The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
c. III 2725 - c. III 2815 (1125 - 1215 by the Shire-reckoning) (lived approximately 90 years)1
Probably lived in the Yale2
Buffo is apparently an operatic joke by Tolkien3


About this entry:

  • Updated 2 August 2008
  • This entry is complete

Buffo Boffin

A patriarch of the Boffin clan

The earliest known member of the Boffin family, Buffo's dates are unknown, but he would have flourished in the middle of the twelfth century by the Shire-reckoning (that is, some two hundred and fifty years before the War of the Ring). Buffo married Ivy Goodenough, and they had four children: Bosco, Basso, Briffo and Berylla. Of these, Bosco the eldest was the ancestor to most of the Boffins known from later tales. Buffo's youngest child, Berylla, also had an important part to play; she married Balbo Baggins, and so all the well-known Bagginses of later years were her descendants, including Bilbo and Frodo.



Though we have no specific dates for Buffo, his descendants followed a distinct pattern. With only a few years' variation, the eldest sons of each generation were born forty years after their fathers, and lived to the age of ninety. Extrapolating backwards from this pattern gives a reasonable basis for estimating Buffo's lifetime.


By no means all the Boffins lived in their ancestral lands of the Yale, but as an important patriarch of the family, it's reasonable to assume that Buffo spent at least some of his life there.


In opera, a basso buffo is type of (usually comical) role. The fact that Buffo's second son was named 'Basso' is strong hint that Tolkien had this connection in mind when he invented these Hobbits' names.


About this entry:

  • Updated 2 August 2008
  • This entry is complete

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