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Founded no earlier than the settlement of the Shire in III 16011
Associated with the Bolgers
Budge- is somewhat obscure, but seems to derive in part from 'Bolger'2; -ford refers to the village's location at a ford across the Water


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  • Updated 28 July 2010
  • Updates planned: 1


A town of the Shire’s Eastfarthing

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A settlement in the eastern part of the Shire, so close to the Brandywine Bridge that it fell in the district known as Bridgefields. It lay on the tributary of the Brandywine known simply as the Water. The 'ford' in its name apparently derives from a ford across this stream (though the 'Budge' element is obscure, and intentionally so, according to Tolkien). The town of Budgeford was the seat of the Bolgers, an important family among the Shire-hobbits.



The first Hobbits to enter the Shire did so from the east, across the Brandywine Bridge (or the Bridge of Stonebows, as it was then known). As one of the closest villages to that Bridge, we might speculate that Budgeford was one of the earlier settlements of the Shire-hobbits.


In his Guide to the Names in The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien says that Budge- '...was an obscured element, having at the time no clear meaning.' He does however suggest that it might be a corrupted form of bolge or bulge, connecting it with the Bolger family (so that the full name 'Budgeford' would simply mean 'Bolgers' ford'). It might conceivably have been influenced by Old English budda, a word that literally meant 'beetle', but was also used jocularly to mean 'tubby'.

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