The Drûgin lived among the Second House of Men, the Haladin, in the First Age in the forest of Brethil. They were an alien folk to the other Men: a bit like Dwarves in stature and endurance, stumpy, clumsy-limbed (with short, thick legs, and fat, "gnarled" arms), had broad chests, fat bellies, and heavy buttocks. According to the Elves and other Men, they had "unlovely faces": wide, flat, and expressionless with deep-set black eyes that glowed red when angered. They had "horny" brows, flat noses, wide mouths, and sparse, lanky hair. They had no hair lower than the eyebrows, except for a few men who had a tail of black hair on the chin. Although a number of the Drúedain were present in Númenor they had left or died out before the Downfall, as had the Púkel-men of Dunharrow. At the end of the Third Age the Drûg still lived in the Drúadan Forest of the White Mountains, and at the long cape of Andrast west of Gondor. The region north of Andrast was still known as Drúwaith Iaur, or "Old Drûg land".
The Woses led by Ghân-buri-Ghân held off Orcs with poisoned arrows and were vital in securing the aid of the Rohirrim in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. King Aragorn Elessar "forever" granted them the Drúadan Forest in the Fourth Age.
The term Drúedain is Sindarin in origin, the singular being either Drûg or Drúadan. However there are many terms used for the same peoples in the various languages of Arda. The most common are listed below:
- Drughu: the Drúedain's own name for themselves. Drughu is ultimately the source of the Sindarin 'Drúedain' and many of the other names they are known by.
- Drúath: An earlier Sindarin term for the Drúedain, modified as early as the First Age when it became known that they were enemies of the orcs. Later used to refer to a large number of the Drúedain as opposed to 'Drúin' which was a simple pluralisation (As 'Woses' to the singular 'Wose') and Drúedain, used to refer to the race as a whole.
- Drúin: Plural of 'Drûg' or 'Drúadan'.
- Drúadan: Singular term in the same manner of 'Dúnadan' is to 'Dúnedain'. It also has possessive qualities as in the case of Drúadan Forest
- Drûg-folk: Rarely used collective term.
- Róg/Rógin: Rohirric terminology, singular/plural respectively (as in 'Drúg'/'Drúedain'
- Rú/Rúatani:' Quenya terms for the Drughu, derived from their Sindarin counterparts. Singular/plural respectively.
- Wose/Woses: A term borrowed from Old English by Tolkien as a translation of the Rohhirric 'Róg'. This is perhaps the most common term used by readers of the text.