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I have a character who speaks Orcish and Goblin in addition to Common. He's got a poor Charisma score, so I want to play him as being rather uncouth, adding a liberal amount of coarse language to his speech pattern. However to spice things up I thought it might be fun for him to use his secondary languages in his normal speech.

Are there any good resources for goblin or orcish swear words, or coarse language in general? If not, are there any good resources for the languages in general (so that I can plausibly make some stuff up)? Setting agnostic; the DM is running in his own world but I doubt he would object to be drawing from somewhere else.

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    \$\begingroup\$ We are playing D&D 5e, however I did not tag this as this is a somewhat broad lore question which isn't tied to the game system. \$\endgroup\$ – Izzy Apr 22 '20 at 15:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ You still should specify the setting you're playing in. Tolkien orcs and Faerûn orcs are quite different. If you have your own creatures named "orcs" in your own setting, ask the setting author. \$\endgroup\$ – enkryptor Apr 22 '20 at 15:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm worried that this is a shopping question for a resource and trying to figure out if it is, or if it can be asked a different way. Are you asking if WoTC have published an official dictionary or lexicon for Goblin or Orcish? \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Apr 22 '20 at 15:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor It's hard to specify a setting, since as far as I know it only exists within my DM's head and notebooks, and the notebooks are probably barely a week old at this point. Given the sketchy/nebulous nature of the setting, I think the DM would let me 'import' elements from basically wherever I chose... especially when it comes to this sort of set-dressing. \$\endgroup\$ – Izzy Apr 22 '20 at 20:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Izzy this basically turns the question into an open-ended idea generation one, like "how can I swear orc-ish", which normally doesn't work very good here. However it seems PipperChip found a way to actually answer it. \$\endgroup\$ – enkryptor Apr 22 '20 at 20:51
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This answer is 100% SFW.

Current !$^%@ Resources

Although my groups (and I) generally don't swear, this is a tool for conveying meaning. As far as I am aware, there is no official selection of such words for goblin or orcish. This fandom site has some words, it lacks those really good, grandmother-offending swear words.

Belgium!

Swearing depends on the culture! However, a surprising number of swear words revolve around religion, body parts, and reproduction.

Additionally, a number of languages treat comparisons with animals as swear words. For instance, calling someone a pig in English is insulting, but not enough for fisticuffs. Calling a German a pig, however, gives them a good reason to punch you in the face. A similar thing goes with calling someone a dog in Middle Eastern cultures: it is a severe insult! (Thanks @KorvinStarmast)

Swearing in %$^&ing Fantasy

Your best method is to devise your own phrases, maybe only using the direct translations. If you and your group are like most people, you are likely translating most words into a language your group understands, so just translate or substitute equivalent words.

If you are not like most people, and you are developing orcish/goblin into an actual language, you will need to make your own swear words. Once again, using religion, body parts, and reproduction should give you a solid starting point to get something really offensive.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Referring to someone as a dog in some Middle Eastern contexts is a pretty vile insult. Your point on cultural context is a very good one. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Apr 22 '20 at 16:55
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Here are some articles and sources

  • Dragon Magazine #75 (Jul 1983), Even Orcish is Logical, gives an Orcish language and advice on creating fictional languages.
  • The Giak Word List at Project Aon has a harsh-sounding fictional language suitable for use as orc or goblin.
  • The Donjon Fantasy Name Generator, set to Orcish, can generate orc-sounding words
  • The Donjon Markov Name Generator

You can print these out and keep them with your character sheet to use at the table. You might as well just invent words.

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I would suggest that you take a list of known in-game languages, and then find a real world language you want to use in place of it.

For instance, as an English speaker, I usually find German or Russian to sound harsher so perhaps that would work for Orc. French can be quite dirty I hear but doesnt carry the tonal qualities you are looking for. Personally I think French might be better for something magical since you can put a lot more subtle jobs into it, much like was done for the Astrix comics in their original French I hear.

Otherwise your just going to be making up your own words and meanings for them.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I have a friend that chose Basque for occasional words in Abyssal in a D&D 4E game, and since none of us spoke Basque (or Abyssal), it worked out pretty well. \$\endgroup\$ – Frezak Apr 22 '20 at 18:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is a good suggestion which I've run across in vague google searches. One suggested using Dutch, calling people things like "Gotvergeten teringlijer." \$\endgroup\$ – Izzy Apr 22 '20 at 20:40

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