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Frostwolf runestone

Orcish glyphs on a Frostwolf monument.

Orcish is the primary language of the orcs. It is used as the main language of the Horde.

The main form of the Orcish language used by all orc tribes on Draenor was known as common Orcish.[1] Separate clans had variations of dialect that differed so much that orcs could not understand each other unless they spoke the common tongue.[2] There was an older, archaic version of Orcish that few but the highly educated, such as the shaman and the clan chieftains, knew.[3]

Written using runes, Orcish is regarded by non-speakers as an ugly, guttural language.[4][5] Jaina Proudmoore is able to differentiate between pictographs from an old version of the orc language.[6]

Orcish primer[]

Shadowmoon runes

A Shadowmoon rune circle.

Official translations[]

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

Untranslated words or phrases[]

In-game parser[]

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

Orcish / Common dictionary[]

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!


Main article: Naming Day

Character creation screen[]

The following names are offered as suggestions when creating characters on the character creation screen. Note that this list represents a sample of the many possible suggestions.

Male names
  • Wark, Drukasao, Guntojakh, Iroggalnn, Tuknazit, Volindai, Igond, Rogrelg, Umaghavikor, Fengam, So, Domron, Zurosao, Lugrenga, Zugrish, Dosamm, Tsubai, Wagtaggall, Naakigg, Eckh, Emontuugg, Cromga, Fusatkuulk, Rogrettsuo, Kalligg, Wogruugar, Akuugg, Kagar, Akubaim, Kashugrexx, Gilligoarusk, Relcozomrak, Daggarn, Dramworn, Macksh, Tusontarish, Rhog, Drarduglok, Fenrim, Rashomro, Cheruknai, Googg, Mazumorr, Chantsuya, Kazit, Sikkall, Dengamm, Nagtar, Skrishtargh, Nakin, Herst, Pikasand, Ugakusel, Kagrim, Gaidom, Fashtar, Rendomiku, Rog, Watsuyagarg, Fusath, Nekk, Tramm, Figgo, Domdaggo, Koichark, Crongaragho, Gungoress, Oso, Phavikazra, Irogaidos, Sokramm, Figall, Zurungo, Emurigore, Fashtalekthr, Chul, Tulmokthar, Nardamesh, Korelskrim, Figgalekk, Nathatsu, Nagg, Molo, Waghurp, Maulnargon, Pyagatku, Emurund, Wit, Kafgantand, On, Songamu, Lhavik, Thariak, Hungar, Drelcozsh, Draggo, Zumongorg, Nekiron.
Female names
  • Bokrem, Fuda, Garainekago, Lopiatsukas, Hallarii, Saroogai, Hargai, Maiki, Togrytasaku, Hatamaris, Garunn, Ferunah, Irgraka, Reldaqi, Corvisaki, Roldiko, Daqi, Drunndrukona, Opakhamga, Gelagallopia, Liritsua, Geermani, Tokimao, Ezarn, Arteta, Nodosar, Mannah, Riimishtasa, Rokargara, Uragosaka, Tishtalvana, Pla, Rekrakka, Tabitaska, Akiria, Dous, Seergrutalla, Uragdalka, Khaku, Womdalle, Akonnaya, Morakinka, Akasaaja, Dosa, Reta, Nangrii, Roldala, Ritheddalka, Kritasu, Doora, Eonamah, Tiki, Grytas, Skkagai, Mirshaqi, Seerman, Wyeghakask, Lirgronnanya, Eonamanaka, Nodooskasan, Tishargryta, Arooska, Khalvanagna, Kinani, Okagark, Giskka, Atsuka, Tinekretanya, Rekrannda, In, Grytamikirga, Heg, Ferunaki, Gellaayu, Eonnakha, Ritsukah, Drakkaskaya, Flikorvisa.

Warcraft II[]

In the Warcraft II cinematics, orcs randomly say words in orcish like "Moka", "titoo", "glode". These words, however, have never been heard in another Blizzard game and have never been translated.

Film universe[]

Icon-film-40x16 This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft film universe and is considered non-canon.
  • The orcish word wachook is used by Blackhand to describe Draka as she gives birth, shortly after passing through the Great Gate. The term roughly translates as "female incapacitated by pregnancy".[54][55]
  • Garona means cursed.

In the RPG[]

Icon-RPG This section contains information from the Warcraft RPG which is considered non-canon.

Orcish (or Orc) is a coarser language than Common, and many words lack the subtlety of Common. Orcs rely on context, repetition and volume to add emphasis or meaning.[10] There are many orc dialects, examples include one spoken by the majority of the Horde, and another by orcs living near Durnholde.[56]

Orcish is written using a combination of Common alphabet and runes.[citation needed] 


  • Dabu = I obey.[10]
  • Mok'nathal = The Sons of Nath. (Honorable title.)[57]
  • Swobu = As you command. [10]
  • Throm-Ka = Well met. (A greeting.)[10]
  • Trk'hsk = Bloodshed in battle. (Some orcs in the Durnholde area use the word with a different meaning, namely "that sacrificed to the earth" in order to make crops grow.)[56]

Orc names[]

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.[58] 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 tribe 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.[59]

  • 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.[58]


This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.

Orcish surnames are usually derived from great acts or merits a previous ancestor was lauded for,[citation needed]  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). 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 a 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.

