Topic: Creating New Words


I have an interest in Black Speech, as I am a fanfiction writer who writes a lot about Mordorian characters.

I know that the Land of Shadows message board had a Black Speech section in which people tried to come up with new translations for words and increase the vocabulary list. Unfortunately, when the site shut down, the community faded away. Here is a link to one of the forums, but I think there was another forum as well.

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/mordor6 … -speech-f7

I'm trying to figure out what would be good words for "merchant" and "scorpion."

I wish the word "merchant" existed, but I couldn't find it on the list. For merchant, I was thinking maybe "seller" could work, but then I couldn't find a verb for "sell!" There are several verbs for trade - drod-, tuz-, quûr-. Maybe "trader" could work? Or would it be better to create a new word? How would the word be created?

As for "scorpion," well, since it's in the arachnid family, maybe something with takhbork (LOS) or moraumang (MERP). Both mean spider.

Also, is there a diminutive for Black Speech? I found -sta, which is a suffix from HORN.


Re: Creating New Words


One of the only places I've seen recent Black Speech discussion is this thread on the Orklager forum (visiting in Chrome lets you auto-translate the discussion from German). Near as I can tell, they're a band of Orc-LARPers who typically use the Rukh Nûlûrz dialect (which is a close enough relative of LOS to steal ideas from, imo). The thread is about as active as this forum which is to say "not particularly", but you may find something worthwhile in it.

For inventing words, the advice on the Dictionaries page here has usually proven sufficient for my needs: look for a synonym, mash multiple words together (though I draw the line at about four syllables), or change an ending to get the part of speech you need. Some dictionary entries have been created by tweaking Quenya words, so you could go with that if a Quenya dictionary has a word you need. It might not be "canon" Shadowlandian, but there aren't enough of us privy to the conlang to call you out for it if we happen upon your fic wink. Your Orcs could also simply use a loan-word from Common/English/Galactic Basic, and that'd give your narrative an opportunity to explain why they don't have the word in question.

Regarding "merchant", yeah, I'd go with "trader". Add the occupational "-al" suffix to whichever variant of "trade" you think sounds best, or "-og" to denote someone especially proficient in it. There's also the "-atar" suffix from Svartiska that serves a similar purpose, and a few occupational words in LOS pulled from that dialect use it. If you want to denote a traveling merchant, you might add "mûl" to your chosen "trade" word.

Regarding "scorpion", you could go with something like "baganazt" or "naztbaga" [poison sting]. A venomous stinger isn't exclusive to a scorpion, of course, but you could handwave that in your worldbuilding by saying it's the most common/threatening one around your orcs.

Regarding a diminuitive, "gaz" is "small", which I think would make it LOS's equivalent of "sta". I've also seen some fanfics use a small animal to fit this purpose (for example: calling someone "fîl-izub", my bird). Svartiska's "mikbork" is apparently a catch-all for "small animal", and I think "horngaz" would translate the same while being fully LOS-compatible.


Re: Creating New Words

"Trader" is a good replacement for "merchant". I will not recommend using suffix "-og" as it's exact meaning in name "Azog" is unknown. So it's better stick to "-al" or "-atâr". Which root to use? The one you like more! Obviously for Svartiska root add "-atâr", for Shadowlandian "-al".
Currently it's nowhere stated, but "-ol" as in the name "Gorgol" probably had the same meaning as "-al" and "-atâr". The problem is, we don't know if "Gorgol The Butcher" is a translation of name, or just a moniker (like "Azog The Defiler"), and how to split "Gorgol": "gor" + "gol" (violent + wise) or as "gorg-" + "-ol" (probably "butcher"), and even if it is "elvicized" name or genuine Orkish.

No advice for Scorpions. They are not mentioned by Tolkien at all it seems.

As for diminutive, short adjective are usually added to the noun as suffix to form single word, e.g. "sharkû". So both "gaz" and "sta" are suitable. Technically Svartiska's "mik" also falls into this category, but it is traditionally used as a prefix for some reason.

Elfhild wrote:

I was thinking maybe "seller" could work, but then I couldn't find a verb for "sell!"

I've added "draug-" for "to sell" from LOS "draug" (coin, n) some time ago.
I recommend to use online dictionary. And to refresh your PDF/Excel version. All were updated just recently, on Feb 7th!

I'm glad, someone is giving right answers


Re: Creating New Words

Slippery and Un4givenOrc, thanks for all the translation suggestions!

Thanks for the link to the Orklager forum. I am not familiar with the Rukh Nûlûrz dialect at all.

I remember people on the LOS Black Speech forum trying to continue Scatha's project and come up with their own words. I'm not sure how many actually were offically added to the dictionary, however.

Thanks for all the tips on creating words meaning "merchant." I also love Slippery's idea for a translation for "scorpion." "Baganazt" and "Naztbaga" sound like great names for characters.

Apparently, I have an older version of the PDF dictionary, because it does not include the word "sell."


Re: Creating New Words

As a fairly new student of this conlang (I learned of the non-Tolkien dialects only about a year ago), getting some assurance from one of its experts that I'm teaching myself anywhere close to correct means a lot. Thanks!

Yeah, this silly hobby has sure given me plenty of possibilities for character names... that I'll be able to use whenever I'm able to sit at a D&D table with friends again, anyway. Hopefully someday soon!

If you're familiar with LOS, you're more familiar with RN than you might know. It's the dialect taught at the Shapog'Gur site that you can find in the links here. Much of the vocabulary overlaps, and the grammar's similar enough, and I personally prefer some of the changes they made. Since its users are primarily LARPers who aren't exactly able to carry a reference in the field, it's designed to be simpler: fewer exceptions and special cases to memorize (good), but also fewer features (bad). Unfortunately, its lessons are all in German which might make them a little confusing if you're going in without at least the "fast-food fluency" I've retained from school. Google Translate, while quite good, chokes on some of the language's quirks (versatility of the pronoun "sie" is a frequent offender), but you can at least get a few laughs spotting where it confuses Orcish words for German smile