Thank you whoever added the clarification about the Nomes of the Bromeliad series. It had slipped my mind. ~ vsl
Whoops... discreetly drawing a veil. Couldn't remember if it was one of mine or not but it felt like it - actually somebody else's... (fetches coat and leaves quietly)--AgProv 19:49, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
No need to rush off; vsl might have signed it properly, too. --Old Dickens 21:07, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
Swires first appearance
"Buggy Swires, first appearance as a Watchman in Jingo)." - This sentence reads a bit ambiguously. I'm pretty sure Swires' first appearance was The Light Fantastic as the first gnome we meet (after Rincewind earlier thinks they're extinct). He's just called "Swires", but we can assume it's Buggy? Does this sentence say that Buggy's first appearance as a watchman was in Jingo, or his first appearance ever?
Also a thought re. Buggy Swires and Wee Mad Arthur living solitary existences away from the beehive-like society of the nac mac Feegle. If a typical Feegle clan has one fertile Queen, and only one "drone" gets to be her husband and father of the next generation of Feegles, this leaves thousands of Feegle playing out a existence parellel to workers and drones within the Hive. We must sidestep the great unspoken - and possibly taboo - topic of whether sexual frustration (whether consciously realised or not) adds to the characteristic propensity to violence of the species, although this is tempting to consider if you think deeply about the Feegle.
There are species of bees that will either live solitary lives or exist in far smaller looser communities than that of the honeybee. The bumblebee is a prime example. Could Swires and Wee Mad Arthur be, in effect, "bumblebee" versions of the Feegle?  The bumblebee lives in more modest communities of no more than fifty individuals. Other bee species genuinely live more solitary lives, only seeking out others during the mating season: . So who knows, there may be "keldas" of the same inclination as Swires and Arthur out there - as TP writes ferociously independent and strong female characters, such a one might be actively seeking for the right Pictsie and her quest might well lead her to Ankh-Morpork...--AgProv 23:50, 29 January 2008 (CET)
Or are the Gnome jewellers just filling another niche like urban rat-catching or piloting buzzards? They seem adaptable. --Old Dickens 22:34, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
Like their Roundworld avatars, the Gnomes probably have their drunken thieving louts (Gordon Highlander rejects,) and their fine machinists, shipbuilders (SHIP, not SHEEP,) and engineers and somewhere, some upright Presbyterian barley farmers. --Old Dickens 23:00, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
There is a female gnome that appears with a baby during 'Theatre of Cruelty', which would seem to suggest that they are a separate species which lacks the eusocial behavior of the Feegles.
New spin on gnomes vs. pictsies
With the release of I Shall Wear Midnight, it has become apparent that gnomes and pictsies are not the same species, any more than humans and dwarfs are. Wee Mad Arthur is clearly identified as a Feegle raised by gnomes, who retains certain Feegle-ish tendencies due to heredity. This largely disqualifies him as a valid example of "gnomish" behavior, and goes a long way to resolve the uncertainty as to how the two races are related.
With Arthur's case eliminated from consideration, that leaves us with Buggy Swires, the "Swires" from TLF (possibly a relative?), and the performers from 'Theatre of Cruelty' as true examples of Discworld gnomes. Arthur's foster parents were shoemakers, and apparently quite sedentary by nature; this, together with gnomes' role in crafting Hex's more delicate components, suggests that most true gnomes are craftsmen of some sort. As Arthur's aggressiveness prevented him from fitting in among his foster family, it also appears that gnomes are less violent than Feegles: a fact that explains why the gnome family victimized in 'Theater of Cruelty' didn't simply trounce their oppressor a lot sooner, Feegle-fashion. They presumably lack the Feegles' fairy-folk ability to move between dimensions, else they could never have been held captive by Slumber in the first place.
If gnomes are not pictsies, this reconciles the presence of a gnome female with a (single) baby in TOC: they are not eusocial like the Feegles, with a more conventional sex ratio and breeding pattern. Presumably, gnomes are the species which Pterry had in mind, in claiming that tiny men who visit Ankh-Morpork soon go looking for tiny women. The presence of miniature animals in TOC also suggests that gnomes have bred tiny dogs scaled to their own proportions, whereas pictsies have only recently begun crude attempts at livestock-rearing (snails).