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Hobbit Dictionary Definitions

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Hobbiton | New Zealand 2010

Beyond creating entire languages for elves and orcs, Tolkien was known for making up English words as well. As you read The Hobbit, you might find yourself confidently checking a dictionary for a definition only to find it not there, because with Tolkien’s knowledge of the fundamentals of language, his made-up words sound real.

Here are a few words (regular English and Tolkien-ese) that might make you search Google. Interestingly, several of the words were synonymous with confusion.

be·wuth·ered (adjective)

  • completely puzzled or confused; perplexed.
  • You won’t find this in a dictionary, but it is synonymous with “bewildered”.

flum·mox  (verb)

  • to bewilder; confound; confuse.

con·fust·i·cate (verb)

  • to perplex; bewilder; confuse.
  • Tolkien word synonymous with “confound”.

be·bother (verb)

  • bring excessive trouble upon.
  • Yep — Tolkien-ized word. By adding the “be-” it takes the “bother” up a notch; the “be-” prefix in this context means “to affect completely or excessively”.

au·da·cious (adjective)

  • extremely bold or daring; recklessly brave; fearless: an audacious explorer.
  • extremely original; without restriction to prior ideas; highly inventive: an audacious vision of the city’s bright future.
  • recklessly bold in defiance of convention, propriety, law, or the like; insolent; brazen.
  • lively; unrestrained; uninhibited: an audacious interpretation of her role.

at·ter·cop (noun)

  • a spider
  • an ill-natured person

tom·nod·dy (noun)

  • a fool; a dunce; a noddy.


And now, for one of the loveliest lines in the book…

stag·ger·ment (adjective)

  • to be shocked; rendered helpless with amazement or the like; astonished.
  • Another Tolkien affected word. By adding the “-ment” to “stagger” he defines the state of being staggered.


which is your favourite Tolkien-word: bewuthered, confusticate, bebother, or staggerment?

» Don’t miss previous {word wednesday} posts: bequeathaugurypluck & quiddity.

Kindle-editions available here: The Hobbit and Webster’s Dictionary.←


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bet mercer

Bet Mercer is a poet-photographer who writes at Gimme Some Reads and Everyday Poetry. She loves quotes, reading her favourite books over again, great conversation, laughter, trees, films, and travelling the world. Follow along with Bet on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, Etsy and Google+.

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8 comments on “Hobbit Dictionary Definitions”

  1. I love this post so much, I just might dance around like a Tomnoddy.

  2. I would choose staggerment and use it in stage directions for melodramas!

  3. Loved that “Hobbit! Confusticate, you!” Hilarious. Also, how about “tuppence”? I can’t find my book right now so can’t recall the context.

    • Ah — “They did not care tuppence about the butterflies, and were only made more angry when he told them of the beautiful breeze, which they were too heavy to climb up and feel.”

      Tuppence is [British] two pence, or two pennies. So, not worth much. :)

    • LoL, Yeap. Confusticate is hilarious. That’s the right adjective for that one. My favorite as well.