Khazalid is known widely as the secretive high language of the Dwarfs. They seldom speak this ancient tongue before other races, deeming outsiders unworthy to hear it. Dwarfs naturally have loud, rumbling voices, and when they speak Khazalid, their speech is like thunder rolling amidst the mountains or the scraping of rock against rock. It is a hard, forceful, and sometimes guttural sound. The language reflects dwarfish passions and contains hundreds of words describing different types of rock, tunnels, and gold. Its written form is called the Klinkarhun, a runic alphabet designed to be easily chiselled into rock or metal.
Most Dwarfs can converse in Reikspiel, for contact between them and their Imperial allies are frequent in these troubled times. Those in the western holds also commonly understand Bretonnian or even a smattering of Tilean.
Although modern Khazalid is seldom spoken by humans, an archaic form is known in the Cult of Sigmar. According to a text known as the Unfinished Book, Sigmar himself knew Khazalid. It was passed down to some of the next generation, and is now widespread in the Cult.[7a][8a]
Whilst Khazalid undoubtedly has a formal grammatical structure, as an outsider, it can be very hard to discover what that might be. Theoretically, and in general, Khazalid places the subject before the verb and the object afterwards, but emphasis of pronunciation alone can sometimes determine a word's position within the structure of a sentence. In other cases, the importance of a particular word can demand that it be placed first in the sentence. Such words are often placed first out of respect and then again in their proper place later on, for example 'the king - I went to see the king.' When repeated words are written or carved, they commonly appear as individual runes at the start of a sentence and klinkarhun elsewhere.[4a]
The first principle of the dwarf tongue is that almost all of its words represent solid physical things. There are surprisingly few specific words for abstract concepts. As a result many words double up as both a physical thing and an abstract concept strongly associated with that thing. For example, the root word for 'big-stone' is kar and the most common word for a mountain is karaz -- the 'az' ending denoting a single material thing or specific place. The same root word, kar, is also used to mean enduring in the form 'karak' -- the 'ak' ending denoting an abstract concept. Thus Karaz-a-Karak, the name of the dwarf capital, means 'enduring mountain' or literally 'big stony stone place', though the name is more attractively rendered into human speech as Everpeak.[4a]
Curiously, the dwarf word for the race of men is umgi, whilst its abstract form of umgak means 'shoddy' -- the dwarf word being equivalent to 'man-made'. To many, this demonstrates how important it is to look at the end of dwarf words -- for it is these special 'signifiers' which usually tell you what the word actually means. There are many types of signifiers, some of which are given below, and by combining the different signifiers with root words it is possible to expand the basic Khazalid lexicon given here.[4a]
Although root words are often used on their own, many Khazalid words consist of a root word followed by one or more signifiers. Example:[4a]
|Root Word||Signifier (1)||Signifier (2)|
|Big stone||place||racer, person, trade|
Some root words don't exist in a separate form at all. If a root word consists entirely of consonants it is usually written with an extra 'a' at the end but this is dropped when a signifier is added. For example "Ska-" is the root for 'thief', 'theft' and 'to steal'.[4a]
- Ska - az; Skaz a thief in general - 'a thief'[4a]
- Ska - azi; Skazi a specific thief - 'the thief'[4a]
- Ska - ak; Skak a theft[4a]
- Ska - it; Skit a steal[4a]
As in the example above -- verb signifiers usually appear at the end of words. In Khazalid almost every noun has a verb form which is usually denoted by '-it'. In the present tense and '-ed' in the past. Tenses other than the simple present and past are denoted by additional words before the verb rather than by different endings -- the equivalent to 'will steal' (an skit) in the simple future tense. Although separate words these are often written together as shown.[4a]
- Skit -- Steal[4a]
- Sked -- Stole[4a]
- Anskit -- will steal[4a]
- Adsked -- had stolen[4a]
- Anadsked -- will have stole[4a]
In the case of all signifiers a 'g' or 'k' can be added immediately before the signifier if the preceding root or signifier is a vowel or weak consonant such as 'l' or 'r'. This avoids placing two vowels together -- which is something Khazalid strenuously avoids. However there are no rules for this, and in many cases one of the vowels is simply missed out especially if it is the weaker vowel 'a' or 'i' (which are almost the same sound in Khazalid and the same rune in klinkarhun).[4a]
