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Holbytla (pl. Holbytlan) means ‘hole-dweller’, the legendary creatures known among the Northmen and the Rohirrim.

The legend originated perhaps from the time when their ancestors, the Éothéod saw and knew the Hobbits from the Vales of Anduin, before or around their Wandering Days.

There is only one tale about them, namely that they do not appear in any other tales. They do little, and avoid the sight of men, being able to vanish in a twinkling; and they can change their voices to resemble the piping of birds. From ‘Holbytla’ the word ‘Hobbit’ in Westron was derived.

When Théoden met Peregrin Took and Meriadoc Brandybuck standing guard at Isengard on March 5th, T.A. 3019, he immediately connected them to the folklore creature although he noted that they weren't known to spout smoke from their mouths. He was corrected by Peregrin, who said that they preferred the term "Hobbit" (kuduk).


It is the Old English translation of Rohirric Kûd-dûkan, from which itself the word Kuduk was derived.[1]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix F, "On Translation"