Random Facts: Hobbits

Eighty years ago, on September 21, 1937, JRR Tolkien’s book The Hobbit was first published.

In the mid-19th century, ‘hobbit’ (or ‘hobbet’) meant a seed basket or a measure of 2.5 bushels. When Tolkien re-invented the word, he said it meant ‘hole-builder’ or ‘hole-dweller’.

‘Hobbit’ is also the nickname given to the extinct race of dwarf humans, Homo floresiensis, found on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2003.

There are no female characters in The Hobbit. The only one mentioned is Belladonna Took.

The first Portuguese edition of The Hobbit was called “O Gnomo” (The Gnome).

A total of 263 beards were made for the first film in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy. For the many wigs used in the film, the makers had to buy 60-80 kilograms of yak-hair, which was all the yak hair in Britain at the time.