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An orcish rune.

Lok'Tar Ogar! - Victory or Death!
- Orcs

Orcish (called Orc in the pre-WoW Warcraft RPG books) is the primary language of the orcs and is used throughout the Horde faction. All Horde characters understand Orcish speech, even without explicit lore reasons (such as the Forsaken and the blood elves). Orcish is written using a combination of Common alphabet and runes.[1] (WoWRPG ) [2] (WRPG #?) [3] (LoM #?)

Orcs rely on context, repetition and volume to add emphasis or meaning.[4] (HPG 134) There are many orc dialects, examples include one spoken by the majority of the Horde, and another by orcs living near Durnholde.[5] (LoC 27) Even separate tribes had variations of dialect that differed so much that orcs could not understand each other unless they spoke the common tongue.[6] (RotH 21) The main form of the Orcish language used by all the tribes is known as common Orcish.

Orcish Primer (official translations)

Here are a few common orcish phrases and words, for which some of the translations have been officially confirmed by Blizzard:

Orcish Names

Warcraft RPG - may not be canon This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG, and thus unlikely to be canon.

Most orcish names derive from words in their language that have some complex meaning or hidden significance to their families. Typically, this is the name of a favorite thing or relative. Family names don't exist; most orcs have last names related to some great deed of heroism or honor. However, in the case of truly incredible deeds, an orc might take on the last name of his father to ensure that the chronicle of that terrific deed lives on.[1] (WoWRPG 46) The concept of honor is seen in every level of orc society, even in their naming practices. An orc’s first name is given early in life, often derived from a family name or the name of a great hero. The clan bestows the second name after the orc reaches maturity, this name based upon some great deed. Such a practice gives rise to surnames such as Doomhammer, Elfkicker, Foe-ender, Skullsplitter, Thumper, and the like. This second name may be changed if a new one seems more appropriate.[2] (WRPG 50)

  • Male Names: Grom, Thrum, Drog, Gorrum, Harg, Thurg, Karg.
  • Female Names: Groma, Hargu, Igrim, Agra, Dragga, Grima.
  • Family Names: Doomhammer, Deadeye, Forebinder, Elfkiller, Skullsplitter, Axeripper, Tearshorn, Fistcrusher.

[1] (WoWRPG 46)

Untranslated Orcish phrases

Note that many orc locations are directly named for prominent orcs, including Bladefist Bay, Durotar, Garadar, Grommash Hold, Kargath, Kargathia Keep, Orgrimmar, and Thrallmar. Further, it can be noted that -ar or -mar seems to be a frequent suffix to denote a place named for another orc.

Orcish / Common Dictionary

Silly-small.png This section concerns content that is silly (or possibly very silly).

World of Warcraft This section concerns content exclusive to World of Warcraft.

The following appear in the [Orcish / Common Dictionary] found in eastern Dalaran.

  • BUR - An aggressively passionate mating call.
  • What can I do fer ye? - Beer sold here.
  • Hi - A threatening war cry, especially when accompanied by a wave or bow.
  • How are you? - Was your mother really a reptile?
  • King's Honor, friend! - I'm starving!

Sample words or phrases (speculation)

Questionmark-medium.png This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials.*

This is the list of words created by the in-game language parser for the Orcish language, and is listed as language number one (word range 1-100) in the Language text file.

Note: The language algorithm used by the in-game "translator" merely makes the words look like Orcish. It does not actually translate words. Therefore, translated in-game speech isn't true Orcish.