Word 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", and "lol" isn't really a word in the English language, anyway.
  • Grommash has been officially translated as Giant's Heart. Grombolar has been officially translated as Bowels of the Giant. Dranosh and Garrosh have been officially translated as Heart of Draenor and Warrior's Heart, respectively. Thus, it can be assumed that "Grom" means giant, "Bolar" means bowels, and both "(M)ash" and "Osh" mean heart.
    • Grom = "Giant"
    • Bolar = "Bowels"
    • (M)ash or Osh = "Heart"
  • "Mar" is a common ending to orcish cities (such as Orgrimmar or Hordemar City). It could be translated to "city of" or "the city" (Using examples from before, Orgrimmar would be City of Orgrim or The city Orgrim, whilst Hordemar would be City of Horde, City of the Horde of The city of the Horde.
  • "Lok-Regar Ogull, On-Dabu." - Spoken by a unit in an RTS game,[Which?]  possibly means "Ready for orders."

Other speculation[]

"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, phonetically 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 acknowledgment 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.

The examples of Orcish we've seen indicate what the phonetic inventory of the language might include, but we have nearly no evidence of the structure of the syntax or grammar. It may be possible to assume that adjectives come before nouns, as in English and other Germanic languages. As seen in the primer above, "Grommash" translates to "giant's heart". Thus we might say that "grom" (giant's) is an adjective modifying "mash" (heart). The word "Grombolar," meaning "bowels of the giant", seems to follow this pattern as well. Of course, if this is actually a possessive clause, or a compound word, then the speculation that Orcish follows an adjective-noun word order could be erroneous.


  • The first time Khadgar heard the orcish language, it was unfamiliar to him, and both guttural and blasphemous to his ears.[60]
  • When Khadgar asked Garona about her representatives, she gave him three made-up names; Gizblah the Mighty, Morgax the Gray, and Hikapik the Bloodrender.[61] These can be viewed as orcish names.



  1. ^ Rise of the Horde, pg. 40
  2. ^ a b c Rise of the Horde, pg. 21
  3. ^ a b Rise of the Horde, chapter 19
  4. ^ Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War, chapter 27
  5. ^ Elegy, pg. 64
  6. ^ Cycle of Hatred, chapter 3
  7. ^ H IconSmall Goblin MaleIconSmall Goblin Female [1-20] Weed Whacker
  8. ^ Mogrin#Quotes
  9. ^ H IconSmall Orc MaleIconSmall Orc Female [50-70] Aka'magosh
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Horde Player's Guide, pg. 134
  11. ^ H IconSmall Goblin MaleIconSmall Goblin Female [1-20] Warchief's Emissary
  12. ^ a b Lord of the Clans, pg. 138
  13. ^ Sean Copeland on Twitter (2013-03-18) Dead link
  14. ^ N [60] Weapon in Hand
  15. ^ Deathbringer Saurfang#Quotes
  16. ^ Micky Neilson on Twitter: ""Warrior's Heart" is the official ruling."
  17. ^ Sean Copeland on Twitter
  18. ^ Bloodsworn, pg. 105
  19. ^ H IconSmall Orc MaleIconSmall Orc Female [50-70] The Long Knives
  20. ^ H IconSmall Orc MaleIconSmall Orc Female [50-70] Tracking a Killer
  21. ^ Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual, Orc Buildings, Temple of the Damned
  22. ^ Monument to Grom Hellscream
  23. ^ Sean Copeland on Twitter
  24. ^ H [1-70] Honoring a Hero
  25. ^ N [25-30] Lohn'goron, Bow of the Torn-heart
  26. ^ A Good War, pg. 59
  27. ^ Flavor text of Lok-Narash spell
  28. ^ Flavor text of Lok-Regar spell
  29. ^ Sean Copeland on Twitter Dead link
  30. ^ A [74] The Battle For The Undercity, "The orcs have a battle cry: LOK'TAR OGAR! It means "victory or death."
  31. ^ a b c Cycle of Hatred, pg. 34
  32. ^ Lok'osh Nakha quotes
  33. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal, pg. 355
  34. ^ Archive lore tweets from loreology
  35. ^ Hellscream
  36. ^ Loreology on Twitter Dead link
  37. ^ a b Draka (alternate universe)#Quotes
  38. ^ a b World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 42
  39. ^ H IconSmall Orc MaleIconSmall Orc Female [50-70] A People in Need of Healing
  40. ^ Blizzard Entertainment Blizzard Entertainment 2023-03-01. Embrace Your Orc or Human Legacy with New Heritage Armor Sets. Retrieved on 2023-03-11.​ “Orcs who undertake the quest “A People in Need of Healing” will need to earn the Blessing of the Clan, the Blessing of the Land, and the Blessing of the Ancestors to complete the om’gora or “rite of honor” before the assembled clans and many familiar faces.”
  41. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 55
  42. ^ Afterlives: Maldraxxus
  43. ^ Christie Golden on Twitter (2020-09-03). Archived from the original on 2020-09-03.​ “By the way, everyone has my blessing to use the word “ur’gora” when someone is behaving badly (means “not-honor,” which is the absolute peak insult from an orc.).
  44. ^ H [10-40] Back to Bladespire Citadel
  45. ^ H [10-40] Save Wolf Home
  46. ^ H [10-40] The Battle of Thunder Pass
  47. ^ Okla
  48. ^ Bloodsworn, pg. 17
  49. ^ H [30] Alliance Relations
  50. ^ Warlord Krogg
  51. ^ H [35-40] The Farseer Awaits
  52. ^ Landfall
  53. ^ H [40] The Broken Sigil
  54. ^ Duncan Jones on Twitter (2016-06-29).​ “By the way, any of you Warcraft watchers know the meaning of the Orc word "Wachook?" Blackhand uses it after the portal travel scene.”
  55. ^ Duncan Jones on Twitter (2016-06-29).​ “Basically means "female incapacitated by pregnancy."”
  56. ^ a b Lands of Conflict, pg. 27
  57. ^ Horde Player's Guide, pg. 156
  58. ^ a b World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 46
  59. ^ Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 50
  60. ^ The Last Guardian, chapter 4
  61. ^ The Last Guardian, pg. 208

External links[]