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Toby is a popular male name in many English speaking countries.The name is ultimately derived from Hebrew אלוהים הוא טוב Alohim hoa Tov and roughly translates as "The Lord is Good". The name is now often used in its own right, but originated as a contraction of Tobias. It is also used as a contraction of Tobit, Tobin (an Irish surname now also used as a forename), or Tobermory.

In The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien "Toby" is used as a contraction of the hobbit name "Tobold", and "Old Toby" is used as a name for a type of tobacco.

Toby was the name of a black slave, whose descendant the author Alex Haley wrote the novel The Saga of an American Family about his roots in Africa, his ancestor's life of struggle for freedom in American society. Toby was often used as a name for slaves in the United States. Toby also became a generic name for a "learned pig", a type of performing pig supposed to display intellectual abilities.


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