Common Dunmeri Slang (for use in dialogue)

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Kevaar's picture
Developer EmeritusQuest Developer
2016-01-19 19:35
Last seen:
1 year 10 months ago

Almost all of these are straight from the vanilla game, with only a few additions by the TR team.

Geographical Terms:
cardruhn - ancestral tomb 
bal – stone
foyada - “fire river”, or the valleys left behind by lava flows
isra - row (geographical) 
molag - fire 
mora - forest 
ouada - river 
sadrith - mushroom 
tel - tower (especially a wizard tower) 
tong - guild 
steampit – what sulfur or mud pits in the Ashlands are commonly called
mucksponge patch – a group of mucksponges
gulakyurt – a gulakhan’s tent.
ashkyurt – an ashkhan’s yurt
yurt -Ashlander tent

Insults and Curse Words:
n’wah – foreigner or slave, usually used as an insult
s’wit – slackwit or fool
fetcher – thief, used commonly by all races in Tamriel
n’chow – damn
b’vehk – literally “By Vivec!”
kwama pile – bullshit
scum – self-explanatory, often used by Ordinators
scuttlehead – dumbass
gold hat – derogatory term for Ordinators
bonehead – derogatory term for guards, based on the bonemold helmets Great House guards wear
Gods’ grief! – literally, “good grief”

Terms of Respect:
sera – sir, not dependent on gender
muthsera – master, to denote respectful humility or debasement. Sometimes used sarcastically
serjo – lord, position of great respect and leadership
kena – teacher, or master, often used for wizards or scholars
sedura – “gentleman”, a title often used for wealthy merchants or landowners
f’lah – fellow, like we sometimes might use mate, man or dude today

Armor Styles
ebony style – term for heavy (plate, etc)
Ashlander style – light armor
Great House style – medium armor
bugbone – bonemold
godsblood – ebony or glass

Social Groups/Jobs
betmer(i) – beast races, includes Khajiit, Argonians, Orcs, Goblins, Imga and Giants.
nemer(i) – “not-mer”, or non-elves
therionauts – river strider operators
netchiman – herder of netches
Houseless – House Dunmer that aren’t part of the Great Houses, not to be confused with Ashlanders
dreugh-jigger – harvest dreugh for armor?
Velothi – Ashlanders preferred to be called this. Can also variably be taken to mean the ancient pre-Tribunal Dunmer (or the architecture thereof) or followers of Saint Veloth
muck farmer – farmer of mucksponges
hetman – village mayor?
-man – I put this here to remind folks, that -man suffixes (oathman, hetman, netchiman, woman, etc) are not translated to -mer suffixes. 

Food and Drink
shein – comberry wine, common and cheap
mazte – made from fermented saltrice, common and cheap (probably similar to sake)
greef – comberry brandy. Local to Morrowind but can be found throughout Tamriel. Somewhat more expensive than mazte or shein
sujamma – considered very potent, one of the mid-range liquors in price
flin – imported Imperial whiskey, very expensive
ashyam – literally a yam, is tough and fibrous
hackle-lo – edible leaves of palm-like shrubs found in the Grazelands.
kwama eggs – the big eggs of kwama, popular throughout the Empire though farmed in Morrowind
marshmerrow – the pulp is sweet, probably similar to sugar cane
saltrice – literally salty rice, common plantation crop of the Dres
scrib jelly – made of crushed scribs, sour-tasting but nutritious and very common food
scuttle – cheese-like and greasy, made from the flesh of beetles, a favorite food in Morrowind
trama root – can be brewed into a bitter-tasting tea
wickwheat – literally wheat, probably is more bitter and has smaller grains than traditional wheat

soul sickness – madness, sometimes heresy
t’lonya – baby clothes or baby swaddling
corkbulb – a kind of shrub with huge bulb-like roots, the roots are tough and woody, often cultivated to make arrows and other wood-like objects
muck – a slime made from crushed mucksponge plants, is slightly toxic if not prepared properly; judging by the alchemical properties is of medicinal use rather than a food

Taken from:

Parker's picture
Developer EmeritusInterior DeveloperQuest Developer
2016-01-19 04:30
Last seen:
2 years 11 months ago

I would like to note that cardruhn, molag, ouada, and tel should probably just be translated into English for dialogue. Otherwise, this is a very useful resource, Kevaar. Thank you for putting it together.

