Throughout Santharian lands you'll hear many proverbs, sayings, yea, even curses, but if you're a foreigner you may not understand everything you hear in certain regions - sometimes you might even get the wrong meaning, which may lead to unjustified animosities. In order to avoid such misunderstandings as well as to learn some more on Santharian culture, the following "Guide to Santharian Proverbs and Sayings" will help you when travelling throughout the lands. The sentences are ordered alphabetically.




"A fool and his innards are soon parted when tempting wolves." Travellers' saying about the importance of cleaning up food before going to sleep. Human
"A wrinkled apple tastes the sweeter." Peasant saying, on the benefits of experience. Human
"An Avennorian isn't an Avennorian." You can't put all Avennorians in the same drawer due to the fact that they have ancestors of very different tribes. Human
"An elf’s tongue will talk the Timelight round." About the nature of elves. Dwarven
“An ugly woman may be an oya pea… but then again, she may be only an ugly woman…” A cynical saying from the folk of Veltin. Human
"Armeros's teeth!" Common Erpheronian curse. Human
“As beautiful as a Nauroothian Indicating very lovely, referring to the relatively high population of elven/human cross breeds found in this Northern Sarvonian town. Human
“As busy as a myrmex…” Commonly heard simile when one has too many duties to perform at once. Human
"As cold as rubite." Referring to a woman who has just brushed off a male's unwanted advances. A rubite is a gem looking similar to a ruby (produced by the rubit lizard), but will stay cold in contact with flesh, while a ruby will warm up. Human
"As cute as a little pompion." Used to express the cuteness of a baby. Human
"As full of meat as a doch nut." Often used in the marketplace to suggest that something is nutritious, strong, or well worth its cost. Human
"As happy as a Jernaisite." Care-free, happy-go-lucky. Human
"As lax as the folks of Roulk." A quite offensive comparison used to express that work doesn't progress at all as intended. Human
"As lucky as Kha're." This means that somebody had a stroke of luck, several unrelated incidents which turn out to be favourite for him, but don‘t really affect his life. Human
"As nice as an imp." Very mean. Human
"As quick as a hawk and sly as a kiang!" Refers to a very clever, mentally agile person - can also be a warning, as in "be careful of him, he's as quick... etc., etc." Human
"A regular Brandivere." Used mostly in New-Santhala, this comment has one of two meanings, which must be discerned in context; either the person referred to is very generous with his/her time and money, or with intimate favours... (derived from the well-known mage Dalmac Brandivere, who resided for nearly a decade in the New-Santhalan outskirts) Human
"As smart as a Ximax rat." Used to state that someone is behaving very clever. Human
"As subtle as Jamliso." How blunt can you get? Human
"As the seed is formed in Avá’s Dream, so the Tree grows in Avá's Light." On the inevitability of human nature. Elven
"As trusthworthy as a human." Very unreliable. Mullog
"As well heel wolves...." Used with a comparative phrase to suggest futility, for example, "As well heel wolves as argue with that woman in one of her moods!" Human
"As wise as Federkiel" An old comparative expression which has been around as long as the Federkiel family, though the current holder of the title, Sage Artimidor, has done much to bolster its contemporary validity... Human
"A Zarathian deal" You made a bargain which is exactly what your money is actually worth, consequently a fair deal. Human
"A Zarathian nose" Someone who has an uncany ability to sense foul play. Human
"Better a blue mouse than no mouse at all." Used if somebody wants to express, that being content with the not so perfect is better than having nothing. Human
(Ice Tribes)
"Between Ximax cats than Ximax rats!" Quote from the innkeepers in the City of Magic who have a lot of their supplies looted by the clever Ximax rats. Human
"Between the pickaxe and the rockface..." Difficult situation. Dwarven
"Blessed (is) the man who calls an aj his friend." Shendar expressing respect for each other. Human
"Breeding like quirrels." Refering to people who have more children in their family than is considered prudent. Human
“Bryng downe th’ tyrant’s grasping bloodie rule / as doth th’ myrmexene imperyal’s bane / Where insycts struggle, shal we humans cease / To sette our handes to virtue’s ways agayne?” Anonymously scrawled across the great gate of Marcogg, during the Civil Wars. Human
