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Monday, March 16, 2020

Curses, Swears, and Expletives of Faerûn

People swear, everyone does it, even those who don't swear. The peoples of the Forgotten Realms are no different. When reading books set in the Forgotten Realms you will come across a variety of curses, some more often than others. Today I want to talk about a few of those that I have encountered the most.

I first encountered the Forgotten Realm's unique curses in the first novels I read: Brimstone Angels. Evans uses a handful of curses quite often in the series, and since there are a multitude of cultures in Faerûn, there are a multitude of languages with their own unique swear words too. The ones the tiefling sisters Farideh and Havilar use are Draconic, specifically the Tymantheran dialect.

"I am so stlarning scared for you" (pg. 304, Erin M. Evans, Fire In The Blood)

In a fantasy setting it makes perfect sense to have different curse words from our own. I have always been a fan of this, whether it's cursing by the Lord Ruler in Mistborn or growling light in the Wheel of Time. They help immerse readers in the fantastical worlds of the pages in front of them. The Forgotten Realms is no different.

I will list the ones that come to mind, though anyone who wants to comment any more are most welcome!

Common Tongue

Naeth, or the Southern Naed, is an exclamation meaning "dung"

Stlarn, as quoted above, and Hrast. Used like the f-word, but very mildly offensive. So basically "Stlarn you!" would be "Screw you!" or "Darn you!". Hrast is a little more complicated. Hrasting specifically is somehow a more mild form of stlarning. Hrast by itself means "damn" and in the south they say hrammar instead.

Sabruin and Tluin basically means "get lost", though tluin is harsher and is probably more comparable to "f* off"

Straek basically means "go kill yourself"

Dark (and empty) seems to be an expletive favored by those of the underworld in Selgaunt, Sembia (perhaps elsewhere too). The addition of empty is added for a harsher effect.


Aithyas means s*

Dokaal, while not exactly a curse word is a term referring to bipedal humanoids in general.

Henich, or the Thymantheran Henish, apparently literally means an unhatched, rotten egg but can be translated as "bastard".

Karshoj is the F-word with Karshoji being f*ing

Pothachi means "dummy"


Jargh means "idiot" or "joker" but was also a term used for halflings


Ettin is the term for a type of two headed giant but it really means "runt".
You can track my current progress here.

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