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Orcish [ˈɔɹkɪʃ] (called Orc in the pre-WoW Warcraft RPG books) is the primary language of the orcs and is used throughout the Horde faction. All Horde characters understand Orcish speech, even without explicit lore reasons (such as the Forsaken and the blood elves). Orcish is written using a combination of Common alphabet and runes.
Even separate clans had variations of dialect that differed so much that orcs could not understand each other unless they spoke the common tongue. The main form of the Orcish language used by all the tribes is known as common Orcish.
- 1 Orcish primer (official translations)
- 2 Orcish / Common dictionary
- 3 Sample words or phrases (speculation)
- 4 Naming
- 5 Warcraft II
- 6 Film universe
- 7 In the RPG
- 8 Notes
- 9 Gallery
- 10 References
Orcish primer (official translations)
Here are a few common orcish phrases and words, for which the translations have been officially confirmed by Blizzard:
- Aka'Magosh = A blessing on you and yours.
- Bin mog g'thazag cha = I will protect you.
- Dae'mon = Twisted soul. or "demon"; appears to be used in the same way as Man'ari in Draenei.
- Dranosh = Heart of Draenor.
- Garrosh = Warrior's Heart. When used as a proper noun, refers to Garrosh Hellscream.
- Gol'Kosh! = By my axe! An exclamation.
- Grombolar = Bowels of the giant.
- Grommash = giant's heart, or The Giant's Heart. When used as a proper noun, refers to Grommash Hellscream.
- Kagh! = Run!
- Lohn'goron = Hero's sojourn.
- Lok-Narash! = To arms!
- Can also mean "Arm yourselves!"
- Lok-Regar = Ready for orders.
- Lok-tar! = Victory! (A war cry. Also a greeting while in combat.)
- Despite it being seen with apostrophe (game) and a hyphen (publications), the hyphen is the canonical spelling of "Lok-tar!"
- Lok-tar ogar! = Victory or death! (A war cry.)
- Lok'amon = Traditional orcish song sung about starting a family.
- Lok'tra = Traditional orcish song sung about a battle.
- Lok'vadnod = Traditional orcish song sung about the life of a hero.
- Mag'har = Uncorrupted. Used to describe any non-corrupted orcs.
- Mak'gora = Duel of honor. A challenge for leadership of a group. Under Thrall, the duel is generally a non-lethal combat, but under the old ways, it was to the death.
- Mak'Rogahn (or mak'rogahn) = Duel of will. An honorable duel between two fighters when one's honor has been questioned. So long as the loser does not surrender, and fights until passing out or the bell is rung, both fighters are considered winners and get to drink the rest of the night. If the loser does surrender, s/he is exiled from the clan.
- Mok-thorin ka! = Engage the enemy! Said by Commander Kolurg.
- Nagrand = Land of Winds.
- Nelghor = Loyal beasts. The Dragonmaw clan fondly referred to their rylak mounts as nelghor, and it would later apply the same word to the dragons of Azeroth. All orcs would eventually refer to dragons as nelghor.
- Nelghor-shomash = Cry of the Beasts. Orcish name of the Dragonmaw clan.
- Oshu'Gun = Mountain of Spirits.
- Wor'gol = Wolf Home.
- Zug-zug or Zug zug = Acknowledgment and agreement; roughly the equivalent of okay.
Untranslated Orcish phrases
- Amaukwa - Speculated to be Orcish for its title "Breath of Moon."
- Dabu - Appears to be an expression of agreement.
- Ek-grundum-tuk - Drek'Thar in Warcraft III (phonetic spelling).
- Gakarah ma - Said by Shattered Hand Legionnaires.
- Gar'mak - Speculated to be Orcish for its title "Anguish."
- Gor-dook - Warcraft II (phonetic spelling).
- Gor'gaz - Fel orc camp in Hellfire Peninsula.
- Grangol'var - Shadow Council village in Terokkar Forest.
- Grom'gol - Horde camp in Stranglethorn Vale. Probably means "Giant's Home" or "Giant Home", as Wor'gol means "Wolf Home".
- Kor'kron - Thrall's elite guard, possibly means "Sons of the Horde."