"By Sophronia's hand!" At any cost. Human
"By the nine-tailed cat of Minich!" Curse expressing things which have gone wrong. Human
"Certain as the Morongetyr is still in place." Expressing something, which is undeniable certain. Dwarven
"Cha brightens the eyes, enlivens the heart, strengthens the liver as no ale can claim / Cha for the maidens, cha for the sages, cha for the babe and the mother the same…" Old Hoggenheath saying on the importance of the cha tea herb. Human
"Coór-ridden" Also an emphatic adjective, meaning "haunted", or "dammed". E.g.: "That Coór-ridden baron wants ta double our taxes - does'e think we're made o' feffin' gold?" Human
"Curi'lyr!" Kuglimz insult, meaning "son of a pig". Human
"Cuter than a cob!" Because baby cobs are at first so harmless and adorably fluffy, this saying is meant as a compliment that may be given to a northern baby. Human
(Ice Tribes)
"Destiny, chance, fate, fortune -they're all just ways of claiming your successes without claiming your failures." On destiny and chance, success and failure. Human
"Did you hear Dalireen's bells?" Used when a person has something of an epiphany, when the complications of a problem become clear. In a sense, the person is asking if Dalireen's bells have helped them find the answer in the same way her bells are said to help lost children. Often used among neighboring humans tribe and among hobbit folk. Hobbit
"Did you just Tame the Tree?" The accomplishment of Taming the Tree is a large one in the village of Shneerin at the Y'rom Coast. Therefore, a person radiating with pride, carrying a broad grin on his face, will be asked if he has just Tamed the Tree, because obviously he's has achieved a great feat. Human
(Avennorian, Shneerin)
"Discussion gathers no gems." On the virtue of work. Dwarven
"Don't grab an elf by the ear!" Don't try to say something, act in a field which you don't really understand. Human
"Don’t mind him, he’s a pricklepea." The Helcrani of Milkengrad use this saying much as the merchants of New-Santhala refer to a coarse-spoken but kindhearted person as a "diamond in the rough". Human
"Don't talk twice to a Proudmen (about the same thing)!" Reflecting that it might not be the best idea to try to change the mind of an Erpheronian, once he has already made up his mind. Human
"Don't turn Zarathian on me!" When someone who is usually willing to try anything shrugs off an idea as a waste of time. Human
"Don't use a hammer where a finger-tap will do!" Used to express that certain situations should be handled better in a sensitive way except straight forward. Dwarven
"Drelldung!" A vulgar expletive popular with young blades of central Sarvonia, who believe it to be translated from the Thergerim. Dwarven/
"Dune watch" Anyone who may be looking forward for something important (mostly found in desert areas). Human
"Dwarves to their caverns and elves to their trees!" Popular among the city nobles, meaning, "to each their own". Human
"Even orcs have a use." Nothing is a complete loss. Human
"Even the milch will sweat today." Means that it is very hot, even for a desert. Dwarven
"Even your horse cannot out-run Queprur!" Usually said to suggest that one may be taking too great a risk, or, less commonly, used as a threat. Human (Centoraurian)
"Every fruit has a stone, as the plainsfolk say." Barbarian proverb about mixed blessings Human (barbarian)
"Every toe and every finger, every moment you might linger; good girls, bad boys, she sees all: our fair lady Jeyriall." A rhyme most children and their parents know in the hamlet of Shneerin and around. It's born from the belief that the gods and forefathers are still watching the community, and the superstition that they might wait around every corner to ask penitance for certain deeds. Because Jeyriall is most valued in the village, she's the one the rhyme is addressed to. The third line of the rhyme may be changed to "good boys, bad girls" or any other variety. Sometimes completely different words are put in, when the situation demands: "Kisses, bedding, she sees all" might be a stern warning to the adolescents of the hamlet. Human
(Avennorian, Shneerin)
"Falls and fells!" Expletive. Human
"F'ang!" Kuglimz insult, meaning "impotent" or "unmanly". Human
"Feffin!" (Used as an adjective inserted within a sentence for emphasis, thus: "Who woke the feffin' dragon up, eh?") Meaning is debated, but most linguistic scholars in Caelereth agree that it originated with human sailors and spread rapidly around the known world... Dwarven