Number of letters in word Word List
One-letter words A, N, G, O, L
Two-letter words Ha, Ko, No, Mu, Ag, Ka, Gi, Il
Three-letter words Lok, Tar, Kaz, Ruk, Kek, Mog, Zug, Gul, Nuk, Aaz, Kil, Ogg
Four-letter words Rega, Nogu, Tago, Uruk, Kagg, Zaga, Grom, Ogar, Gesh, Thok, Dogg, Maka, Maza
Five-letter words Regas, Nogah, Kazum, Magan, No'bu, Golar, Throm, Zugas, Re'ka, No'ku, Ro'th
Six-letter words Thrakk, Revash, Nakazz, Moguna, No'gor, Goth'a, Raznos, Ogerin, Gezzno, Thukad, Makogg, Aaz'no
Seven-letter words Lok'Tar, Gul'rok, Kazreth, Tov'osh, Zil'Nok, Rath'is, Kil'azi
Eight-letter words Throm'ka, Osh'Kava, Gul'nath, Kog'zela, Ragath'a, Zuggossh, Moth'aga
Nine-letter words Tov'nokaz, Osh'kazil, No'throma, Gesh'nuka, Lok'mogul, Lok'bolar, Ruk'ka'ha
Ten-letter words Regasnogah, Kazum'nobu, Throm'bola, Gesh'zugas, Maza'rotha, Ogerin'naz
Eleven-letter words Thrakk'reva, Kaz'goth'no, No'gor'goth, Kil'azi'aga, Zug-zug'ama, Maza'thrakk
Twelve-letter words Lokando'nash, Ul'gammathar, Golgonnashar, Dalggo'mazah
Thirteen-letter words Khaz'rogg'ahn, Moth'kazoroth

Word list (speculation)

  • Grom'gol - Horde camp in Stranglethorn Vale. - Grom being an honor to Grom Hellscream (as well as an Orcish word for "giant"), and Gol probably (based on defined terms in primer) means "By my" or "Axe" so it could be speculated to mean "Grom's Axe", "Giant's Axe", "By Grom" and others.
  • "Hall" - Used in the salutation "Thrall Hall!", probably means "honor" or something similar. Theory #2: It has no specific definition in the orcish language, it is instead used as a multi-purpose word that means glory to the horde/leader (Glory through their leader). The only reason it is Thrall Hall is because it flows naturally and is easy to say/remember (Kind of like why we use nicknames), compare the use of Thrall Hall! to Thrall Honor! or Thrall Hail!
  • kek = Lol -When a Horde character says "lol" in Orcish, it displays as "kek" to Alliance characters. Since "lol" is used quite often in the game by many players this translation has become widely known, and many fans have accepted "kek" as kind of an official translation of "lol" into Orcish. However there are many other 3-letter combinations that produce the translation "kek"(Ex:It's, Elf, One), and "lol" isn't really a word in the English language, anyway. Kek's origin is from Starcraft's online service. The original version of the game did not support full Korean language, so the closest a Korean player could get to "Hahaha" in Korean was "Kekeke".[1]
  • Grommash has been officially translated as Giant's Heart. Grombolar has been officially translated as Bowels of the Giant. From this it can be inferred that Grom means giant, Mash means heart, and Bolar means bowels:
    • "Bolar" = "Bowel(s)"
    • "Grom" = "Giant"
    • "Mash" = "Heart"

Word list (in-game?)

World of Warcraft This section concerns content exclusive to World of Warcraft.

  • Kazum = Hello, Smell, Human
  • gi = On, Ew
  • l = U, I
  • ag = It, me
  • ogg = You
  • magan = Druid
  • ragath'a = Alliance
  • ruk = Cat, Won
  • kil = Die, For
  • g = A
  • rega = Love
  • uruk = Kill
  • tago = Suck, Mine
  • gezzno = Stupid
  • mog = The
  • nuk = Bad
  • gul = Can
  • gesh'zugas = Understand
  • hi = Oh
  • ha = my
  • nakazz = Little
  • no'bu = Thats
  • zug = She, Her
  • mu = He, Hi
  • zil'nok = Goodbye
  • ko = By, No
  • lok = Bye, Run
  • tar = Eww, Yes
  • golar = Funny
  • dogg = Hero
  • re'ka = Silly, Dwarf, Night
  • ro'th = Gnome, Horde
  • kagg = Hate
  • zugas = Leave
  • noga = Your
  • thrAkk = You're

Some more Orcish phrases (speculation)

Although no official translations have been released for them, here are some more Orcish phrases and their rough meanings based on the actions of the units in the RTS games when they say them:

  • "Lok-Regar no'gall." = "Ready for orders."

