The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Dated back to at least the middle of the twenty-ninth century of the Third Age1
Race
Culture
Settlements
Particularly associated with Hardbottle in the Shire's Northfarthing
Meaning
The original meaning was 'trouser-belt'2

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 8 July 2017
  • Updates planned: 1

Bracegirdle Family

An important hobbit-family of the Shire

An important and populous family of the Shire-hobbits, associated with the town or village of Hardbottle. The most famous of them was Lobelia Bracegirdle, who married Otho Sackville-Baggins.


Notes

1

The earliest recorded member of the Bracegirdle family was Blanco Bracegirdle. His date of birth is not known, but his wife Primrose Boffin was born in III 2865 (or 1265 by the Shire-reckoning), so we can safely assume that the Bracegirdles dated back at least a century and a half before the War of the Ring.

2

'Bracegirdle' is a real English surname, meaning 'trouser-belt'. The first element has several potential sources, but as a Hobbit-name would come from Old English brec 'breech, trouser', with 'girdle' being 'belt'. The punning implication, that members of the family were so rotund as to literally brace their girdles - in the sense that their belts were tightly fastened - is not part of the formal etymology of the name, but would surely not have been lost on the Hobbits, who delighted in jokes like this.

It should be mentioned that some sources suggest and alternative origin via Old French, where the 'brace' element comes from bras, 'arm', and so a 'bracegirdle' would be an archer's leather arm-guard. This Old French etymology is dubious even for the real English surname, and it can surely be discounted entirely as the source of a Hobbit family name.

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 8 July 2017
  • Updates planned: 1

For acknowledgements and references, see the Disclaimer & Bibliography page.

Website services kindly sponsored by Axiom Software Ltd and myDISCprofile.

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 2002, 2016-2017. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda
Menu
Homepage Search Latest Entries and Updates Random Entry