- "Orc is not an English word. It occurs in one or two places [in The Hobbit] but is usually translated goblin (or hobgoblin for the larger kinds)"
- —J.R.R. Tolkien, Preface to The Hobbit
J.R.R. Tolkien wrote in a 1971 letter that in folklore hobgoblins were actually particularly small goblins of the traditional (not the Tolkien) kind, which is opposite of the case with the "goblins" (orcs) of The Hobbit.