For a common word, its lack of use in the text is a bit haunting! Nobody was formed in English around 1400 (at least it is attested in print that way). I was haunted by the use in chapter 6: the words spoken alous can be read humorously, little butterball Bilbo feeling quite sorry for himself, but the “nobody heard” makes me take a second look. Just how deep into the Otherworld is Bilbo? and what does it mean to him? and how much deeper is he going to go?

‘Very well,’ said Gandalf. ‘Take us where and as far as you will! We are already deeply obliged to you. But in the meantime we are famished with hunger.’

“I am nearly dead of it,’ said Bilbo in a weak little voice that nobody heard.

Hobbit 06.096 – 06.097

• 2.001 There he saw nobody,
• 5.026 What has roots as nobody sees,
• 6.097 in a weak little voice that nobody heard.
• 12.102 when he could find nobody

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