"For a dead soldier, there's no victory." You shouldn't try to achieve victory by sacrificing valuable men. Human
"Gambling on a mouse." Anyone who foolishly, desperately, or perhaps mistakenly tries any endeavor, undertaking or solution to attain a desired end (started in desert areas and has found wider populairty). Human
"Give me a mage and a demon; I'll take the demon." On the dangerous and untrustworthy nature of mages. Human
"Gnomes are the friendly dwarves." Caltharian saying referring to Daran gnomes (integrated gnomes in human societies) in order to stress the helpfulness of these gnomes. Human
"Gold in the ground is rock still." Equivalent of "a bird in the hand". Dwarven
"Greyler!" This is a disrespectful term used mostly as an insult to older people. It is analogous to calling them crazy, or saying that they are getting too old to make sense anymore. It is also used as disrespectful slang for 'homosexual person'. The way it is interpreted depends on the usage. If a youth says to her grandparent “Shut up you stupid old greyler!”, they would most likely mean it as a slur on the age of the grandparent. In contrast, a man might shout “Ugh! Get your hands off me, greyler!” if another man were to make advances on him. Human
"Has Dalireen just passed by?" Used when someone begins to hum or sing without thinking, in a sense, asking "Did you get distracted?" Often used among human tribes living near hobbit settlements. Hobbit
"Hasn't got the sense of a new-dropped foal." Obviously, refers to one's foolish behavior. Human (Centoraurian)
"Have you been trying to Tame the Tree?" This warning question is uttered by parents to younger children who are believed not to be ready yet for their maturity ritual. If the child has tried to accomplish a task he or she is simply not capable of yet, a father or mother will remind the child of his most important trial to come by asking this question. A panting youngster is asked the same question: what effort has made you so exhausted, "have you been trying to Tame the Tree?" Human
(Avennorian, Shneerin)
"Head as thick as a pompion." Used to refer to a dullard. Human
"He lost his helmet!" A well-known proverb for disgrace as the last thing a Santerran soldier would do before abandoning a ship was throwing away his iron helmet, as it was the only piece of item one could not accidentally lose in a sea battle. Human
"He who flees lives to fight another day." You shouldn't let any of your enemies escape the battlefield. Human
"He who hews not eats not." On the virtue of work. Dwarven
"Herkpt'in" (emphatic verb, colloquial) "Herkpting" is the action of snorting up phegm and spitting it out. The verb is properly pronounced in three syllables with the stress on the first and third, thus: HERK-pih-Ting. "The old man was busy herkpting into the spittoon, and didn't see the soldiers striding towards him." However, it has been co-opted as a vulgarism, and as such is pronounced HERK-pit-ten. "You herkptin' piece of gnoll snot, whateryer think yer doing?" Dwarven
"He/she went to the greylers." He/she has gone missing. This saying is usually used after the person has disappeared after having been in a bad situation for some time, or having some secret revealed about them, or having been sad for a long time. It means that no-one knows what has happened to the person, but everyone thinks that they may have killed themselves, or have actually run off to live with the greylers. If someone says this, it means they think the person will never be seen again. Human
"His love is so deep as the snow on the Norong'sorno white." Said when a man love his wife dearly. Human
"Hot as kragghi." Used to refer to quick-tempered individuals. Human
"How do you dream? I mean, what can you dream of; if from under your forest ceiling you have never seen the stars?" A typical provern of the Meládrhim, expressing their nomadic lifestyle very well. Elven
"I think I'll ship to the Shoals tomorrow." A person uttering these words sees no hope in the current situation and is left with little options. It may also be a threat to leave to a distant place, referring to the southernmost part of the Sarvonian continent. Human
"If ink were drink, I'd be a scholar!" Hobbit saying, self-explanatory. Used when someone voices what is considered an improbable or self-indulgent wish. Halfling
"If it quorks like a kyck-kyck, hops like a kyck-kyck, and tastes like a kyck-kyck... it’s doubtless a kyck-kyck!" Old gnome saying on the merits of simplicity in argument. Gnomish
