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Dwarven Sayings

Hi folks,

I would like your help with unique dwarven sayings. Here are a few I found onine:

"Never injure your pride by substituting your axe for a smith's hammer.": A dwarven proverb meaning "the right tool for the right job."

"People die for wealth and birds die for food.": An Dwarven proverb that speaks to what is truly of value.

"The Gods look after fools, children, and drunkards... humans usually count for two out of three.": A Dwarven saying that expresses their general opinion of the human race.

"An elf’s tongue will talk the Timelight round."

"Between the pickaxe and the rockface..."

"Certain as the Morongetyr is still in place."

"Discussion gathers no gems."

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What? Me Worry?
Not exactly a saying, but a good thing for a dwarf to say when he sees a fortress built by non-dwarves which he feels is of good construction: "Give me a year and a hundred of my kin and I would make this a place that armies would break upon like water." (Gimli, speaking to Legolas, The Two Towers, Chapter VII, "Helm's Deep").


A good dwarven swear word is "Sandstone!" It's a soft and brittle stone that no dwarf worth his salt would be pleased to build with or live beneath. ;)


First Post
Anti-Sean said:
"No ale for me, just some wine, please! Don't I look pretty in this dress! Tra la la!"

That might just be how I play dwarves, though...

Err ... yeah. :uhoh:

Gimli had a good one elsewhere: "Give me a row of orc necks and room to swing and all weariness will fall from me!" Generally said when tired or worn out after strenous labor. ;)


A suffusion of yellow
Ambrus said:
A good dwarven swear word is "Sandstone!" It's a soft and brittle stone that no dwarf worth his salt would be pleased to build with or live beneath. ;)

Sandstone still is still useful as it makes great grindstones for sharpening axeblades on. Sandstone is also easy to carve and so a few Dwarven artist may use it as a base

"Even a clot of sand can sharpen an axe" - don't underestimate small things

a better candidate for a despised rock would be something like Shale and schist which are flakey and break easily.

"Shale-spined lot you are"

Talc! also makes a good short expletive and probably refers to anything of little substance

"Its nought but talc to me boy!"


First Post
To quote Pratchett:
"All trees are felled at ground level," which is better translated as "When his hands are higher than your head your teeth are at a level with his groin."


"Today is a good day for somone else to die!"

To quote WHFB:

"There is nothing as sure in the world as the glitter of gold and the treachery of an elf."

Agent Oracle

First Post
my favorite Pratchet dwarfism is "It is the thing, and the whole of the thing".


"He has seen the light." (A deep dwarven ethnic slur against common dwarves who have been outside of a mine.)

"Where there is trouble, you will always find a troll."


I like the nonhuman races to be a tad inscrutable. Maybe you could use ideomatic quotes that doesn't translate well into Common?

Somewhere I've seen a Dwarven inn in a human town named: "Rock, Rock, Rock". Like the Inuit and ice; how many words do Dwarves have for rock?

Or maybe a dwarf reacts to a character's statement with: "Aye, he be speaking of rock, when stone will do!"; the second dwarf in the party nodds knowingly while the other party members shrug and look at each other uncomfortably, mumbling "What did he mean?"...



First Post
"The water'll find its own way down." Basically saying don't be hasty, take things at their appropriate pace. The comment itself refers to water seeping through the ground, even through solid stone.


"Drink your water. It is best to keep your mind and your urine clear." --Just generally good advice.

"Ore" can mean an untested person, someone "green." "It seems that our recruiters mined some rather scant ore. Come, let us see what the fire can make of you!"

"You have talent, boy, but no edge. You're unfired, impure, dross hangs on you like last night's ale. I'll have to smelt you something fierce before you'll be worthy."


First Post
I can't beleive no one's said this one yet:

[something which has to be true] or I'm a bearded gnome!

Said when you want to emphasize something which you belvie to be true, and which you pit your pride against.

Take from Brunor Battlehammer from The Crystal Shard (or somesuch).


"Kiss my axe!" - usually reserved for certain Celtic barbarians, but works just as well for dwarves.

"Trouble is always just seventy feet away." - an expression of pessimism from a race with 60' darkvision.

"Better to delve to deeply than never to delve at all." - dwarven optimism, or stoicism: Sitting at home doing nothing is worse than whatever terrors the deep places of the world may hold.


My fav is only because the player happend to be playing a dwarf - but the expression has been used in 3 campaigns since he made it up.
"Ak' Karn all Duc" = it doesn't translate well.


Mod Squad
Staff member
Ambrus said:
A good dwarven swear word is "Sandstone!" It's a soft and brittle stone that no dwarf worth his salt would be pleased to build with or live beneath. ;)

It seems to me most swears that people really use in times of stress are one syllable - when you hit yor thumb with a hammer, something short and quick is what you want.

So, "Shards!" works well.


First Post
"He who so sheds dwarf blood, by dwarf shall his blood be shed"
General refference to how vindictive dwarves can be when wronged.

"Not every stone is a gem, not every rock holds value, but even the lowest rock can hide a geode." Dwarven saying pertaining to finding value in something where you least expect it.

"Sulphours air, beware. Dead canary do not tarry." Reffering specifically to the bad air found in some mines and in general to not hanging around bad situations.

And a good dwarven pre battle speech.

"From this moment my kinsmen, we are dead. We march forth as a hammer striking an anvil to create something worth being alive for."

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