Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Hobbit Names and Naming Conventions

Author: Dreamflower
Nominator: Cathleen
2010 Award Category: Genres: Non-Fiction - Third Place

Story Type: Non-Fiction : Length: N/A
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: A look at the naming traditions of the hobbits of the Shire, as well as a comprehensive list of hobbit surnames and first names from canon and quasi-canon sources.


Reviewed by: The Lauderdale -- Score: 7

Now here is a treasure. As someone who has frequently scanned Wikipedia's articles on "List of hobbit families" ([http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_hobbit_families]) and "List of Hobbits" ([http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Hobbits]) I am thrilled to find this reference: one that not only provides a list of given names and surnames, together with where you found them, but that supplies so much useful analysis of hobbit naming traditions, even to the point of assigned sections examining the individual families. LOVED that detail about the three Took daughters and the triangular arrangement of their names. (It may be that this is already commonly recognized and commented on, but honestly it’s gone over my head till now.) Also had to smile at your rueful note about the name “Harfoot,” which I had wanted to give to one of my own hobbit characters before, regretfully, dropping it for the same reason. That’s without getting me started on the bibliographic trappings for this piece and the resources it links for info on the naming traditions from which Tolkien borrowed. AWESOME essay.

Reviewed by: Fiondil -- Score: 5

I love onomatology, the study of names, their etymology and history and how different cultures use different naming conventions, so this essay was a delight to read. While I do not normally write Hobbit stories, though I may have a hobbit or two in a story, I have always enjoyed the Hobbit genealogies (being a genealogy geek as well). Dreamflower’s attempt to list every known Hobbit name (accepted or rejected by JRRT), along with their sources and even side comments about their significance, if any, is nothing short of phenomenal. My congratulations to her for a well-crafted and interesting essay. So, all you Hobbit lovers, this essay is definitely for you.

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland -- Score: 5

At first glance Hobbit names seem quite simple and straightforward, though the reader might ask such questions as was Tolkien thinking of the god "Froh" in German myth when naming Frodo, or some Italian melodrama when using names like "Fosco". We also come across comfortingly familiar names like Sam and Rosie and Daisy,but then we have to remember that Tolkien considered all his names to be translations. Dreamflower gives a fascinating insight here into Hobbit names and their family connections and the list given is a great resource for any Hobbit writer.

Reviewed by: Cathleen -- Score: 4

A well thought out essay on the way Hobbits go about naming their children. Dreamflower's essays are always thought-provoking and extremely insightful. I found this particular essay very useful as hobbit names are somewhat mysterious to me still! I now have a handy reference point whenever I have a name question and I hope Dreamflower will compose another essay soon!

Reviewed by: Inkling -- Score: 4

A tremendously useful essay for anyone writing, or considering writing, stories with OC hobbits...and in the case of a story featuring a LOT of OC hobbits, a godsend! As someone who doesn't own HoMe and has only skimmed parts in bookstores, I will be very happy to save this piece on my computer...alongside Dreamflower's equally handy "Expletives in The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings"!

Reviewed by: Elleth -- Score: 4

A fascinating essay on Hobbit naming that goes far beyond considering only the female flower-type names many readers are familiar with. With references to real-world medieval naming that find their parallels in the Lord of the Rings, lists of extant Hobbit names and a consideration of peculiarities, the essay provides a fascinating read and almost certainly should be a valuable help for the writers of Hobbit fanfiction.

Reviewed by: Virtuella -- Score: 3

Dreamflower has created a useful resource here, explaining the history and rationale behind hobbit names. I was particularly interested is those names she traced back to Merowingian and Carolingian traditions, which are quite fascinating.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 3

A perfect compendium and reference for those of us who delight to write stories set within the Shire, Dreamflower's work here should be readily bookmarked and returned to on a regular basis. I can't begin to imagine how long she researched to prepare this, but we can certainly reap the fruits of her labors. Thank you so, my friend!

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 3

An excellent essay that gives the reader all the information imaginable about the conventions of hobbit naming, and the details of the names themselves. Dreamflower has put a lot of work into the essay; and it shows. I really like the way she explores the naming patterns of the main hobbit families...