The first time I read Lord of the Rings, I thought Merry was a girl. Hey, I was eight years old! And Merry sounds like a girl's name! Homonyms were, apparently, beyond me. I remember noticing that they used "he" a lot when referring to her, but hey, that must be wrong because, well, isn't Merry a GIRL?
I also have a steel belt buckle that read BILBO. My Dad made it for me. The belt it was made for no longer fits, needless to say, but that buckle could stop a frickin' bullet, it is that thick.