Languages”, Chapter II of PoMe, a common hobbit name in Westron and its shortened form
Maura (LotR, PoMe)
This is the Westron version of Frodo’s name. It never appeared in LotR except in Appendix F, II, “On Translation”.
Melampus (PoMe)
Replaced by Marmadas
Meneaduc (PoMe)
Replaced by Marmadas.
Meriadoc “Merry” (LotR, RotS, PoMe)
Merimac (LotR)
Merimas (LotR)
Merry (LotR, PoMe)
While “Merry” was the nickname for Meriadoc Brandybuck, all indications are that it was the actual name of Sam’s second son.
Milo (LotR, PoMe)
Minto (LotR)
Moro (LotR)
Mosco (LotR)
Mungo (LotR, RotS, PoMe) Nahand (PoMe) According to JRRT in “The Appendix on Languages”, Chapter II of PoMe, the Westron for Déagol
Nob (LotR)
Nibs (LotR, PoMe)
Nicol (PoMe)
Nick (LotR)
Obo (RotS)
Odo (LotR, PoMe)
Odovacar (LotR, PoMe)
Olo (LotR)
Orgulas (LotR, PoMe)
Orlando (RotS, PoMe)
Otho (LotR, RotS, PoMe)
Paladin (LotR, PoMe)
Peregrin “Pippin” ( LotR, RotS, PoMe)
Pippin (LotR, PoMe)
While “Pippin” was the nickname for Peregrin Took, all indications are that it was the actual name of Sam’s second son.
Polo (LotR, PoMe)
Ponto (LotR, PoMe)
Porro (PoMe)
Posco (LotR, PoMe)
Priamus (PoMe)
Replaced by Dinodas
Prospero (RotS, PoMe)
Replaced by Everard Took.
Ranugad (LotR)
This is the Westron version of Hamfast’s name. It never appeared in LotR except in Appendix F, II, “On Translation“.
Razanur
This is the Westron version of Peregrin’s name. It never appeared in LotR except in Appendix F, II, “On Translation”.
Reginard (LotR, PoMe)
Robin (LotR)
Robur (PoMe)
Roderic (PoMe)
Briefly considered for Rorimac Brandybuck.
Rollo (RotS, PoMe)
Replaced Obo Took-Took, and later replaced by Fosco Bolger.
Rorimac “Rory” (LotR, RotS)
Rudibert (PoMe)
Rudigar (LotR, PoMe)
Rudolph (PoMe)
Rufus (LotR)
Sadoc (LotR, PoMe)
Sago (RotS)
Samlad (PoMe)
Name briefly considered for Frodo Gardner’s son.
Samwise “Sam” (LotR, RotS, PoMe)
Sancho (LotR, PoMe)
Sagramor (PoMe)
Briefly considered for Rorimac Brandybuck.
Saradas (LotR)
Saradoc (LotR)
Scudamor (PoMe)
Seredic (LotR)
Sigismond (LotR, PoMe)
Sméagol (LotR)
Historical, used by the settlement of Stoors along the Anduin, not found in the later Third Age Tango (PoMe)
A name originally considered for one of Bilbo’s uncles; later rejected.
Ted (LotR)
Theobald (PoMe)
Theodoric (PoMe)
Timba, Tim (LotR)
According to Appendix F, II, “On Translation” a common hobbit name in Westron and its shortened form.
Tóbias, “Töbi” (PoMe)
According to JRRT in “The Appendix on Languages”, Chapter II of PoMe, the name of the Hornblower who discovered pipe-weed.
Tobold “Toby” (LotR)
According to Merry, in “The Road to Isengard”, the name of the Hornblower who discovered pipe-weed.
Togo (LotR, PoMe)
Tolman “Tom” (LotR, PoMe)
Tomba, Tom (LotR)
According to Appendix F, II, “On Translation” a common hobbit name in Westron and its shortened form.
Tomburän, Tomacca, “Tom”
According to JRRT in “The Appendix on Languages”, Chapter II of PoMe, a common hobbit name in Westron and its shortened form.
Trahand According to JRRT in “The Appendix on Languages”, Chapter II of PoMe, the Westron for Sméagol
Uffo (RotS)
Replaced by Adelard Took.
Valdemar (PoMe)
Vigo (RotS, PoMe)
Wilcome “Will” (LotR, PoMe)
Wilibald (PoMe)
Wilimar (PoMe)
Will (LotR, PoMe)
Wiseman (LotR, PoMe)

FIRST NAMES
Female:

