Typical Athasian words used as expressions, places, technologies, etc

For years I have been compiling a list, and it is not yet complete.

This one post covers Brazen Gambit and Verdant Passage, and part of Cinnabar Shadows and Crimson Legion.

Some are made up (but marked as so).

I encourage you to provide your own! But please follow the same broad method so we can tell what is official (novels, short stories, supplements) and what’s not.


  • great one (person of significantly higher status)
  • dead-heart (necromancer, or something just as bad, related to death)
  • boneyard (where you send your dead)
  • knacker (person who buys carcasses)
  • spirit (soul)
  • mekillots will fly before […]
  • dung-skulled baazrag (rube, idiot, pig, uncivilized)
  • slop-jar (bedpan)
  • not giving a gith’s thumb (not giving a shit)
  • skin-dyer (tattoo artist)
  • tinkercraft (engineering) (note: the word engineer is also official, but by extension tinkerer would do as well)
  • spellcraft
  • reagents (chemical or alchemical stuff used in alchemy and magic)
  • scum
  • pyreen protect us (rare oath, used by druids)
  • mongrel (half-breed)
  • nosy jozhal (too curious person)
  • guardian spirit (spirit of the land, when protecting a druid grove)
  • sawbones healer (non-magical healer)
  • his life essence had been driven out
  • kenned/kenning (sensing, psionically)
  • sod/sodding
  • wind and fire (dammit)
  • lower than a snake’s belly
  • words held an edge sharper than steel
  • his betrayal cut me to the quick
  • bint
  • thundermaker (explosives expert)
  • pass water (polite saying for pissing)
  • not giving a varl’s eggsack about […];
  • you ill-begotten larva of an inbred cilops!

Things, places, etc:

  • licensed apothecaries
  • [food] pantries
  • isinglass (term for mica sheet used as window material)
  • edible bowl made of wheat or some such food material
  • use of amphorae passed around, instead of cups
  • mulch or compost or midden heap (a mound or deposit containg shells, animal bones, and other refuse that indicates the site of a human settlement)
  • zarneeka (“Ral’s Breath”, analgesic, blood purifier)
  • camphor (from camphor tree or camphorweed)
  • boo or boo stem (bamboo)
  • acacia gum (Gum Arabic)
  • natron
  • castor oil (soap, wax, perfume)
  • soda ash (detergent, glue)
  • wormwood (bitter herb, to expell worms from guts)
  • bitumen (asphalt, natural substance used as far back as 5,000 BCE)
  • soapwort (plant used in soapmaking)
  • night basket (tightly woven, water proof, for piss and shit, needs to regularly be replaced)
  • coin-pouch
  • half a disk (half a ceramic piece, five bits)
  • passing bell / death knell
  • black rock (coal)
  • wine shops
  • pumice (spongy volcanic glass)
  • quarry gangs (slaves looking for obsidian in the Smoking Crown mountains)
  • ferrule
  • stropping a metal blade with a whetstone

–Made Up–

  • twinslight (the quality of the light those times of the year when both Ral and Guthay light the nights)
  • “put it in your clak” or “while you stood there scratching your claks, your prisoner escaped“ (based on clak: a crude abbreviation for cloaca, the genital/rectal cavity for birds and reptiles)

This thread has a lot of excellent made up proverbs

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