"If you say that word again, I'll scrub your mouth with Krrahghi (Kragghi)." Used as a threat of punishment for bad language in Ashmari children or rebellious orclings. Human
(Ashmari), Orcish
"It'll be not my head on the block." I won't be the one who gets in trouble. Human
"It is easier to catch the seed of the false heart than... To express that it is impossible to get hold of somebody or something. Human
"It's like chopping wood with an orcish knife." Doing something completely senseless and without thought. Human
"It's like Shneerin on Fastday." Though not of Shneerin origin (a small Avennorian farming village), the saying refers to the habit of the Shneerin community to gather with all souls at the Broken Wing tavern on Fastday. Either it means that too many people are in a far too small place, often heard in Ravenport establishments when a complete shipcrew takes over a tavern in Stormside, or it is used to note the opposite: a place where no one is present where all sorts of people should be. This meaning is traced back to members of the Ravenport Thieves Guild, but also heard when Market Merchants have very few customers while there should be all sorts of people coming to their stalls. Human
"Juklankah." Something that is commonplace or ordinary. Human
"Jumpy as a leverat." Expression to describe a very nervous person. Human
"Kack!" Broadly translated, means, "excrement". Pronounced with two hard 'k' sounds. Commonly used when one hits one's thumb with one's battlehammer, or when trying to repair household water pipes. Can also be conjugated very effectively, as in "Kacking hammer hit me on the kacky thumb!" or "This kacked-up pipe's got no kackin' water in it!" or even "You kack-faced drell cubs got no backbone ta be soldiers in THIS army!" Dwarven
"Keep the toads in the bucket!" A Manthrian proverb used to warn someone about gossip or the necessity for secrecy on a particular issue. Human
"Kuati-skull!" Insult (similar to ‘numbskull’, ‘thickskull’, and ‘woodenhead’) Human
"Ku’errels have tails and girls have curls / Clouds have rain and trysters pearls." A common line from a much longer folksong of the Mossy Rocks Cove area, usually quoted to express the sentiment that 'everyone has some quality or ability of worth, no matter their exterior character'. Human
"Like a lake and a liver" (Maríncín y sai siníwecín) To represent two which are inseperable. Elven
"Like juk'lan and waterberry" Representing a relationship that seems particularly close. Human
"Make sure to speak right to an Avennorian." You need to be cautious not to hurt feelings with lightly spoken words about an aspect of Avennorian heritage. Human
(Avennorian, Shneerin)
"Man good when dead." How this proverb was obtained and translated we are not certain. Possibly originally a human fabrication, but it since has passed into common lore. Orcish
"May Seyella bless you with an aj, a tent and a true husband!" Shendar wishing each other all the best, refering to the most important things in their lives. Human
"Mari'kah'meeh!" The Kuglimz have a saying that someone or something is a "meeh'kah'mari", that is, a sheep that wants to be a wolf, or a "mari'kah'meeh", a wolf that wants to be a sheep. This is generally used when someone is displaying highly inappropriate behavior for their status, gender, or age. An adult male refusing to fight in an upcoming battle (which rarely happens) would be called a "mari'kah'meeh". Human
"Meeh'kah'mari!" The Kuglimz have a saying that someone or something is a "meeh'kah'mari", that is, a sheep that wants to be a wolf, or a "mari'kah'meeh", a wolf that wants to be a sheep. This is generally used when someone is displaying highly inappropriate behavior for their status, gender, or age. A little girl trying to put on her father's sword belt would be called a "meeh'kah'mari". This may be affectionate, as in the latter, or derisive, as in the former. Human
"Moonlight becomes you, [name]" Not-too-subtle death threat, as Kasumarii funeral rites involve placing the body in full view of the moon. Human
"Noisy as a kuatu" Is likely to be a derogative hurled by mothers at rampaging children... Human
"Not a Jernaisite's worry." Not a chance, very slim. Human
"Not even a false heart will be able to hold me back!" Often used by lovers to to assure the beloved man/woman, to come back in any case, Human
"Not even the Shoals will save you from me!" When confronted with these words, you have someone willing to hunt you to the edge of Caelereth without hesitation. It's an expression of determination and usually with a fatal or malicious edge to it. Human
