Looking for a name for your little halfling? Unwilling to settle for "Frodow" "Samwizze" or "Bihlbo"? Have you already named your character one of these but are looking to change it to something decent and lore-abiding? This guide will help you to find the perfect name for your hobbit and avoid the wrath incurred when you turn on your role-playing flag with the name "Kneestabberxx". You will also find tips on choosing a surname. If you've already named your hobbit but are looking to construct an interesting back-story, this guide might be useful to you as well!
J. R. R. Tolkien gave each different race and culture in the game its own customs and naming systems. Looking at the names of different hobbits can tell you things about them -- where they might have been born, what family they might be a part of. This gives you the opportunity to give your character a back-story if you wish, though simply using this guide to choose a cool name is good as well. And there is nothing wrong with taking some of the names here and using them in other games! Always make sure to read the naming guidelines of whatever game you play so that you do not break any rules and face punishment. In The Lord of the Rings Online, using a name that is even close to a character from the lore (such as Frodo, Lobelia, or Pippin) is strictly against the rules. So if you want a name that sounds hobbity and not a violation of the rules, you have to get creative. Luckily, Tolkien himself was creative and named enough of these creatures to give us an idea of how to do it!
Even after reading this guide remember that the best name is the one you enjoy seeing and think fits your character, no matter how much you play it. What you think of your hobbit's name is more important than what other people think as long as it doesn't violate the naming conditions of your game.
Naming a male hobbit:
Male hobbits have the most variation when it comes to names. The sound and features of a name are generally linked to the family, social class, or nationality of your hobbit (such as a Fallohide, Harfoot, or Stoor). While the game generally separates hobbits by their nationality, naming conventions are more often determined by tradition and family ties. Keep in mind that most hobbits contain more than one nationality in their blood since they live so close together and do not usually take it into account when marrying. Therefore you do not need to worry about your hobbit's nationality when choosing a name. If you plan to make your hobbit from a certain family it would be wise to adhere to the rules of that family. If not, these are simply various methods you can take to find an interesting name for your hobbit.
The first type of name used is the one used by the Baggins family. The names in this family generally follow three rules: First, your name must contain two syllables. Second, it must end in the letter "o". Third, the name must sound like something you'd name a dog. Some male names used in the Baggins family tree are: Balbo, Ponto, Dudo, Longo, Drogo, Frodo, Bungo, and Lotho. These names are best used for a Harfoot, a hobbit that comes from the middle or lower class, or is a Baggins.
The Took family also has naming traditions. A Took, like a Baggins or a Brandybuck, is often identified by the ending of his name. Being one of the richest families in the Shire in money as well as history, the Tooks use names that they feel sound rich and "uppity". Common beginnings for a Took's name are Hildi-, Isem-, Isen-, and common endings are -ard, -bras, -bold, -grim, or -grin. In the case of Isem- and Isen-, the former is used when the next vowel is a "b", and the latter is used when it is any other consonant (usually a "g"). Examples of hobbits found in the Took family are: Isengrim, Hildifons, Hildigrim, and Peregrin. These names are best used for a hobbit that is considered rich or comes from a family of high status in the Shire (or is a Fallohide).
The Brandybucks are another rich family in the Shire that also name their children to fit a more "regal" style. However, this family uses different naming conventions than the Tooks. The beginnings of the names vary more than the Tooks, but names commonly begin with the "Ma-" or "Me-". Common endings for Brandybuck names are "-adoc, -adas, -ulas, -imas, and -imac". Examples of Brandybucks are: Gormadoc, Rorimac, Saradoc, Seredic, Doderic, and Orgulas. Fallohides and Stoors often use this method of naming.
The last family tree available for analyzing names is that of Samwise Gamgee. There is a pattern to naming in this family tree as well but it is not as clear-cut as the others due to the fact that like most hobbit families the Gamgees intermixed with many families of the Shire. Common beginnings for names are "Hal-, Hob-, Ham-, and Tol-". Common endings are "-wise, -fred, -fast, and -man". Examples of Gamgees are: Andwise, Tolman, Hamfast, and Halfred.
While there is a pattern in the names of Sam's family tree, these conventions can be applied to most poorer hobbit families such as the Whitfoots, the Bracegirdles, and the Grubbs. Most hobbits that are not Tooks or Brandybucks either adopt the Baggins or the Gamgee convention of naming (or if your hobbit is a Stoor).