- -az: This is a very important and common signifier and it means the word represents a specific physical thing or place -- a particular mountain, not mountains in general. It is usually placed directly after the root before any other signifiers. That much is easy -- unfortunately there are many things that the dwarfs regard as so real and solid that the -az signifier is used even though they are talking about something which is neither a place nor a material object! For example 'galaz' which means 'fearless'. In this case the -az refers to the 'real essence' of the idea. So, from the root 'dur' which means 'stone that can be riven' comes duraz which means a stone stab but also durak which means 'hard like a stone slab'. Although it is perfectly right to describe a tough dwarf as durak (rock hard) it would also be correct to describe him as duraz (literally stone).[4b]
- -ak: This is the other major common signifier and means that the word represents a concept, something abstract such as honour, courage or fortitude. Of course, dwarfs being dwarfs, really important abstract concepts are accorded the status of real things, so 'a grudge to be avenged' is dammaaz, not dammak, but dammak still stands for the general concept of outstanding grudges.[4b]
- -ar: Signifies something that continues indefinitely over time -- usually an activity such as trade (ubar) but also an experience such as chronic pain (utar) and natural forces such as the movement of the sun (zonstrollar - sun-walk-ing).[4b]
- -en: This signifies something that is currently ongoing but not indefinite such as journeying (strollen), marching (gotten) or carrying a heavy burden (hunken).[4b]
- -i: The signifier 'i' shows that the word refers to an individual person, or a profession, or race. In general it is most easily thought of as representing the definite article 'the' or even 'that person just there'. Many personal names end with this signifier, too.[4b]
- -al: The signifier 'al' shows that the word refers to a group or band of people or creatures -- rather like a collective noun. So, whilst the word for both the race of men and 'the man' is umgi a band of men is umgal. It is also used to encompass a person's kinfolk in the form Grummal -- Grumm's people often translated as Grummlings.[4b]
- -it or -git: This signifier, when applied to a noun, indicates something small or trivial. It is also used for a present tense verb -- but dwarfs are used to such things and rarely let it confuse them.[4b]
- -ul or -kul: Common word ending for dwarf words and not always a signifier but often means 'the art of, understanding of, or master of', for example grungkul the art of mining, and kazakul the art of battle or generalship.[4b]
- -ha: This signifier always appears at the end of a word and is the equivalent to an exclamation mark. It is pronounced very abruptly and can be read as 'so there' or 'so watch it' -- definitely fighting talk.[4b]
The following words are the dwarf equivalent of conjunctions, relative pronouns and other common grammatical elements. Although words in their own right, they are often appended directly before other words to form new compound words such as 'okrik' which means usurper king (literally why-king) and aguz which means 'replete' (literally: with-food).[4b]
- A - Of, with within, to[4b]
- Ad - Did, done (preceding a verb)[4b]
- Af - They, you (plural)[4b]
- Ai, I, Ap and Ip - All forms of yes[4b]
- An - Will/shall/am going to/with purpose (preceding a verb)[4b]
- Anad - Will have done or shall have done[4b]
- Bin - In, on, beside[4b]
- Anu - Soon, very soon, any minute now![4b]
- Bar - But, bear in mind, except for (also the word for a fortified gate).[4b]
- Ek - He, she, it, you (singular)[4b]
- Nai, Na or Nuf - All forms of no, not and never[4b]
- Nu - Now, at this time[4b]
- Ok - Why, how[4b]
- Or - I, me, myself[4b]
- Sar - May, could, might (preceding a verb)[4b]
- Um - Them, those, these[4b]
- Un - And[4b]
- Ut - Us, we, ourselves[4b]
- Wanrag - Where[4b]
- Wanrak - When (preceding a verb)[4b]
The core alphabetic runes are called Klinkarhun which means ‘chisel runes’ and these are the most commonly used and easily recognised. Although the sound of Khazalid does not exactly match the sounds of human speech, the chart in this article gives the closest approximations. The sounds should be pronounced with force and the ‘r ’ and ‘kh’ sound in particular are made as if enthusiastically clearing the throat.
- Agrul - Stone carving; lines in face of a very old Dwarf.
- Angaz - Ironwork.
- Ankor - Domain or realm.
- Arm - The Khazalid irregular verb to be (present tense arm – past tense urz).
- Ar'Uzkul - Dwarfen term for Geheimnisnacht.
- Az - War axe.
- Azgal - Treasure hoard.
- Azul - Metal of any kind; dependable; a sturdy dwarf.
- Bak - Fist, punch.
- Bar - A fortified gateway or door.
- Barag - War machine.
- Baraz - A bond or promise.
- Boga - A candle which blows out unexpectedly plunging the tunnel into darkness.
- Bok - Banging your head on the roof of a low tunnel; characteristic scar on forehead caused by same!
- Boki - Slang word for dwarf miners.
- Bolg - Large, fat belly. Also a state of extreme wealth, age and contentment.
- Bozdok - Unhinged as a result of constantly banging one’s head on low roofs and pit-props – ‘crosseyed’.
- Bran - Clever, alert, mentally sharp.
- Brodag - An annual brewing festival of Grungni.
- Bryn - Gold that shines strikingly in the sunlight; anything shiny or brilliant.
- Brynduraz - "Brightstone", name of a precious blue crystal found beneath Mount Gunbad.
