Here's a puzzler. The opening to Rush's early prog-rock-meets-D&D masterpiece "By-Tor and the Snow Dog" goes:
The Tobes of Hades
Lit by flickering torchlight
The Netherworld is gathered in the glare
Prince By-Tor takes the cavern
To the north light
The sign of Eth is rising in the air
By-Tor, knight of darkness,
Centurion of evil
(Bonus points if you now have the song running through your head.) The question, gentle reader, is this: what the hell are tobes?
I'm not mishearing it, either, it's definitely tobes—the subtitle of the first movement of the song, as printed on the album, is "At the Tobes of Hades". Hmm. Let's bypass the lesser reference books and go straight to the top. The OED doesn't have an entry for the plural form tobes, but there is a singular tobe:
A length of cotton cloth (see quot. 1889), worn as an outer garment by natives of Northern and Central Africa, and in some parts used as currency.
The etymology given is "a. Arab. thaub (locally pronounced toːb, soːb) a garment."
This doesn't seem very likely to be the answer, though. You could maybe argue that the lyrics refer to the clothing of the inhabitants of the Netherworld, especially since "the Netherworld is gathered" two lines later seems to imply a crowd. However, that doesn't account for the subtitle "At the Tobes of Hades"—"At the Garments of Hades" certainly lacks the necessary Robert E. Howard gravitas. Instead, it seems clear that Neil Peart had a meaning like 'gates' or 'depths' in mind. Why, then, did he use the apparently invented word tobes? I don't have a theory; feel free to speculate in the comments.
By the way, there's reason to think that the "sign of Eth" mentioned in line six is the familiar-to-linguists character ð or Ð. Neat!
ObYouTube: the animated video that played during the instrumental third movement of the song ("Of the Battle") during the Vapor Trails tour, in which animated avatars of Geddy Lee (bass) and Alex Lifeson (guitar) engage in a series of contests of awesomeness. Spoiler: Neil wins.
[Now playing: "Beneath, Between & Behind" by Rush]