Male hobbits usually adopt the naming conventions of the family that their father belonged to. For instance, Frodo Baggins' mother was a Brandybuck but since his father was a Baggins he took the Baggins naming style (as well as the last name).
Naming a female hobbit:
Female hobbits follow much different guidelines from the males. They are usually named after a flower or a gemstone. If not, they almost always end with the letter -a. Some hobbits, especially around the Bree area, might instead use names common in England at the time such as "Priscilla" or "Penelope." However, as there can only be one hobbit per server who has these names, most of the common flower or gemstone names are taken. This means you must get creative.
One way to find a good name that isn't taken is to use lesser-known types of flowers or gems. You might have to do a bit of research on the internet to find a good list of gemstones, but a list of garden plants is easily accessible. You should use your own judgment on what names sound like a hobbit name. "Acokanthera" is probably not an appropriate name for a female hobbit, while "Luculia" is.
Examples of female hobbit names would be "Lobelia", "Primula", "Ruby", and "Angelica".
Choosing a surname is probably the most difficult part of naming a hobbit. Luckily, you don't have the option of choosing one until level 15 so you have time to get creative. Finding a surname is mostly difficult because Turbine blocks the most common hobbit names such as "Baggins", "Brandybuck", and "Took". They also block some of the less-common cannon surnames such as "Whitfoot" and "Bolger". However, a few of the really little-known names from the book are available. The names "Longhole" and "Noakes" are names commonly used by hobbits from Bree (and are also noted to exist in the Shire) and are available in the game. Another good way to find a name that sounds lore-appropriate is to take names actually thought up by the developers and given to hobbit NPCs. Some of these might be blocked as well. The easiest way to find a name is to make one up that sounds like a hobbit name. One way to do this is to use this list of English towns. These often make good last names.
Hobbit surnames take many forms, but the most common type of name is one that combines two words, often an adjective and a noun. Examples of this are "Whitfoot," "Longhole" and "Brockhouse." A lot of people tend to use a silly surname such as "Fuzzybottom," but it hardly sounds right. A good way to create your own surname is to take a color and combine it with a noun. Usually this noun is somehow related to how the hobbits live. "Greenwater" is a good choice for a hobbit who lives by the river, "Greyburrow" for a hobbit who lives in a hobbit-hole. Some common second-words to use for your surname would be, "-house", "-bottle", "-foot", and "-water".
If you are dead-set on making your hobbit a Baggins or a Took you could simply modify the spelling. This is difficult because doing this to a name often makes it lose the "hobbit" feel. For instance, "Tuk" doesn't sound like a hobbit name. Modifying the name to "Tooke" gives it more of a hobbit feel. Try not to do this too much as it can violate the character naming conditions. If you intend your hobbit to be a Brandybuck, Took, or other family that is not allowed, it is best to simply not take a surname and modify your character's biography to state its family name.
Little spelling rules to follow:
- The letter "y" generally does not appear at the beginning or in the middle of a name for hobbits. Names such as "Toly" and "Ruby" are acceptable, but not "Ryno" or "Ryta." For names such as this use an "i" instead. There are a few exceptions to this rule found in the family trees of the hobbits such as "Berylla" and "Myrtle", generally because a they are named after gemstones, flowers, or are a common English name. The letter "y" usually only occurs in a nickname in males, not a full name.
- The shorter, the better. Most hobbit names contain two syllables. Any longer than three and most hobbits use a shorter nickname. However, if your hobbit is a Brandybuck or a Took it may use a longer name.
- The letter "k" is never used at the beginning of a name and almost always has the letter "c" in front of it. "Brockhouse" is acceptable, but "Brokhouse" and "Kody" are not. This letter usually only occurs in surnames. If you are looking for a "k" sound at the beginning of a word, or in a first name, use the letter "c" instead, as in "Meriadoc" or "Cotman".
- Hobbit names don't contain many diphthongs (combinations of vowels). Combinations of vowels such as "ai" or "ei" do not generally occur in hobbit names. The opposite, however, does work -- "ia" works in names such as "Meriadoc" and "ie" works in "Rosie." Try, however, to construct names that separate the vowels from each other -- too many vowels close together starts to make a name look more "foreign" to the hobbit-folk.
- The ending "-y" is generally used in male names, and "-ie" is used in female names. The only exceptions are names such as "Ruby" which is taken from a gemstone.
For further examples of hobbit names it is useful to check the family trees in the appendices of The Return of the King, or simply wander around in-game as the developers have made many creative names of their own.