D&D General ‪What does the word “dire”‬ mean to you?

What does Dire mean?

  • Better (bigger, more ferocious), American

    Votes: 47 65.3%
  • Better (bigger, more ferocious), British

    Votes: 8 11.1%
  • Worse (poor, rubbish, inferior), American

    Votes: 5 6.9%
  • Worse (poor, rubbish, inferior), British

    Votes: 12 16.7%

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American and extensive reader here. I interpret "dire" as not just "bad" but "extraordinarily bad".

So in one sense a dire situation is a very bad, urgent situation. And in another sense a dire wolf is an extraordinarily bad (i.e. dangerous) wolf, which is different than the British interpretation of being very bad at being a wolf... in which case a beagle is also indeed a very dire wolf.
Make mine a Dire Basset Hound!


I always associated Dire (as in the animal adjective) with preternatural. Its not just a BIG version of something (that is reserved for the Giant Rat), but instead a prehistoric or alternate form of one, that also always happens to be more dangerous.

Related: the grizzly bear is Ursus arctos horribilis -- meaning, as a friend of mine put it, "of all bears it is the one most horrible and most like a bear." Obviously it's not horrible at being a bear. It's very good at being a bear. That's precisely what makes it horrible to everybody else, including the folks who decided what to call it.


We lurk unseen...

The only way you can spot Canadians online is our American vocabulary with British spelling. And only we know what a 'double-double' is. And May 2-4.
Whatever man, we have double-doubles in Eagleland.

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