"Not for all the gold in Gerimthur!" No way! Gerimthur denotes a famous mine. Dwarven
"Of one drop!" A pair that is inseparable. Human
"Off with Dalireen!" Often used amoung mother hobbits to explain where the children are: in most cases, off singing, laughing, and picking flowers, or something of the sort. It is also sometimes used for those who are in a happy, dreamy state of mind. Used primarily among hobbits. Hobbit
"One kaimun is ten kaimuni." Be careful, there is more to this than meets the eye! Mullog
"One man’s Brownie is another man’s stew." Unfortunate legacy of a time in human history. Said to have been coined by Zlothig the Brutal, one-time plains warlord. Now used ironically to warn others of racist or exclusionary language! Human
"Oya, oya, mickles, meez / Cat’s a-corner, catchin’ peas! / Catch as catchan, catcha girl / pretty as a n’oya pearl!" Rhymes sung by children of Wyring. Human
"Pitdamp!" Expletive, drawn from a mining term. Dangerous gasses often build up underground, and can explode in the present of open flame... Dwarven
"Pompion-gut, pompion-gut!" Used to tease e.g. greedy and indolent fellows. Human
"Quantity is Quality." A superior armed group can still be destroyed by hordes of lesser or not armed men. Human
"Quick as a quirrl!" Very fast Human
Seek the myrmex to teach thee manners!” Peasant saying, to a lazy child or youth Human
"She (or - not so often - he) is a false heart." Describes a beautiful woman or man with a doubtful character. Beautiful to look at, but unpleasant to live with. Human
"Shneerin survives!" The clause is commonly said to note that everything will be all right in the end. An often used phrase to conclude or wrap up a painstaking discussion. The chronicles of Shneerin (a small Manthrian hamlet) trace the saying back to the War of the Chosen, when the first attacks on the hamlet are reported. Human
(Avennorian, Shneerin)
"Slippery as a keeker." Used as a derogatory reference to “big folk” by halflings. Hobbitish
"Spell's past the circle." Water under the bridge... Human
"Spring sap rises, autumn leaves fall." Meaning "life always moves from one stage to another". Elven
"Stubborn as brinney!" Equivalent to calling someone a jackass Human
"Sunspawn!" Something along the lines of "Son of a bitch" (or even worse). Human
Tea at morning, tea at night / Makes the heart and stomach right….” Saying from the Brinsley Delta on the importance of tea. Human
"Tell it to the greylers!" Nobody is interested in hearing this story - everyone knows it already. Human
"That's just another Azhorhrian sandstorm." Indicating disbelief in another's story or statements. This proverb is not used in Aeruillin (home of the Azhorhians), but in Sarvonia by the way... Human
“The myrmex turns many a stone to find her food.” From the writings of Sage Alkemus, regarding persistence. Human
"The night is your guard, but your shadow my life." Kasumarii equivalent of a proposal. Rumored to be the first line in a poem by Kasumar to Tyrajall. Human
"There's always a few bad seeds in a pickle." Erpheronian country noble's expression, used to refer to the fact that in any mix of people one will find those of virtuous and of corrupt character alike. Human
"The shedwarf at the hearth and the hedwarf at the face; thus swings the world in balance." About the dwarves themselves and their society. Work is gender-specific in Thergerim culture, but not assigned arbitrary values as it might be in many human cultures. Both mining and food preparation are seen as essential to support life, and dwarf society does not discriminate between the sexes. Tol-Baroll is, you will remember, God of Forges and Earthworks but also God of Hearths and Cooking... Rulers, religious leaders, teachers, and so on are drawn equally from both genders. Dwarven
"The rain has stopped soaking the ground so that the blood may start." Kuglimz saying expressing the arrival of summer (seen as the "Battle Season"), following the often very stormy spring in the lands of the North. Human
"There are more here than in Milkengrad's marketplace." Used to denote abundance of any kind. Human
"This season it may rain gold, the next it will rain tears!" A saying among the farmers of Shneerin. It’s a warning to be not too optimistic. While the fields of golden rain may hint at prosperity and wealth, the next moment this may be changed by war, natural disasters or other unforeseen circumstances. Human
