This word escaped our original edition of the concordance because I lemmatized it under “worm”, a common word.  But now that we’re thinking about hyphens, I’ve returned to rescue this delightful word from the shadows.  If anyone knows of a good paper about were-worms, I would love to link it here –

  • 01.097 and fight the wild Were-worms


This is one of the clearest clues that these hyphenated words are Tolkien’s putative translation artifacts.  If I were decsribing this scene about a person of my own species, I would say that the steps were not made, all the same, for a child’s legs, or for a middle-aged woman’s legs…

[13.044] The steps were not made, all the same, for hobbit-legs, and Bilbo was just feeling that he could go on no longer, when suddenly the roof sprang high and far beyond the reach of their torch-light.

I believe that “hobbit-legs” indicates a single word like “shank”, in Westron, meant to convey “the legs of a hobbit” – a very specialized word indeed.  The passage takes place as Bilbo and the dwarves clamber through the Mountain to the chamber of Thror.

  • 13.044 for hobbit-legs,


And that means comfort!

  • 01.001 it was a hobbit-hole,
  • 01.005 built the most luxurious hobbit-hole for her
  • 01.005 in the beautiful hobbit-hole built by his father,
  • 01.070 and very far from his hobbit-hole under The Hill.
  • 01.110 and only of hobbit-holes).
  • 03.004 in his hobbit-hole,
  • 03.031 right back to his hobbit-hole without trouble.
  • 04.002 and his little hobbit-hole.
  • 04.017 and again for his nice bright hobbit-hole.
  • 04.045 “Why, O why did I ever leave my hobbit-hole!”
  • 08.074 of his far-distant hobbit-hole
  • 09.012 in my hobbit-hole
  • 11.020 in his hobbit-hole,
  • 11.022 and his hobbit-hole under it.
  • 15.035 in Bilbo’s little hobbit-hole.
  • 19.037 in his nice hobbit-hole so very much.