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Extant in III 3019
Literally, a male robin (a play on this character's given name 'Robin')1
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  • Updated 1 October 2016
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The nickname of Robin Smallburrow

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A nickname for Robin Smallburrow, a native of Hobbiton and one the Shire's band of Shirriffs. Sam Gamgee used it when he encountered his old friend Robin and troop of Shirriffs after returning from the southern lands.

The nickname 'cock-robin' is a slang reference to a person who is easily persuaded to follow others, and this seems to apply to Robin Smallburrow. He originally became a Shirriff some years before the War of the Ring, when the Shirriffs were a small, loosely organised group. When Lotho Sackville-Baggins appointed himself 'Chief Shirriff', he started to use the Shirriffs to enforce draconian Rules on the inhabitants of the Shire. Though Cock-robin Smallburrow was evidently reluctant to take on this new role, he was forced to become part of the Chief's new regime.



'Cock-robin' is also slang for an easily-led person, and that seems to match Robin Smallburrow's half-hearted collaboration with Sharkey's Men. More famously a character of this name features in the old rhyme 'Who Killed Cock Robin?', where 'Cock Robin' is generally thought to be a veiled reference to Robin Hood. If Tolkien intended a connection to that rhyme, though, it's hard to fathom what that connection might be.

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