I just discovered the archaic term ‘Bobadil’ in a Robert Louis Stevenson essay. It apparently derives from Captain Bobadil, a name Ben Jonson used for a braggart in one of his plays.
Obviously there’s some resemblance to Tolkien’s Tom Bombadil in the name and maybe character. I’d guess it likely Tolkien knew the word, but would he have expected his readers to know it? Does anyone know how common ‘Bobadil’ as a word ever was (is it still used today anywhere)?
It’s difficult to get any information from simple internet searches on this one, since even Google thinks I ought to be searching for “Captain Bombadil”.