An orcish rune

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] Written using runes, Orcish is regarded by non-speakers as an ugly, guttural language.[3][4] Jaina Proudmoore is able to differentiate between pictographs from an old version of the orc language.[5]

Orcish primer

Official translations

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

  • Aka'Magosh[6][7] = A blessing on you and yours.[8][9]
  • Bin mog g'thazag cha = I will protect you.[10]
  • Dae'mon = "Twisted soul"[11] or "demon";[12] appears to be used in the same way as Man'ari in Draenei.
  • Dra'gora = Draenor's Honor.[13]
  • Dranosh = Heart of Draenor.[14]
  • Garrosh = Warrior's Heart.[15][16] When used as a proper noun, refers to Garrosh Hellscream.
  • Gol'Kosh! = By my axe![8] An exclamation.[17]
  • Grombolar = Bowels of the giant.[18]
  • Grommash = giant's heart,[19][20] or The Giant's Heart.[21] When used as a proper noun, refers to Grommash Hellscream.
  • Kagh! = Run![8][10]
  • Lohn'goron = Hero's sojourn.[22]
  • Lok-Narash! = To arms![23]
    • Can also mean "Arm yourselves!"[24]
  • Lok-Regar = Ready for orders.[25]
  • Lok-tar! = Victory! (A war cry. Also a greeting while in combat.)[8]
    • Despite it being seen with apostrophe (game) and a hyphen (publications), the hyphen is the canonical spelling of "Lok-tar!"[26]
  • Lok-tar ogar! = Victory or death! (A war cry.)[8][27]
  • Lok'amon = Traditional orcish song sung about starting a family.[28]
  • Lok'tra = Traditional orcish song sung about a battle.[28]
  • Lok'vadnod = Traditional orcish song sung about the life of a hero.[28]
  • Mag'har = Uncorrupted.[29] Used to describe any non-corrupted orcs.
  • Mak'gora = Duel of honor.[30] A challenge for leadership of a group. Under Thrall, the duel is generally a non-lethal combat, but under the old ways, it was to the death.
  • Mak'Rogahn (or mak'rogahn) = Duel of will. An honorable duel between two fighters when one's honor has been questioned. So long as the loser does not surrender, and fights until passing out or the bell is rung, both fighters are considered winners and get to drink the rest of the night. If the loser does surrender, s/he is exiled from the clan.[31]
  • Mok-thorin ka! = Engage the enemy![32] Said by Commander Kolurg.
  • Nagrand = Land of Winds.[2][33]
  • Nelghor = Loyal beasts. The Dragonmaw clan fondly referred to their rylak mounts as nelghor, and it would later apply the same word to the dragons of Azeroth. All orcs would eventually refer to dragons as nelghor.[34]
  • Nelghor-shomash = Cry of the Beasts. Orcish name of the Dragonmaw clan.[34]
  • No'ku kil zil'nok ha tar - Spoken by Varok Saurfang when retrieving the body of his son (only seen by Alliance players). Translates to "Blood and thunder, my son."[citation needed] 
  • Oshu'Gun = Mountain of Spirits.[2][35]
  • Ur'gora[36] = "Not-honor". Considered the worst possible insult an orc can use.[37]
  • Wor'gol = Wolf Home.[33][38][39]
  • Zug-zug or Zug zug = Acknowledgment and agreement; roughly the equivalent of okay.[8]

Untranslated words or phrases

Note that many orc locations are directly named for prominent orcs, including Bladefist Bay, Durotar, Garadar, Grommash Hold, Kargath, Kargathia Keep, Orgrimmar, Hordemar City 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.

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.png 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".[48][49]
  • Garona means cursed.

In the RPG

Icon-RPG.png 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.[8] There are many orc dialects, examples include one spoken by the majority of the Horde, and another by orcs living near Durnholde.[50]

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


  • Dabu = I obey.[8]
  • Mok'nathal = The Sons of Nath. (Honorable title.)[51]
  • Swobu = As you command. [8]
  • Throm-Ka = Well met. (A greeting.)[8]
  • 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.)[50]

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.[52] 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.[53]

  • 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.[52]


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.
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. 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.[54]
  • When Khadgar asked Garona about her representatives, she gave him three made-up names; Gizblah the Mighty, Morgax the Gray, and Hikapik the Bloodrender.[55] These can be viewed as orcish names.



