Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for March 25, 2021 is:

hobbit • HAH-bit  • noun

: a member of a fictitious peaceful and genial race of small humanlike creatures that dwell underground


“The extensive pathways are lush with mossy carpets, gnarly tree roots that provide natural steps to climb, and elfin-sized tree hollows, straight out of a Lord of the Rings movie set. It feels as though a hobbit or even Gandalf stepping out from behind one of the majestic beech tree trunks would be a perfectly normal possibility.” — The New Zealand Herald, 17 Feb. 2021

“Enter through a pivoting hobbit-style front door with hardware from the 1800s and climb the spiral staircase crafted from an 800-year-old juniper tree. There are Douglas fir beams, exposed rafters and a romantic wood stove.” — Janet Eastman,, 3 Sept. 2020

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.

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