Researches in the Bodleian Library have recently unearthed previously undocumented examples of Bilbo Baggins’ famously passive-aggressive gift labels dating from the time of his Eleventy-First Birthday Party (1401 Shire-reckoning). Despite our imperfect command of the Westron tongue, we have here attempted to present English renderings of some of the more facetious examples.
To TARQUIN, in the hope that his life is improved. – on a hatstand
To MELODY GOODENOUGH, for the amusement of her parents. – on a mouth organ
To ELPHANORA BRANDYBUCK, for the nourishment of her greatest friends. – on a marrowbone1
1 Elphanora was inordinately fond of her dogs
For PRISCILLA BRACEGIRDLE, in the hopes that it is edifying. – on a copy of Toby Tobold the Third’s On Wooing
To TERENCE SADDLEBOTTOM, in recognition of ten years of impeccable service. – on a leather satchel and three pouches of Old Toby2
2 Terence Saddlebottom was Hobbiton’s most diligent postal worker; the sound of his whistling at 7:15 am sharp had woken the tenants of Bagshot Row for well over a decade.
To FARMER MAGGOT of THE MARISH, in recompense for many fine dinners. – on a bundle of dried mushrooms
To MARIGOLD TOOK, for its instructive qualities. – on a small golden pocket-watch.
For HANNA GREENHAND, to fill empty spaces. – on an assortment of small and usually worthless articles3
3 Hanna Greenhand was one of the primary collectors of mathoms in the Shire; her home was unusually cluttered even by hobbit standards, making visits perilous for the unsuspecting guest.
To PENELOPE, for her comfort – on a pair of earmuffs and a assortment of embroidered shawls, gloves and scarves.
To FOLCO OAKSEED, for his collection – on a pouch of old coins4
4 Folco was notoriously tight-fisted.