D&D General The word "Dweomer" by Gygax

I always thought Gygax was bitten by a radioactive thesaurus. I mean, who uses "deliquesce" in a sentence?
I've used that word in a sentence thank you!

That's a perfectly < rolls check to resist using "cromulent" > ... ungh... good word. But seriously I've not only used it but used it a few times, it's appropriate for some particularly disgusting situations involving rot. I don't think I even saw it first in D&D.
It was many, many years before I realized that "dais" does not rhyme with "geas", and neither rhymes with "Prius."
You and me both buddy.
 

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Laurefindel

Legend
The British way. Just ignore the red squiggly lines under your words when you type. I adds more flavour.
I just install the US spellchecker and the UK spellchecker and switch accordingly. The Canadian English one accepts both variations, leading to*gasp* literary inconsistencies that academia is not too fond of…

[edit] except on my phone which can never tell whether I speak French, German, or English, never mind UK English vs US English… Then I get them squiggly lines regardless of what I write, and proposes interesting autocorrect material!
 

I always thought Gygax was bitten by a radioactive thesaurus. I mean, who uses "deliquesce" in a sentence?

It's a good word, but it's also pretty obscure. My assumption is that they cut down on words that were weird seemingly only for the sake of being weird. "Dweomer" is further hampered by being hard to look up. Even with ready access to the internet, common dictionaries don't define it. None of Dictionary.com, Merriam-Webster, and Collins Dictionary give a definition. And several of the extant definitions/uses today clearly only came about because D&D used it (most places that define it explicitly reference "games" as a usage context).
Gygax was his own era's version of nerd (, geek, dork -- whatever term you find most neutral and all-encompassing). Just like a 'very bright young man' from nowadays, he was some mix of part actually bright and using a big vocabulary is just part of the mix with that and part trying to sound smart (exactly what ration one thinks probably depends on one's views of either nerd-dom or Gygax). Overall I think him doing so helped give early D&D a unique flavor that helped sell it to some of the people that found and fell in love with the game. At the same time, I know some kids in my cohort who tried D&D and just kinda bounced off or lost interest quickly or the like, and I think a 'what is up with this?' factor may have been involved.
We also spell Gygax's setting as Greyhawk instead of Grayhawk. I guess using the British spellings in certain circumstances seems more "formal" or "unique," I guess.
It also could be spillover from wargames. Vance has been mentioned as an influence on Gygax, but so were any number of games (and history books) focusing on medieval, renaissance, or even Napoleonic eras of war, many of which were written by Europeans, and certainly many of which would have differed to British English for their spelling conventions.
The one that makes me raise an eyebrow is how "glamer" has changed to "glamour" in 5e (e.g. glamoured studded leather). I mean, I know "glamour" is the UK spelling of "glamor" and that "glamer" is a variant of that word, but I wouldn't expect Americans to deliberately use the British spelling of a word. Wonders will never cease, I suppose!
This one might have been so it could serve dual purpose as well -- it is a glamer/glamor/glamour, but it is also the ability which allows you to make your armor more or less glamourous.
I always spell the colour grey with an 'e'. (Note the 'u' as well). I guess that I get away with it by being Canadian. We never know if we should do things the British way or the American way.
So there is no Canadian way? I have a cousin who is real quiet because he grew up in the same house as his exceedingly talkative and forceful dad and older sister. This seems like the same thing.
 

So there is no Canadian way? I have a cousin who is real quiet because he grew up in the same house as his exceedingly talkative and forceful dad and older sister. This seems like the same thing.
As a general rule, Canadian English tends to express its unique color in pronunciation and novel words, rather than in local spellings of common words. E.g. Canadians usually use the English "-our" spellings instead of the American "-or" spellings (same with words like "theatre" vs "theater"), but favor our use of "-ize"/"-yze" (analyze, realize) as opposed to the English "-ise"/"-yse" ending. Ironically, I personally prefer the "grey" spelling, even though that's traditionally English. Individual one-off words tend to favor American spelling though: e.g. Canada uses "tire" and "curb" instead of the UK "tyre" and "kerb."
 




James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Oh God, don't bring that up. Having played multiple games over the years, I have these moments where I can't recall what a thing is called. Just the other day, I was playing in my friend's online CtD20 game.

"So then it's a source of Glamour. Uh, is that dross or tass?"

"So they're draining a Node of it's Gnosis. Oh wait, right, Ogham, so it's...Willpower?"

"I'm going to use my Auspice Discipline!"

"No, that's Auspex, Auspice is what Moon you were born under."

"So my power's difficulty is Wits + Courage."

"Well, he's a Rokea, they don't have much Courage, but the Storyteller's Guide says to use his Rage of...8."

"8 plus his Wits? Uh...never mind."

"No, Anansi have Blood, not Rage."

"I'm pretty sure that's Akunanse."

"No, those are Laibon, these are Fera."

"...can we go back to playing D&D yet?"

"Not until we help the Bodhisattvas and the Methuselahs defeat the Antedeluvians with the help of the Tuatha de Danaan and the Verbena. Oh and that one Uktena Theurge you guys found."
 





Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
It really does feel more medieval and fantastical, two hallmarks of DnD. American history doesn't have it's own medieval history period to draw on so we have to borrow it from others. It's easiest to steal from the British due to the limited language barrier.

Also, I'm from the US west coast where we believe we don't have an accent. Except we do. It just lacks anything that would make it remotely interesting.
Everyone who speaks has an accent, we just have a tendency to think of our own accents as being accents, because they’re normal to us. But yeah, the US west coast accent is pretty close to the neutral American accent, which again, is a radio thing.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
It's a good word, but it's also pretty obscure. My assumption is that they cut down on words that were weird seemingly only for the sake of being weird. "Dweomer" is further hampered by being hard to look up. Even with ready access to the internet, common dictionaries don't define it. None of Dictionary.com, Merriam-Webster, and Collins Dictionary give a definition. And several of the extant definitions/uses today clearly only came about because D&D used it (most places that define it explicitly reference "games" as a usage context).
When I first googled it I got results from LoTR (Gandalf knows a Dweomer, Saruman is called Dweomer-wise by the Rohirrim, the Witch King is called a Dwoemerlak) and Norse reference to IIRC dwarven magic.
 

When I first googled it I got results from LoTR (Gandalf knows a Dweomer, Saruman is called Dweomer-wise by the Rohirrim, the Witch King is called a Dwoemerlak) and Norse reference to IIRC dwarven magic.
Could be a difference of what we googled. I was looking specifically for definitions, rather than uses, and nearly every place where it's given a definition explicitly mentioned its use in gaming. I'm not at all surprised Tolkien used it though--nor would I be surprised if that had some impact on why it was used by Gygax and Arneson.
 


Orius

Hero
"Dweomer" is the reason it took me a while to understand what was behind the infamous dawizard typo. I thought it was another weird word.
 

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
Dweomer, dwell, dwindle and dwarf are all from Middle English, tracing antecedents back to Old English, Proto-Germanic, and then Proto-Indo-European. Old words.

As a child, Gygax equipped me well to out-nerd everyone in any trivia contest when the question about the "only" three English words starting with "dw" comes up.
 

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