- Kosh'harg - An orcish celebration.
- Lak'tuk - Speculated to be Orcish for its title "Suffering."
- Lok-narosh - Thrall in Warcraft III (phonetic spelling). May be related to "Lok-Narash."
- Lok-regar ogull - Thrall in Warcraft III (phonetic spelling).
- Mar/Gar/Ar - Suffix found in the names of many orcish cities and towns (e.g. Orgrimmar, Grommashar, Grom'gar, etc.).
- Mok-rah - a greeting by the orcish NPCs in World of Warcraft (spelling taken from patch 5.4 music files).
- Mor'shan - Warsong Gulch base camp in the Barrens.
- Og'nor ka Lok'tar! - Said by Thrall in the Hour of Twilight.
- Okna'Khul! - Said by an orc travelling through Durotar as an exclamation.
- Om'riggor - Orcish rite of adulthood.
- On-dabu - Wind Riders in Warcraft III (phonetic spelling).
- No'ku kil zil'nok ha tar - Spoken by Varok Saurfang when retrieving the body of his son (only seen by Alliance players).
- Nok-Karosh - Speculated to be Orcish for its title "Warrior's Death."
- Putanni - A greeting of some kind.
- Throm-ka or Throm'ka - A greeting.
- Valormok - Horde camp in Azshara.
- Zeth'Gor - Fel orc fort in Hellfire Peninsula.
- Zeth'kur - Former orcish port town.
- Zoram'gar - Horde camp in eastern Ashenvale. This may also be Zandali.
Note that many orc locations are directly named for prominent orcs, including Bladefist Bay, Durotar, Garadar, Grommash Hold, Kargath, Kargathia Keep, Orgrimmar, Hordemar City and Thrallmar. Further, it can be noted that -ar or -mar seems to be a frequent suffix to denote a place named for another orc.
Orcish phrases translated in the RPG
- Dabu = I obey.
- Mok'nathal = The Sons of Nath. (Honorable title.)
- Swobu = As you command. 
- Throm-Ka = Well met. (A greeting.)
- Trk'hsk = Bloodshed in battle. (Some orcs in the Durnholde area use the word with a different meaning, namely "that sacrificed to the earth" in order to make crops grow.)
Orcish / Common dictionary
- BUR - An aggressively passionate mating call.
- What can I do fer ye? - Beer sold here.
- Hi - A threatening war cry, especially when accompanied by a wave or bow.
- How are you? - Was your mother really a reptile?
- King's Honor, friend! - I'm starving!
Sample words or phrases (speculation)
This is the list of words created by the in-game language parser for the Orcish language, and is listed as language number one (word range 1-100) in the Language text file.
Note: The language algorithm used by the in-game "translator" merely makes the words look like Orcish. It does not actually translate words. Therefore, translated in-game speech isn't true Orcish.
|Number of letters in word||Word List|
|One-letter words||A, N, G, O, L|
|Two-letter words||Ha, Ko, No, Mu, Ag, Ka, Gi, Il|
|Three-letter words||Lok, Tar, Kaz, Ruk, Kek, Mog, Zug, Gul, Nuk, Aaz, Kil, Ogg|
|Four-letter words||Rega, Nogu, Tago, Uruk, Kagg, Zaga, Grom, Ogar, Gesh, Thok, Dogg, Maka, Maza|
|Five-letter words||Regas, Nogah, Kazum, Magan, No'bu, Golar, Throm, Zugas, Re'ka, No'ku, Ro'th|
|Six-letter words||Thrakk, Revash, Nakazz, Moguna, No'gor, Goth'a, Raznos, Ogerin, Gezzno, Thukad, Makogg, Aaz'no|
|Seven-letter words||Lok'Tar, Gul'rok, Kazreth, Tov'osh, Zil'Nok, Rath'is, Kil'azi|
|Eight-letter words||Throm'ka, Osh'Kava, Gul'nath, Kog'zela, Ragath'a, Zuggossh, Moth'aga|
|Nine-letter words||Tov'nokaz, Osh'kazil, No'throma, Gesh'nuka, Lok'mogul, Lok'bolar, Ruk'ka'ha|
|Ten-letter words||Regasnogah, Kazum'nobu, Throm'bola, Gesh'zugas, Maza'rotha, Ogerin'naz|
|Eleven-letter words||Thrakk'reva, Kaz'goth'no, No'gor'goth, Kil'azi'aga, Zug-zug'ama, Maza'thrakk|
|Twelve-letter words||Lokando'nash, Ul'gammathar, Golgonnashar, Dalggo'mazah|
|Thirteen-letter words||Khaz'rogg'ahn, Moth'kazoroth|
Word list (speculation)
- Grom'gol - Horde camp in Stranglethorn Vale. - Grom being an honor to Grom Hellscream (as well as an Orcish word for "giant"), and Gol probably (based on defined terms in primer) means "By my" or "Axe" so it could be speculated to mean "Grom's Axe", "Giant's Axe", "By Grom" and others.
