Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Cecil Wormsborough St. John Nobbs ('Nobby') is a fictional character in the Discworld novels of Terry Pratchett. He is a corporal in the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, first appearing in the novel Guards! Guards!.
Nobby Nobbs is the kind of person who joins the army to loot corpses. He is untidy, smelly, and shorter than most dwarfs, and carries a certificate signed by the Patrician to prove that he's a human being. He always seems to have a cigarette butt about him. Cigarettes quickly become butts in his presence, and stay as them for longer. Samuel Vimes, Nobby's commanding officer, said that he would trust him with his life, although not with a dollar. He is usually partnered with Sergeant Fred Colon, and the two have formed a strong friendship.
As a child he was a street urchin and a major source of information for various city notables. He was apparently inspired to join the Watch after meeting with Sergeant-At-Arms John Keel (actually Sam Vimes).
Nobby was once thought to be the Earl of Ankh, but it was all a charade to make him king. Nobby proved less tractable than the conspirators had expected, turning down a cushy life as figurehead ruler of Ankh-Morpork largely, by his own account, for fear of what Vimes would have to say when he found out. However, at the end of the book Feet of Clay it is also suggested that he may be a real nobleman, due to the amount of family heirlooms he has not mentioned to any other person. On the other hand, the Nobbses have stolen so much stuff over the years that, as Vimes has said, you could probably prove Nobby was the Dowager Duchess of Quirm.
Other Discworld characters with a notable similarity to Nobby include a member of the guard in the Überwald town of Bonk, who was nicknamed "Nobbski" by Duke Samuel Vimes (The same person as Ankh-Morpork City Watch Commander Sam Vimes, going by his other title on a diplomatic mission), and one of the market guards in Al Khali, Klatch. Like the various Dibblers, this may be due to morphic resonance.
Nobby made a brief appearance in the Cosgrove Hall adaption of Soul Music. In the BBC Radio 4 adaption of Guards! Guards! he was voiced by Melvyn Hayes . In the 1988 stageplay he was played by David Brett , formerly of the Flying Pickets.
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