  1. ^ Golden, Christie. Rise of the Horde, 40. ISBN 978-0-7434-7138-1. 
  2. ^ a b c Golden, Christie. Rise of the Horde, 21. ISBN 978-0-7434-7138-1. 
  3. ^ Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War, chapter 27
  4. ^ Elegy, pg. 64
  5. ^ Cycle of Hatred, chapter 3
  6. ^ H IconSmall Goblin Male.gifIconSmall Goblin Female.gif [1-20] Weed Whacker
  7. ^ Mogrin#Quotes
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Bennie, Scott; Richard Farrese, Bob Fitch. Horde Player's Guide, 134. ISBN 9781588467720. 
  9. ^ H IconSmall Goblin Male.gifIconSmall Goblin Female.gif [1-20] Warchief's Emissary
  10. ^ a b Golden, Christie. Lord of the Clans, 138. ISBN 978-0-7434-2690-9. 
  11. ^ Golden, Christie. Rise of the Horde, 311. ISBN 978-0-7434-7138-1. 
  12. ^ Sean Copeland on Twitter (2013-03-18) Dead link
  13. ^ N [60] Weapon in Hand
  14. ^ Deathbringer Saurfang#Quotes
  15. ^ Micky Neilson on Twitter
  16. ^ Sean Copeland on Twitter
  17. ^ Bloodsworn, pg. 105
  18. ^ Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual, Orc Buildings, Temple of the Damned
  19. ^ Monument to Grom Hellscream
  20. ^ Sean Copeland on Twitter
  21. ^ H [1-60] Honoring a Hero
  22. ^ N [25-30] Lohn'goron, Bow of the Torn-heart
  23. ^ A Good War, pg. 59
  24. ^ Flavor text of Lok-Narash spell
  25. ^ Flavor text of Lok-Regar spell
  26. ^ Sean Copeland on Twitter Dead link
  27. ^ A [74] The Battle For The Undercity, "The orcs have a battle cry: LOK'TAR OGAR! It means "victory or death."
  28. ^ a b c DeCandido, Keith R.A.. Cycle of Hatred, 34. ISBN 978-0-7434-7136-7. 
  29. ^ Rosenberg, Aaron; Christie Golden. Beyond the Dark Portal, 355. ISBN 978-1-4165-5086-0. 
  30. ^ Archive lore tweets from loreology
  31. ^ Hellscream (short story)
  32. ^ Loreology on Twitter Dead link
  33. ^ a b Draka (alternate universe)#Quotes
  34. ^ a b World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 42
  35. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 55
  36. ^ Afterlives: Maldraxxus
  37. ^ 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.).
  38. ^ H [10-40] Back to Bladespire Citadel
  39. ^ H [10-40] Save Wolf Home
  40. ^ H [10-40] The Battle of Thunder Pass
  41. ^ Okla
  42. ^ Bloodsworn, pg. 18
  43. ^ H [30] Alliance Relations
  44. ^ Warlord Krogg
  45. ^ H [35-40] The Farseer Awaits
  46. ^ Landfall
  47. ^ H [40] The Broken Sigil
  48. ^ Duncan Jones on Twitter (2016-06-29).
  49. ^ Duncan Jones on Twitter (2016-06-29).
  50. ^ a b Arthaus. Lands of Conflict, 27. ISBN 9781588469601. 
  51. ^ Bennie, Scott; Richard Farrese, Bob Fitch. Horde Player's Guide, 156. ISBN 9781588467720. 
  52. ^ a b Arthaus. World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 46. ISBN 9781588467812. 
  53. ^ Arthaus. Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 50. ISBN 9781588460714. 
  54. ^ The Last Guardian, chapter 4
  55. ^ The Last Guardian, pg. 208

External links