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Bad Hound!

GRRM Vocab

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(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.

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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.

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"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.

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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!

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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!

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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

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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"

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Spoiler for AFFC

in a chapter with samwell where hes on the ship GRRM writes that Samis greensick.

Does he mean the actual greensickness? As im understanding it hes just seasick?

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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" :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.

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

Turncloak sounds so much better to me.

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

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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..

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

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: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.

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