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GRRM Vocab


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54 replies to this topic

#1 Bad Hound!

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 11:39 PM

(Apologies if that has been done before - please point me to the right directory if it has)


I was just wondering whether we could compile a list of words that are "typical-GRRM". Some words are obviously only found in his books (like nuncle), but for others, I can't be sure any more. For example mayhaps? It's so obvious what it means, but now I am wondering: did GRRM invent it, or do we just happen to associate it with aSoIaF because we are so immersed in his books, but in fact it can be found elsewhere?

There 's a few words or expressions like that for me, that I can't remember seeing anywhere else:
- nuncle
- mayhaps
- breaking one's fast
- moon blood
- imp
- flagon
- host (to mean "army")
- leal (don't know what that means, mayhaps some sort of lord who is subject to another lord?)
- calling the banners
- direwolf

Any other?

I love all these words by the way. I think it's cool that aSoIaF has its own style of speech. English is not my first language so I lack an extensive English culture.

#2 callmedodge

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 11:53 PM

These are all old English words that are no longer in common use. For instance, leal means to be faithful or loyal. So when you see "leal lords" it means lords who are loyal to a higher lord or king.

Also, "breaking one`s fast" was the original term for breakfast.

The only one on that list that is unique to ASOIAF is direwolf and possibly moon blood.

Oh, and host doesn`t mean army. A host is a person who welcomes another into his or her home and provides them with food, drink, a bed etc.

#3 Pinkie Baelish

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 12:47 AM

"Flagon" is an old-fashioned type of pitcher for water. The word is familiar if you've played The Elder Scrolls. So is imp, which was supposed to be a small, ghoul-like creature.

#4 Crown

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 04:30 PM

Oh, and host doesn`t mean army. A host is a person who welcomes another into his or her home and provides them with food, drink, a bed etc.


It has different meanings, it can be used as army in: Stannis arrived with his host of a thousand men!

#5 callmedodge

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 09:46 PM

It has different meanings, it can be used as army in: Stannis arrived with his host of a thousand men!


Yeah, I realised that later. It`s all cleared up now!

#6 Lord Flashheart

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 09:52 PM

A direwolf is actually a real thing. just long extinct.

#7 callmedodge

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 10:05 PM

A direwolf is actually a real thing. just long extinct.


So they were. The direwolves described in ASOIAF though are somewhat different. Both are larger than normal wolves, however in Martin`s world they`re larger again. In real life, dire wolves had shorter legs than a regular wolf whereas the direwolves in Westeros are described has having long, thin legs and longer necks.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dire_wolf

#8 LastOfTheGiants

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 08:49 AM

valonqar seems pretty grrm style

#9 Tim Snow

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:12 PM

I think "privy" is funny.

#10 The Tower of Joy

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 05:08 PM

Once in a Bran chapter in aCoK he used the word "treed".
That one I've never seen before.

#11 Bad Hound!

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 07:52 PM

There's a couple more I've read since. I don't think GRRM invented them but he uses them often and it seems to me they now characterize his style:

- mislike (wouldn't you normally say 'dislike' ?)
- the use of 'like' as 'likely', as in "he's not like to storm the castle"

#12 PetyrPunkinhead

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 02:27 AM

warg
wight

Love those two words.

I think "privy" is funny.

Tywin Lanister sure doesn't though.

#13 Rain of Castamere

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 05:38 AM

Spoiler for AFFC

Spoiler


#14 KhaleesiDany

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 07:18 PM

Once in a Bran chapter in aCoK he used the word "treed".
That one I've never seen before.

I read this word in the book "Where the Red Fern Grows." It's a story about a boy and his two hunting dogs. It means to force (someone, something) up a tree. It's what the dogs in the story do to raccoons.

Moon Blood_- GRRM's way of saying it is a woman's "time of the month." The name comes from because girls' (menstrual) cycles follow the moon.

OP You are right that some of these words are GRRM-isms, but many of them are old English words out of fashion. I think he uses them to give the dialogue a realistic feeling of how people at that time spoke. He just throws a few in for flair. If you went back in time (or tried reading "The Canterbury tales" /tongue.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':P' />) you would not be able to understand what people were saying. GRRM's language is still pretty modern. But Westeros is a different planet so he can do whatever he wants.

#15 callmedodge

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 04:34 AM

Another GRRM-ism: turncloak. It`s a play on the actual word "turncoat".

Turncloak sounds so much better to me.

#16 tom_saxon

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 02:51 AM

"Taking the Black". When I first heard that I pictured a thousand Johnny Cash's manning the wall. Ya.

#17 Aerys Blackfyre

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 03:39 AM

on the morrow

#18 ebevan91

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 10:18 PM

These books have changed the way I speak.

Sometimes I say "on the morrow", "breaking my fast", "breeches", etc.

Sometimes I even say "Seven hells" or "Gods!", instead of "God!", "Gosh!", etc..

#19 Elyrica

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 11:18 AM

I just think GRRM has an incredible insight in the old English language.

#20 King Tyrion I

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 12:01 PM

/agree.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':agree:' />

I *love* Old English.

But I think the words and phrases are also from the EME era (Early Modern English), the English Shakespeare wrote and spoke.