- "Hall" - Used in the salutation "Thrall Hall!", probably means "honor" or something similar. Theory #2: It has no specific definition in the orcish language, it is instead used as a multi-purpose word that means glory to the horde/leader (Glory through their leader). The only reason it is Thrall Hall is because it flows naturally and is easy to say/remember (Kind of like why we use nicknames), compare the use of Thrall Hall! to Thrall Honor! or Thrall Hail!
- Kek = Lol
- When a Horde character says "lol" in Orcish, it displays as "kek" to Alliance characters. Since "lol" is used quite often in the game by many players this translation has become widely known, and many fans have accepted "kek" as kind of an official translation of "lol" into Orcish.
- However there are many other 3-letter combinations that produce the translation "kek", and "lol" isn't really a word in the English language, anyway.
- Kek's origin is from Starcraft's online service. The original version of the game did not support full Korean language, so the closest a Korean player could get to "Hahaha" in Korean was "Kekeke". 
- Grommash has been officially translated as Giant's Heart. Grombolar has been officially translated as Bowels of the Giant. Dranosh and Garrosh have been officially translated as Heart of Draenor and Warrior's Heart, respectively. Thus, it can be assumed that "Grom" means giant, "Bolar" means bowels, and both "(M)ash" and "Osh" mean heart.
- Grom = "Giant"
- Bolar = "Bowels"
- (M)ash or Osh = "Heart"
- "Mar" is a common ending to orcish cities (such as Orgrimmar or Hordemar City). It could translated to "city of" or "the city" (Using examples from before, Orgrimmar would be City of Orgrim or The city Orgrim, whilst Hordemar would be City of Horde, City of the Horde of The city of the Horde.
Some more Orcish phrases (speculation)
Although no official translations have been released for them, here are some more Orcish phrases and their rough meanings based on the actions of the units in the RTS games when they say them:
- "Lok-Regar Ogull, On-Dabu." = "Ready for orders."
- "Mog Osh'kazil gul'rok il mog Ro'th zaga maza TOV'OSH" = "The Undercity belongs to the Horde once more! LOK'TAR!"
- Main article: Naming Day
Character creation screen
The following names are offered as suggestions when creating characters on the character creation screen. Note that this list represents a sample of the many possible suggestions.
- Male names
- Wark, Drukasao, Guntojakh, Iroggalnn, Tuknazit, Volindai, Igond, Rogrelg, Umaghavikor, Fengam, So, Domron, Zurosao, Lugrenga, Zugrish, Dosamm, Tsubai, Wagtaggall, Naakigg, Eckh, Emontuugg, Cromga, Fusatkuulk, Rogrettsuo, Kalligg, Wogruugar, Akuugg, Kagar, Akubaim, Kashugrexx, Gilligoarusk, Relcozomrak, Daggarn, Dramworn, Macksh, Tusontarish, Rhog, Drarduglok, Fenrim, Rashomro, Cheruknai, Googg, Mazumorr, Chantsuya, Kazit, Sikkall, Dengamm, Nagtar, Skrishtargh, Nakin, Herst, Pikasand, Ugakusel, Kagrim, Gaidom, Fashtar, Rendomiku, Rog, Watsuyagarg, Fusath, Nekk, Tramm, Figgo, Domdaggo, Koichark, Crongaragho, Gungoress, Oso, Phavikazra, Irogaidos, Sokramm, Figall, Zurungo, Emurigore, Fashtalekthr, Chul, Tulmokthar, Nardamesh, Korelskrim, Figgalekk, Nathatsu, Nagg, Molo, Waghurp, Maulnargon, Pyagatku, Emurund, Wit, Kafgantand, On, Songamu, Lhavik, Thariak, Hungar, Drelcozsh, Draggo, Zumongorg, Nekiron.