(Avennorian, Shneerin)
"Tide change, heart change!" Translated from Mermish. Used when speaking about decisions and promises, which merfolk take lightly. Mermish
"To act like a brunn." Equivalent to calling someone a jackass Human
"To hit two toads with one stone." To accomplish two goals with only one effort. Mullog
"To hold a bridge" To cling to someone or something that is now gone. Human
"To hunt a tree tibbar." Your hunt (what ever it is you want to achieve) is senseless and shows a lack of intelligence. Human
"To run like a quagga." Indicating extreme speed, sometimes used to mock cowardly behavior. Human
"To take off like a quagga." Indicating extreme speed, sometimes used to mock cowardly behavior. Human
"To talk like an elf." Translated from Trollish: Talking very fast and difficult. Trollish
"To top Lorehaven’s Eye!" Southern Avennorians have a saying, that something or someone is or will be large enough to top Lorehaven’s Eye (the port's prominent lighthose tower)! This is often used humorously to describe a boy in his growth years. Human
"To try to light a candle with a deliz." To try to achieve something impossible, knowing well that it will fail and one will "burn one's fingers". Human
"To try to sail to Zardinia." When someone is "trying to sail to Zardinia", he's trying to accomplish a (seemingly) impossible task. It's both used as a 'stand alone message' ("he's trying to sail to Zardinia") and when comparing something ("trying to tame this horse is like sailing to Zardinia"). The name should actually be Zandiria, one of the larger isles of the Scattersand Shoals, but has been mixed up over the centuries. Human
"To stare death in the face." To be confronted with death. Probably deriving from the encounters with a black unicorn, which is seen as a representative of death. Human
"Vekk'ang."" Severe Kuglimz insult, meaning "non-rider". Actually, this is the worst insult you can give to a Kuglimz and the result of it is almost always bloodshed. Human
"Watch out, or the bouncers will get you!" Used to address a child which shows off. Human
"Water is soft, but it wears away stone." Sailors’ saying, on the virtue of persistence. Human
"Westan." Colloquial abbreviation for lit. “man of the west”. The word “westan” is in all likelihood a remnant of the jargon once in use among the Caltharians from around the Ancythrian Sea, originally designating pilgrims belonging to the Centoraurian and Kyranian tribes on their way to the sanctuary of the Twelve at Elsreth. The geographical implication of the term – which is commonly employed in almost the whole of Santharia – has by now vanished altogether. Human
"Well, it's not like riding bare-back!" Refers to something as being a difficult task, much as we might say something is "extremely tricky". Human (Centoraurian)
"Were you raised by a kuatu?" An angry fellow will be sure to bark if you track in a lot of leaves and other litter when entering his shop. Human
"With a nice beer anything tastes good." Means precisely that. Dwarven
"When the wind is in the east, Grotor blows for man and beast.
When the wind is in the west,
Iasha will sing the best.
When the wind is from the south, Neter opens then his mouth.
When the wind is from the north, let no farmer issue forth."
An Ashmarian farmer’s chant, naming the spirits of the winds. Note the variation on gods’ names, associated with three of the winds. Although ordinary air movements on the surface of Santharia are called "wind", most people do not confuse them with the High Winds or the Darkwinds! Here obviously some local folk beliefs have corrupted orthodox doctrine. Human
"Ximax works in mysterious ways." General line. To non-magi, it means roughly: Magi - don't think about 'em cause you won't understand them. To magi, it's just another dig at the weird ways of their leaders. Human
"You bring as much joy as a nightbird is singing." You bring misery and sorrow wherever you go. Elven
"You can always add more salt to the stew, but only the Gods can take it out." Midland peasants’ expression, meaning "don’t hurry to make changes". Human
"You lead another to tears" (ác aelonián injèrá qué) Meaning that one is so close to another that they will allow themselves to be led even to destruction or distraction, whichever comes first. Elven
"You look like a bouncer!" Used to address a child that is being very annoying or irritating. Human
"You might as well harvest krakenweed with bare hands!" What you're doing is incredibly stupid. Mullog

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