One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(originally in stories by J. R. R. Tolkien) a member of an imaginary race of small people.‘Bilbo Baggins lived until age 131, making him the second oldest halfling of all time’
2(in fantasy fiction) a being who is the offspring of a human and a member of another race.‘sometimes Ana wondered whether he might be a halfling like her, with a human father and elf mother’
3Scottish archaic A person who is not yet fully grown.‘in this service he remained until he was nineteen, still serving in the capacity of halfling, with only a halfling's fee’
Mid 17th century: from half + -ling.
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