- Female names
- Bokrem, Fuda, Garainekago, Lopiatsukas, Hallarii, Saroogai, Hargai, Maiki, Togrytasaku, Hatamaris, Garunn, Ferunah, Irgraka, Reldaqi, Corvisaki, Roldiko, Daqi, Drunndrukona, Opakhamga, Gelagallopia, Liritsua, Geermani, Tokimao, Ezarn, Arteta, Nodosar, Mannah, Riimishtasa, Rokargara, Uragosaka, Tishtalvana, Pla, Rekrakka, Tabitaska, Akiria, Dous, Seergrutalla, Uragdalka, Khaku, Womdalle, Akonnaya, Morakinka, Akasaaja, Dosa, Reta, Nangrii, Roldala, Ritheddalka, Kritasu, Doora, Eonamah, Tiki, Grytas, Skkagai, Mirshaqi, Seerman, Wyeghakask, Lirgronnanya, Eonamanaka, Nodooskasan, Tishargryta, Arooska, Khalvanagna, Kinani, Okagark, Giskka, Atsuka, Tinekretanya, Rekrannda, In, Grytamikirga, Heg, Ferunaki, Gellaayu, Eonnakha, Ritsukah, Drakkaskaya, Flikorvisa.
Orcish surnames are usually derived from great acts or merits a previous ancestor was lauded for, but some exceptional orcs earn their own surnames (Kilrogg Deadeye, Kargath Bladefist), and many prefer to use the names of their fathers (Thrall, Son of Durotan). Only the family leader can hold an eponymous title (For example, there can only be one Doomhammer or Deadeye at a time), and the rest of the clan identify themselves through their line of birth.
Two types of orc names appear to have arisen: two syllables separated by an apostrophe and a simple name shortened from a longer one. The two-syllable ones- Gul'dan, Drak'Thul, Dal'Rend - appear to have initially been only used for spellcaster, but was later exported (Gar'Thok was a Grunt colonel). The second type was highly cultural; only those with powers over the warrior could use their full name, such as Shamans and chieftains, or the orc's personal religious leader. For example Brox's full name was Broxigar, a term which he allowed only Tyrande and Krasus to use. Grom Hellscream's full name was Grommash, which Mannoroth used to address him as demonstration that Hellscream was his. This is very inconsistent, however, most of the known orcish names (such as Durotan, Orgrim, Nazgrel, Kargath) are never documented being used in short forms.
- The orcish word wachook is used by Blackhand to describe Draka as she gives birth, shortly after passing through the Great Gate. The term roughly translates as "female incapacitated by pregnancy".
- Garona means cursed.
In the RPG
Orcish is a coarser language than Common, and many words lack the subtlety of Common. Orcs rely on context, repetition and volume to add emphasis or meaning. There are many orc dialects, examples include one spoken by the majority of the Horde, and another by orcs living near Durnholde.
Most orcish names derive from words in their language that have some complex meaning or hidden significance to their families. Typically, this is the name of a favorite thing or relative. Family names don't exist; most orcs have last names related to some great deed of heroism or honor. However, in the case of truly incredible deeds, an orc might take on the last name of his father to ensure that the chronicle of that terrific deed lives on. The concept of honor is seen in every level of orc society, even in their naming practices. An orc’s first name is given early in life, often derived from a family name or the name of a great hero. The tribe bestows the second name after the orc reaches maturity, this name based upon some great deed. Such a practice gives rise to surnames such as Doomhammer, Elfkicker, Foe-ender, Skullsplitter, Thumper, and the like. This second name may be changed if a new one seems more appropriate.