In Battle for the Undercity:

  • "Mog Osh'kazil gul'rok il mog Ro'th zaga maza TOV'OSH" = "The Undercity belongs to the Horde once more! LOK'TAR!"


Orcish surnames are usually derived from great acts or merits a previous ancestor was lauded for, but some exceptional orcs earn their own surnames (Kilrogg Deadeye, Kargath Bladefist), and many prefer to use the names of their fathers (Thrall, Son of Durotan). Only the family leader can hold an eponymous title (For example, there can only be one Doomhammer or Deadeye at a time), and the rest of the clan identify themselves through their line of birth.

Two types of orc names appear to have arisen: two syllables separated by an apostrophe and a simple name shortened from a longer one. The two-syllable ones- Gul'dan, Drak'Thul, Dal'Rend - appear to have initially been only used for spellcaster, but was later exported (Gar'Thok was a Grunt colonel). The second type was highly cultural; only those with powers over the warrior could use their full name, such as Shamans and chieftains, or the orc's personal religious leader. For example Brox's full name was Broxigar, a term which he allowed only Tyrande and Krasus to use. Grom Hellscream's full name was Grommash, which Mannoroth used to address him as demonstration that Hellscream was his. This is very inconsistent, however, most of the known orcish names (such as Durotan, Orgrim, Nazgrel, Kargath) are never documented being used in short forms.

Warcraft 2

In the warcraft 2 cinematics, orcs randomly says words in orcish like "Moka", "titoo", "glode". These words, however, have never been heard in another blizzard game or translated.

Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans

  • "Dabu, togunka <name>." = "Hello, my name's <name>." — at least according to Thrall (dialogue lines in Orc Reservation: "Dabu, togunka Thrall." — "WHAT?" — "Uh, I think I said hello, my name's Thrall." as seen here).
  • "Zug-zug" is affirmative response ("Yes" or the like).


Questionmark-medium.png This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials.*
  • "Orc" as a term defining language, has an apparent connection to DnD derived generic languages, which apparently can be found in DnD rule books.
  • To a degree, phoenetically some of the words resemble Tolkien's Black Speech, which makes sense, since that language was presumably the foundational influence for the sound of this one. It is, however, generally somewhat less guttural and (to use Tolkien's own adjective for the Black Speech) uncouth.
  • It also doesn't seem to really be an actual language as such; Blizzard apparently originally invented a few words with an "Orcish" sound to use as acknowledgement phrases when units were clicked on in the earlier Warcraft games, and thus to create consistency, these words were brought over to WoW. The translated vocabulary however is not large, and there is no real formal grammar. The "Orcish" that can be seen apparently being spoken by players in-game is the result of a hash table created by Blizzard, (as mentioned above) and the words produced by it are intentionally meaningless gibberish.
  • In addition, Orcish holds a certain interesting trait. Adjectives appear to come before nouns, similar to English and other Germanic languages. For example, "Grommash," as seen in the primer above, translates to "Giant's Heart". "Giant's" acts like an adjective, modifiying heart. The word "Grombolar," meaning "Bowels of the giant", shares this trait. This, of course, may vary from word to word; if this trait remains consistent with the releases of more words, it may add to a new understanding of the complexity of Orcish culture.


  1. ^ a b c WoWRPG,
  2. ^ a b WRPG, #
  3. ^ LoM, #
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l HPG, 134
  5. ^ a b LoC, 27
  6. ^ a b c d RotH, 21
  7. ^ a b LotC, 138
  8. ^ W2Man, 84
  9. ^ Inscription on the Monument to Grom Hellscream in Ashenvale; also mentioned in the Harvest Festival quest "Honoring A Hero"
  10. ^ Lohn'goron, Bow of the Torn-heart
  11. ^ [Lok-Regar]
  12. ^ The Battle For The Undercity (Alliance), "The orcs have a battle cry: LOK'TAR OGAR! It means "victory or death."
  13. ^ a b c CoH, 34
  14. ^ BtDP, 355