Biboran's picture
2016-01-23 11:05
Last seen:
6 years 1 month ago

bal – stone
baan – black
malur – light
Last two by TR first is official

Atrayonis's picture
Developer EmeritusInterior DeveloperQuest Developer
2015-09-28 20:13
Last seen:
2 years 2 months ago

I’m pretty sure Baan Malur is not a literal translation.

Dormichign64's picture
Interior Developer
2016-03-18 21:43
Last seen:
2 months 1 week ago

Don't forget the booze.

Also, yurt is an actual word i.e. mongolian yurts.

Kevaar's picture
Developer EmeritusQuest Developer
2016-01-19 19:35
Last seen:
1 year 10 months ago

Added some common food and drink items to the list, and Melchior Dahrk was kind enough to clarify this for us:

The Term “Velothi”
This was put together by contributor Melchior Dahrk
"Velothi" as in architecture, other adjectives, or a holistic reference to the Exodus Chimer/Dunmer refers back to a unified Dunmer people who all united under Moon and Star and the Prophet Veloth prior to when they split into Houses and devolved from the High Velothi Culture in the Late Merethic Era. Hence it is "Velothi Architecture" because the style dates from that period. The Ashlanders still consider themselves as followers of the old ways and so they call themselves the Children of Veloth or sometimes "Velothi". This has led to Ashlanders who leave the nomadic lifestyle in favor of House settlements continuing to call themselves - and now House elves also refer to them as - "Velothi". Ashlanders have less flattering terms for these ex-Ashlanders and even House elves use it as a derogatory term to refer to the low class ashlander rejects.

Being in the Velothi class isn't always a generational thing. The children of a Velothi may transition to simply being Houseless if they succeed in escaping the social stigma. Taking a Housemer name is an important step down that path. Continuing to keep an Ashlander name shows that you do not desire to enter the cultural system which is settled dunmer life.

sirrah's picture
Interior Developer
2016-01-17 13:07
Last seen:
1 year 4 months ago

As a bit of a niggle to that, Veloth’s teachings to the Chimer were centered on ancestor-worship and “how to build their houses”, so I would presume they split into familial houses before/during the exodus.

Rot's picture
Quest Developer
2014-03-16 17:45
Last seen:
1 year 7 months ago

I once highlighted the “gold hat” example but it’s actually just used in one vanilla quest by sheogoraht cultists, rather in the spirit of what goes on in their daedric ruin hedoparty, I don’t think it’s a widespread thing?

Atrayonis's picture
Developer EmeritusInterior DeveloperQuest Developer
2015-09-28 20:13
Last seen:
2 years 2 months ago

The “Velothi” term is in disagreement, actually. TR has been traditionally using it for all houseless underclass Dunmer while Melchior Dahrk sticks pretty much to the definition in Morrowind’s one dialogue line which talks about them.

Krairy's picture
2020-04-11 09:41
Last seen:
4 years 3 months ago

It might be cool to underline that maybe not every Dunmer speaks Common perfectly. Those who are less fluent can replace the words they miss by Dunmeri ones. 

Jyiigaj's picture
2024-04-01 00:17
Last seen:
3 months 2 weeks ago

Signed up just to say that... "fetcher – thief, used commonly by all races in Tamriel" is very much used as a substitute for fuck/fucker in ESO. Attachment is just one of dozens of examples. In this case she is talking about her horrible grandfather, whom is not a thief, but is certainly a piece of work.


Image icon fetcher.png2.51 MB2024-04-01 00:20
Image icon fetcher1.png2.48 MB2024-04-01 00:37
Image icon fetcher2.png3.18 MB2024-04-01 01:08
Image icon fetcher3.png3.93 MB2024-04-01 01:13
Svartalfar's picture
2019-10-16 19:08
Last seen:
1 month 2 weeks ago

Always understood fetcher as "the one who fetch". More than a n'wah (a stranger/slave) but less than a Man/Mer: a dog or a pet. A kind of informal social statut for those viewed as inferior to oneself (not a f'lah, an equal), as less worthy or respectable than human.