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Topic: Bilbo and spiders

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Orc captain of Morgul - Rank 5
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Posts: 318
Date: May 26, 2006
Bilbo and spiders

In 'The Hobbit', Bilbo called the spiders Attercop, Lazy Lob, Crazy Cob, and Old Tomnoddy. Does anybody know what any of these words mean?

"Ash nazg durbatulūk, ash nazg gimbatul, ash nazg thrakatulūk, agh burzum-ishi krimpatul"
Status: Offline
Posts: 172
Date: May 26, 2006

I looked up attercop, and it says one of the meanings is 'spider,' so that's kind of obvious.  Also, FYI, the modern Norwegian for spider is edderkopp. 

Lazy Lob you can look up for yourself as the full meaning (which is slang and would be offensive if you called anyone by it) is not family-friendly at all.  However, lob alone is taken from Old/Middle English word meaning 'spider.'  Same deal with cob. 

Tomnoddy was apparently an offensive term for a foolish or stupid person. 

I think it's obvious why Bilbo used those names once you find their meanings...I can imagine the spiders would be very offended, being called lazy and crazy and foolish and an unwholesome slang term. 

My might in Arms is surpassed by none in Arda!
Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Posts: 3118
Date: May 26, 2006
not quite Eonwe, the meaning wasn't spider for all
Attercop literally means 'poison-head', and was actually a word used for a variety of poisonous creatures - from atter, we also derive our modern word adder, a type of poisonous snake.
Cob is probably a shortened version of attercop, and survives to modern times in the word cobweb.
Lob most famously appears in Shelob, and lob is as Eonwe said a word for spider.

Honor, Freedom, Fatherland
Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Posts: 2161
Date: May 26, 2006
As for the rest they have been explained but 'Tomnoddy' is an old fasioned British word used for mild offence. For example: 'Who's that Tomnoddy?' if you are refering to some odd stranger in the street.


Utślie'n  aurė!  Aiya  Eldaliė  ar  Atanatįri,  utślie'n  aurė! 
Auta  i  lómė! 
Aurė entuluva!

Soldier of the East - Rank 4
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Posts: 306
Date: Oct 12, 2006

Well, I guess you learn something new every day. I'm very bad with diferent meanings and roots.

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