An Introduction to Horngoth

12 January 2003

Credits, Kudos, and Pointy-toothed Greetings to:
Mollat.  That means 'greetings'.

Click here if you'd like to just see the wordlists:   English-Orkish  Orkish-English

Click here if you'd like to see what Shagrat and Gorbag might have been saying.

Click here for an Orkish version of Jingle Bells.

The Words

Root words in Orkish are one syllable long.  They are either a consonant + vowel + consonant, vowel + consonant, or consonant + vowel.  The initial consonants are:
sh, d, r, b, th,k,m,p,t,l,k,gh,z,g,n,h,s,thr,kr, gl, sk, dh, zh, kh (24)
The vowels are:
a, i, o, u, ai, au, â,û (8)
The letter 'o' is quite rare in Orkish.  The final consonants are:
sh, d, r, b, th, k, m, p, t, l, k, gh, z, g, n, h, s, ls, rs, lz, ng, sk, zg,mb,mp,rz (26)
Thus, the total number of CVC root words is 24 x 8 x 26, the total number of CV roots are 24 x 8, and the total VC roots are 8 x 26, for a grand total of 5392  roots.

Grammatical Sketch


Bukra   clan(s), tribe(s)
Mûd     some

Horngoth Orkish is the language spoken by mûd Orc bukra of the Southwest United States. Horngoth, by the way, roughly corresponds to the English term 'cowboy', so "Horngoth Orkish" is "Cowboy Orkish".

Grammar Note:  Horngoth Orkish has a simple construction, usually consisting of verbs and nouns only, with an occasional invective and adjective.


ps      meat
-at      in order to (verb suffix)
Baug     fork
Shara    man
Throk    eat (verb)
Ushd     use (verb)

The basic Horngoth sentence is a string of nouns and verbs, with the occasional interjection of contempt or perhaps an adjective or two.  Orcs prefer to use simple parts of speech, and so their sentences are painfully simple.  They prefer to avoid prepositions where possible, and speak as plainly as possible.  For instance, instead of saying:
The man ate the meat with the fork
An Orc would say:
Shara ushdat baug throk âps.
Literally, "Man uses fork in-order-to eat meat".

This is a very debased use of a Black Speech (BS) derivative, but typical of the way Orcs talk.  It is sort of like a creole language with one parent and several siblings (all the various Orc dialects out there are based on BS).

Another sample of Orkish, with slightly better grammar, would be the canonical:
Uglúk u bagronk sha pushdug Saruman-glob búbhosh skai!
Or, literally, "Ugluk [go-]to cesspool with stinking Saruman-fool great gah!"

To Begin Writing Horngoth:  Write simple sentences, using nouns and verbs from the wordlists, using whatever form works best.  Generally, Subject-Verb-Object is the best basic form, but of course Orcs generally don't care much about following conventions.

Agh      and
Amukh    after
Brus     have (verb)
Bughun   root
Du       now
Ghashan  word
Zamal    that (relative clause marker)

One recently discovered dialect from Sweden ('Svartblod') has resulted in the assimilation of many, many root words.  Du, Horngoth 1500+ ghashan, bughun 1000 ghashan.  Zamal amukh Svartblod, Horngoth brus bughun 1000 ghashan Svartblod, agh 2500 gashan.  Nar!

Commands: To issue commands in Horngoth Orkish, use the basic verb stem, optionally with the 'intentive' suffix -at.


Da       I (first person singular pronoun)
Dak      We (first person plural)
Dulug    weapon
Nâkh     take (verb)
Skâ      go (verb)
-ug      verb suffix: progressive tense (-ing)
-ul      verb suffix: 3rd person
-ûk      pluralizer suffix

Ugl      kill (verb)

Remember, pluralizers are often omitted in Orkish; number can be determined from context.  Also, pronouns are optional, too, since person can also be determined from context.

Skâ!                   Go!
Da skâug.          I'm going.
Uglatulûk!         Kill them all!
Uglug.                [I'm] killing [them all].
Nâkhat dulug.   Take [the] weapon.
Nâkhug.            [I'm] taking [it].

Alternately, the response to the above commands may be simply

Ugh.                 Yes.
Nar!                 No!

Developer resources:
The raw Horngoth datafile.
The perl parser.
The perl 'tab delimited file to raw datafile' parser.