- Male Names: Grom, Thrum, Drog, Gorrum, Harg, Thurg, Karg.
- Female Names: Groma, Hargu, Igrim, Agra, Dragga, Grima.
- Family Names: Doomhammer, Deadeye, Forebinder, Elfkiller, Skullsplitter, Axeripper, Tearshorn, Fistcrusher.
"Orc" as a term defining language, has an apparent connection to DnD derived generic languages, which apparently can be found in DnD rule books.
To a degree, phoenetically some of the words resemble Tolkien's Black Speech, which makes sense, since that language was presumably the foundational influence for the sound of this one. It is, however, generally somewhat less guttural and (to use Tolkien's own adjective for the Black Speech) uncouth.
It also doesn't seem to really be an actual language as such; Blizzard apparently originally invented a few words with an "Orcish" sound to use as acknowledgement phrases when units were clicked on in the earlier Warcraft games, and thus to create consistency, these words were brought over to WoW. The translated vocabulary however is not large, and there is no real formal grammar. The "Orcish" that can be seen apparently being spoken by players in-game is the result of a hash table created by Blizzard, (as mentioned above) and the words produced by it are intentionally meaningless gibberish.
The examples of Orcish we've seen indicate what the phonetic inventory of the language might include, but we have nearly no evidence of the structure of the syntax or grammar. It may be possible to assume that adjectives come before nouns, as in English and other Germanic languages. As seen in the primer above, "Grommash" translates to "giant's heart". Thus we might say that "grom"(giant's) is an adjective modifiying "mash" (heart). The word "Grombolar," meaning "bowels of the giant", seems to follow this pattern as well. Of course, if this is actually a possessive clause, or a compound word, then the speculation that Orcish follows an adjective-noun word order could be erroneous.
- ^ a b c Golden, Christie. Rise of the Horde, 21. ISBN 978-0-7434-7138-1.
- ^ Golden, Christie. Rise of the Horde, 40. ISBN 978-0-7434-7138-1.
- ^ Cycle of Hatred, chapter 3
- ^ Mogrin#Quotes
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j Bennie, Scott; Richard Farrese, Bob Fitch. Horde Player's Guide, 134. ISBN 9781588467720.
- ^ a b Golden, Christie. Lord of the Clans, 138. ISBN 978-0-7434-2690-9.
- ^ Golden, Christie. Rise of the Horde, 311. ISBN 978-0-7434-7138-1.
Sean Copeland on Twitter (2013-03-18)Dead link
- ^ Deathbringer Saurfang#Quotes
- ^ Sean Copeland on Twitter
- ^ Micky Neilson on Twitter
- ^ Bloodsworn, pg. 105
- ^ Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual, Orc Buildings, Temple of the Damned
- ^ Sean Copeland on Twitter
- ^ Demon Fall Canyon monument
- ^ A Good War, pg. 59
- ^ Flavor text of Lok-Narash spell
- ^ Flavor text of Lok-Regar spell
Sean Copeland on TwitterDead link
- ^ , "The orcs have a battle cry: LOK'TAR OGAR! It means "victory or death."
- ^ a b c DeCandido, Keith R.A.. Cycle of Hatred, 34. ISBN 978-0-7434-7136-7.
- ^ Rosenberg, Aaron; Christie Golden. Beyond the Dark Portal, 355. ISBN 978-1-4165-5086-0.
- ^ Archive lore tweets from loreology
- ^ Hellscream (short story)
Loreology on TwitterDead link
- ^ a b Draka (alternate universe)#Quotes
- ^ a b World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 42
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 55
- ^ Okla
- ^ Bloodsworn, pg. 18
- ^ Warlord Krogg
- ^ Landfall
- ^ Bennie, Scott; Richard Farrese, Bob Fitch. Horde Player's Guide, 156. ISBN 9781588467720.
- ^ a b Arthaus. Lands of Conflict, 27. ISBN 9781588469601.
- ^ Duncan Jones on Twitter (2016-06-29).
- ^ Duncan Jones on Twitter (2016-06-29).
- ^ a b Arthaus. World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 46. ISBN 9781588467812.
- ^ Arthaus. Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 50. ISBN 9781588460714.