The eponymous hobbit isn't tall, dark, handsome, strong, youthful, clever, enthusiastic, brave, well-educated, or even very well-connected.
He has the misfortune to be called Bilbo Baggins, too, which is ridiculous.
And yet, eventually and very much against his better judgement, the hobbit becomes a hero.
What more can you ask for in a book than that?
Oh yes, there's a dragon, as well.
In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell...it was a hobbit hole, and that means comfort.
Word To Use Today: hobbit. JRR Tolkien tells us that this word came from the Old English hol byldan, to build a hole, which led to the imaginary compound hobytla (plural hobytlan).
However, Tolkien seems to have made up the word before he worked out its "derivation".
Since 2004 hobbit has also become used as the name of a kind of small primitive human, Homo floresiensis, whose remains have been found on the Indonesian island of Flores.