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Things of Middle-earth

Lazy Lob and Crazy Cob

Type: Songs & Stories

Description:“Standing now in the middle of the hunting and spinning insects Bilbo plucked up his courage and began a new song:

Lazy Lob and crazy Cob
are weaving webs to wind me.
I am far more sweet than other meat,
but still they cannot find me!

Here am I, naughty little fly;
you are fat and lazy.
You cannot trap me, though you try,
in your cobwebs crazy.”
Flies and Spiders, pg. 171, The Hobbit


Both lob and cob are words for "spider." Lob comes from the Old English loppe, lobbe; Middle English loppe, lop(p), lob. Cob is rare as a separate word and is probably taken from cobweb (Middle English coppe-web). In The Princess and the Goblin, however, George Macdonald used cob as a word for goblin.

The Annotated Hobbit, Annotated by Douglas A. Anderson, Ch 8, Flies and Spiders, Note 16

Contributors: Still Anonymous, 02/29/04; added etymology: Elena Tiriel 24May04

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