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Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 27, 2006 is:
hobbit \HOB-it\ noun
: a member of a fictitious peaceful and genial race of small humanlike creatures that dwell underground
"As lush as any hobbit's realm, the forest engulfs Sams River Loop Trail. . .." (John G. Mitchell, National Geographic, July 1, 2004)
Did you know?
"What is a hobbit?" wrote J.R.R. Tolkien in the 1937 fantasy novel that introduced Mr. Bilbo Baggins. The author then answered himself: "They are (or were) little people, about half our height, and smaller than the bearded Dwarves.... There is little or no magic about them, except the ordinary everyday sort which helps them to disappear when large stupid folk like you and me come blundering along ...." Tolkien tells us that hobbits "are inclined to be fat," and that they "dress in bright colours"; they "have good-natured faces, and deep fruity laughs (especially after dinner)." Tolkien, a professional linguist who taught at Oxford, coined the word "hobbit" (and many other terms -- in fact, a whole new language) for The Hobbit and for his enormously popular series The Lord of the Rings.