The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
The folkland of the Boffins was in the Yale
Otto comes from Germanic, meaning 'wealth' or 'fortune'1


About this entry:

  • Updated 4 March 2022
  • This entry is complete

Otto Boffin

A patriarch of the Boffin family

Otto Boffin, also called Otto the Fat, was an important member of the Boffin family who lived more than a century before the War of the Ring, probably in the region of the Shire's Eastfarthing known as the Yale.2 The son of Bosco Boffin, he married Lavender Grubb, and was the father of four children: Hugo, Uffo, Rollo and Primrose. Among his better known descendants were Folco Boffin, Lobelia Bracegirdle (better known as Lobelia Sackville-Baggins) and Fredegar Bolger.3



The Germanic name Otto is cognate with an older form Odo, which was also used among the Shire-hobbits, and specifically by the Proudfoot family. As Germanic names, both mean 'weath' or 'riches', but it is at least questionable whether the Shire-hobbits would have made the same connection. Tolkien chose the more familiar names to represent the 'true', original names of these Hobbits, and so any shared meaning with their more modern counterparts would necessarily have been coincidental.


We know for sure that the Boffin family seat was in the Yale, but we don't have definite information about which members of the clan remained there, and which - if any - moved away. As an important head of the family, though, it seems safe to assume that Otto would have lived there for at least some of his life.


Fredegar's nickname among his friends was 'Fatty', so perhaps some of Otto's famous portliness was passed down to at least one of his descendants.


About this entry:

  • Updated 4 March 2022
  • This entry is complete

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