Adaldrida (LotR, PoMe)
Alfrida (PoMe)
Amalda (RotS)
Replaced by Primula Brandybuck.
Amanda (RotS)
Replaced by Arabella Took.
Amaranth (LotR)
Amethyst (PoMe)
Angelica (LotR, RotS, PoMe)
Arabella (RotS, PoMe)
Asphodel (LotR)
Belba (LotR)
Belinda (PoMe)
Bellisima (PoMe)
Replaced by Amaranth Brandybuck.
Bell (LotR)
Belladonna (TH, LotR, RotS, PoMe)
Bertha (PoMe)
Berylla (LotR)
Camelia (LotR, PoMe)
Cara (PoMe)
Replaced by Celandine.
Caramella (RotS)
Celendine (LotR)
Cora (PoMe)
Cornelia (PoMe)
Chica (LotR)
Daisy (LotR, PoMe)
Diamanda (PoMe)
Replaced by Rosamunda
Diamond (LotR)
Dina (PoMe)
Donnamira (LotR, PoMe)
Dora (LotR, RotS, PoMe)
Duenna (PoMe)
Eglantine (LotR)
Elanor (LotR, PoMe)
Esmeralda (LotR)
Estella (LotR)
Fatima (PoMe)
Gerda (PoMe)
Gilly (LotR)
Gloriana (PoMe)
Replaced by Adaldrida.
Goldilocks (LotR, PoMe)
Grimalda (RotS)
Hilda (LotR, PoMe)
Jasmine (PoMe)
Jemima (PoMe)
Jessamine (PoMe)
Lalia (Letters, #214)
This name appears nowhere else.
Laura (LotR, PoMe)
Lavinia (PoMe)
A name originally considered for Bilbo’s grandmother, later rejected in favor of “Laura”.
Lily (LotR, PoMe)
Linda (LotR, PoMe)
Lobelia (LotR, RotS, PoMe)
Malva (LotR)
Marigold (LotR, PoMe)
Mantissa (PoMe)
Replaced by Melilot
Matilda (PoMe)
Replaced by Menegilda.
Maxima (PoMe)
May (LotR, PoMe)
Melba (RotS)
Replaced by Arabella Took
Melilot (LotR)
Melissa (RotS, PoMe)
Replaced by Mentha
Menegilda (LotR)
Mentha (LotR)
Mimosa (LotR)
Mirabella (LotR, PoMe)
Miranda (PoMe)
Myrtle (LotR)
Nina (PoMe)
Nora (PoMe)
Pamphila (PoMe)
Briefly considered for Peregrin’s second sister, Pimpernel
Pandora (PoMe)
A name once considered for Esmeralda Took Brandybuck.
Pansy (LotR)
Pearl (LotR, PoMe)
In addition to being the final choice for Pippin’s oldest sister, it was briefly considered for Sam’s mother, Bell.
Peony (LotR, PoMe)
Pervinca (LotR)
Pimpernel (LotR)
Poppy (LotR, PoMe)
Prima (PoMe)
Briefly considered for Peregrin’s oldest sister, Pearl
Primrose (LotR, PoMe)
Primula (LotR, RotS, PoMe)
Prisca (LotR, PoMe)
Regina (PoMe)
Rhoda (PoMe)
Replaced by Myrtle.
Robinia (PoMe)
Rosa (LotR, PoMe)
Rosamunda (LotR)
Rose (LotR, PoMe)
Rowan (LotR)
Ruby (LotR, PoMe)
Salvia (PoMe)
Savanna (PoMe)
Selina (PoMe)
Semolina (RotS, PoMe)
A name once considered for Dora Baggins.
Tanta (LotR, PoMe)
Yolanda (PoMe)
A name once considered for Esmeralda Took Brandybuck.

What are the uses of this information for the fanfic writer?

Well, of course it can be very useful as a source for the names of original hobbit characters. Names which were rejected as too outlandish by JRRT could be used to excellent effect in a humor story or parody. And many of the names are still perfectly good hobbit names, if not filling their original places in the hobbit genealogies. It is also interesting to speculate on why some names were rejected, for example, it seems likely that Theodoric and Theobald may have been rejected when he realized that Théoden was to be a major character. Other names, such as Pandora, were likely rejected due to their connection to Classical mythology.

It is also a guide for what not to name characters. I am embarrassed to confess that had I known all this earlier there is at least one of my characters who would most certainly have had a different surname. I have one named “Harfoot”, which I have come to the conclusion would not have been used as a surname during at least the latter part of the Third Age.

The implications of many of the names and their places within the Shire hierarchy can also lead to speculation, and perhaps even be the seeds of new story ideas. For example, for the first time I find myself curious about Lobelia’s older brother, Bruno Bracegirdle, and the fact that at one time Dora Baggins (ultimately Frodo’s spinster aunt) was at one point, to have had a husband named Conrad Bolger.

At any rate, it has been fascinating to look into all of this, and I hope that it will prove helpful to those who are considering what to name their hobbits!

* In the special 50th Anniversary Edition of The Lord of the Rings, the Bolger and Boffin trees were added to Appendix C. However, they never appeared in any prior edition.

_____________________________________

Sources:

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

J.R.R. Tolkien, History of Middle Earth, Volume VI: Return of the Shadow, The History of The Lord of the Rings, Part I, edited by Christopher Tolkien, Houghton Mifflin, 1988

J.R.R. Tolkien, History of Middle Earth, Volume XII: The Peoples of Middle-Earth, edited by Christopher Tolkien, Houghton Mifflin, 1996

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Humphrey Carpenter, Houghton Mifflin, 2000

Ruth S. Noel, The Languages of Middle-earth, Houghton Mifflin, 1980

Jared Lordell, “Carolingians” from J.R.R. Tolkien encyclopedia: scholarship and critical assessment, edited by Michael D. C. Drout

Merin Essi ar Quentali: Hobbit Naming Traditions
Nationmaster Encyclopedia: List of hobbit families
Blogging into Mordor: Finding the perfect name for your Hobbit.
Shire of the Hobbits: Hobbit Names
Masculine & Feminine Names from the Merovingian Line c.400-c.600 AD compiled by Sara L. Friedemann (Aryanhwy merch Catmael)
Kate Monk’s Onomasticon: Franks
Medieval Names Galleria: Frankish Names
Eupedia: Ancient Germanic Names