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Built Bag End in Hobbiton
Bungo doesn't seem to have a specific meaning1


About this entry:

  • Updated 7 October 2010
  • This entry is complete

Bungo Baggins

The builder of Bag End

" 'Every worm has his weak spot,' as my father used to say, though I am sure it was not from personal experience."
Words of Bungo's son, Bilbo
The Hobbit 12
Inside Information

The eldest of Mungo Baggins' five children, Bungo married into the Took family when he wed Belladonna, the eldest of the Old Took's three daughters. He thus acquired a part of the Took wealth, and with its help he set about creating a luxurious Hobbit-hole in Hobbiton Hill: Bag End.

Bungo and Belladonna had just one child, a son named Bilbo. Bungo brought up Bilbo with a hoard of useful sayings, several of which Bilbo quoted in the course of his adventures later in life.2 In the year III 2916, Bungo's mother Laura died, and he became the official head of the Baggins clan, though not for long. A decade later Bungo himself passed away at the age of eighty, and Belladonna died just eight years later, leaving their son Bilbo as master of Bag End and head of the Baggins family.



Masculine names in the Baggins family tend to fit a common phonetic pattern (For example: Bilbo, Balbo, Mungo, Bingo and so on). Some of these examples do carry meanings, but Bungo's name seems to have been invented simply to fit the common pattern of his family. Indeed, Tolkien confirms this in Appendix F II to The Lord of the Rings, where Bungo is listed as a Hobbit-name with no particular meaning. Given the naming conventions used in the Shire, the original form was probably Bunga rather than Bungo.


Apart from Bungo's unaccountable advice on the killing of Dragons given above, his other quoted sayings were 'Third time pays for all' (The Hobbit 12) and 'While there's life there's hope!' (ibid 13). Actually this last phrase seems to have been proverbial among the Shire-hobbits; Sam Gamgee also reported his own father saying something similar: 'where there's life there's hope' (often adding 'and need of vittles', as quoted in The Two Towers IV 7). Thanks to David T. Greenfield for pointing out this connection.


About this entry:

  • Updated 7 October 2010
  • This entry is complete

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