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Old Sayings and Slang of Dunromin

Dated: 08 Dec, 2020

The following are some fun (!) sayings and slang often used in the city of Dunromin and the Land of the Young; the central campaign setting for the Wolrd of Barnaynia.  SOme are mentioned in existing publications and all (plus some more) will be reprinted in the upcoming SM16 Book of Legends.

Famous Sayings and Slang of Dunromin

He always has a penny in his hat – someone with a positive attitude; an optimist or possibly someone who irrepressibly cheerful to the point of being very annoying. Eg “That idiot Andy, goes around everywhere like he’s got a penny in his hat.”

Papa Baz will have you for a Zombie – a general warning for a youth whose behaviour leaves something to be desired.  Arising from the fact the famous circus owner Papa Baz once used zombie orcs to put up and take down his circus tent.  He abandoned the practice after customers started to complain about the smell.  “You stop hanging around with that street gang or old Papa Baz will be having you for a Zombie.”

A darned sock never forgets – a warning that doing someone or something harm may never be forgotten, or that some visible feature will always remind a person of some past misfortune, such as a scrape on some armour will always remind the wearer of a time they cheated death.

You can’t spend a penny and keep it – similar to the English saying “You can’t have your cake and eat it” but of a form that makes more sense; referring to the fact that once a resource is used up you can’t automatically have more of it.

Money doesn’t die – often referring to taxes or other debts, warning that ignoring them (or any other problem) doesn’t mean it’ll go away.  Sometimes used as an excuse for remaining polite and loyal to someone who is not nice.

Selling/Buying a house on the moors – a reference to the once wonderful farmlands of the northeast that were torn up by great magics to form the High Moors and the Blasted Heath; a reference to something that sounds delightful but is actually worthless.  Eg “That sounds like a good plan but I have a nasty feeling we’d be buying a house on the moors.”

Telling a mage how to darn socks – general term for a pointless or thankless task; a reference to the fact that no powerful person, such as a mage will allow anyone “below” them to instruct them on anything or possibly to the fact that a rich or powerful person like a mage will always have someone else to do their small tasks for them and have no need for the skill.

Barking at a Dragon – a needlessly dangerous pursuit; a choice of action that will always end badly.  Eg “No point telling the King his taxes are too high, you’d just be barking at a Dragon.”

You’ll end up kissing an orc – a suggestion that your choice of action will fail or lead to an undesirable outcome.  Eg “Don’t volunteer to help Old Pony with his stall; you’ll end up kissing an orc.”

Magesplaining – Someone explaining something to someone in a patronising way, often telling them something they already know; a “Magesplainer” is someone superior who assumes they know more than anyone else, mostly just called “Maysplainer”.

Old Gubbings might have something around the back – a dismissal of someone asking for something unreasonable or impossible; eg “You want cream with that? Go and see if Old Gubbings has some around the back.”

Don’t touch it with a ten foot pole – Suspecting that a specific object or person may be trapped.

I’m off to the ‘Wench to pick strawberries – The person is intending to go out for some drinks on the town (possibly at the Bawdy Wench Inn) with the intention of finding a strumpet.  Usually uttered by married men with the inference that no one should tell their wife where they are.

He’d take a sailor for a pirate – often used in different ways; either to describe a person as being cynical and suspicious, or inferring they are actually a shrewd judge of character.

Teaching ogres how to knit – a hopeless or endless task.

He/she knows their shovels – a person involved with organised crime or having a murderous or gangster reputation, referring to them having being involved with the disposal of murdered bodies.

He/she would tell a Temple it’s wrong – a headstrong, determined or argumentative person.

It would be like waiting for the City Guarde – a fruitless endeavour or something that is likely to be cause someone to be waiting for a long time.

You can’t outrun the Centy-Plague – A reference to the fact that persons living in the city often die of the “Century Plague” at the turn of each century, whether they remain in the city or not.  It is usually used to refer to any unavoidable event or mishap.

Badger – slang term for someone always looking for trouble, ready for a fight or just violent; eg “He’s a right badger that one.”  There is a variation on this often used away from the city where someone might be called the “Village Cat”.

Charming Howard – slang term for a womaniser/seducer with a known record, as opposed to someone who claims to be able to seduce women.

Mary’s Girl – slang term for a prostitute.

(On their) Way to Boc – someone on the run from the law, an outlaw.  Also “Bocbound”

Hobbler – Slang term for the city guarde, referring to a Hobbled Horse, meaning something unable to run.  This is a reference for the reputation of the City Guarde for not hurrying to the scene of a crime.

Shanty – Slang term for a horse race.  There are also “Dog Shanties” which is greyhound racing or similar.  The term comes from Shanty Town where such events are often held.

Blunt sword; Stooly; Arse-wiper; Slug-brain; Patsy; Dungtool  – slang terms for someone demonstrating low intelligence.

Tosser; Crow Blinder; Prince of Ponds; Orc-mouth; nag-saddler – slang terms for a liar or con-artist.

Streeter; Candlewaxer; Scraper; Muck-runner; Swagger; Bag-snatcher; Cutpurse; Alley cat  – Slang terms for beggars, thieves and general low-lives.

Grunter – Slang for any humanoid, usually an orc.

Quid – Slang for a silver piece.

Penny; Bob; Dud – Slang for a copper piece.

Score; Brass Magrit, Twenty Bit– slang for a Gold Piece.

Tenner; Gnomeling – Slang for an Electrum Piece.  Electrum coins are uncommon as only the Gnomes mint them.

Pony – Slang for a Platinum Piece.

Muppet – Slang for 50gp, named after King Muppetrik who ruled for 6 months and whose only real claim to fame is in minting coins worth 50gp out of ivory which became almost worthless after his death.  It was an early foray into using an equivalent to paper money but was too early in the history of banking to succeed.

Grand – slang for 1000gp.