- Bugrit - An invocation against ill-luck uttered by a Dwarf who has banged his head, hit his thumb, stubbed his toe or some other minor misfortune. Usually repeated three times for luck.
- Chuf - Piece of very old cheese a Dwarf Miner keeps under his hat for emergencies.
- Cor-Dum - Dwarfen name given to Morghur.
- Dal - Old, good.
- Dammaz - A grievance, grudge or insult to be avenged.
- Dammaz Kron - The Book of Grudges.
- Dar - A challenge or bet.
- Dawi - Dwarfs.
- Dawi-Zharr - lit. "fire dwarf", Chaos Dwarfs.
- Dawr - As good as something can get without it being proven over time and hard use. Most dwarf words for ‘good’ imply age and reliability too but dawr simply means ‘looks like it might be good’. It literally translates as ‘like dwarf’.
- Deb - New, untried, raw.
- Dibnin - The act of tinkering with something that already works perfectly, out of a belief that it can still be improved – hence Dibna, a Dwarf who engages in Dibnin.
- Doh - Stupid, slow-witted, gullable.
- Dok - Watch, observe, see, the eye.
- Don - Ten.
- Dongliz - The parts of a Dwarf’s body impossible for him to scratch.
- Dork - Giant, tall, unstable.
- Drakk - Dragon.
- Drek - Far, a great distance; great ambition or enterprise.
- Dreng - Slay in combat.
- Drengi - Slayer, one of the cult of Slayers.
- Drongnel - Dragon stew with cave mushrooms marinated in strong ale.
- Drung - To defeat, vanquish.
- Duk - Low, narrow tunnel.
- Dum - Doom or darkness.
- Dunkin - Annual bath traditionally taken whether needed or not.
- Durak - Hard.
- Duraz - Stone or slab.
- Durazbrog - Stonebread.
- Duz - Twelve.
- Dwe - Three.
- Ekrund - A stairway descending beneath the ground.
- Elgi - Elves.
- Elgram - Weak, enfeebled, thin.
- Elgraz - Construction that looks as if it is about to collapse.
- Endrinkuli - An engineer or mechanic (generally a Dwarf Engineer).
- Fleg - Banner, standard.
- Frongol - Mushrooms that grow at the back of a cave.
- Frurndar - "the Tainted", another term for Chaos Dwarfs.[5c]
- Fut - Four.
- Galaz - Gold of particular ornamental value.
- Gand - Find, discover.
- Garaz - Fearless, rebellious.
- Gazan - Plains, wasteland.
- Ghal - Skull.
- Gibal - Fragments of food enmeshed in a Dwarf’s beard.
- Ginit - Small stone which works its way into your boot causing discomfort.
- Girt - Broad tunnel with plenty of headroom.
- Git - The Khazalid irregular verb to go (present tense git – past tense ged).
- Gnol - Old, reliable, proven, wise.
- Gnollengrom - Respect due to a Dwarf who has a longer and more spectacular beard.
- Gnorl - An especially bright and obvious boil or similar blemish on the end of the nose.
- Gor - Wild beast.
- Gorak - Great cunning, uncanny.
- Gorl - Gold that is especially soft and yellow; the colour yellow.
- Gorog - Ale; high spirits; a drinking binge.
- Got - March or travel quickly and with purpose.
- Gov - Thane.
- Gozunda - Practically anything kept under the bed ‘for emergencies’.
- Grik - Pain in the neck caused by continually stooping in low tunnels.
- Grim - Harsh, unyielding.
- Grimaz - Barren place.
- Grimgrong - lit; "Unyielding Anvil", also the name for one of the great gates of Karak Azul.[4d]
- Grindal - Long flaxen plaits worn by Dwarf maidens.
- Grint - Waste rock or spoil left by miners’ excavations.
- Grizal - Poor meat.
- Grizdal - Ale that has been fermented for at least a century.
- Grobi - Goblins.
- Grobkaz - Goblin work, evil deeds.
- Grobkul - Art of stalking Goblins in caves.
- Grog - Inferior or watered ale; mannish brew.
- Grom - Brave or defiant.
- Gromdal - An ancient artefact.
- Gromthi - Ancestor.
- Grong - Anvil.
- Gronit - The Khazalid irregular verb to do (present tense gronit – past tense gird).
- Gronti - Giant (as in the creature).
- Groz - One hundred and forty-four; can also mean big in a general sense.
- Grumbak - A short measure of ale; trivial complaint or grumble.
- Grumbaki - A grumbler or whiner.
- Grund - Hammer (also sometimes called ‘rikkaz’).
- Grung - A mine.
- Grungnaz - Making or smithying.
- Grungni - Dwarf ancestor, god of mines and smiths.
- Grungron - A forge.
- Gruntaz - Strip of cloth worn round the loins and supposedly eaten in extreme emergencies hence, ‘down to his gruntaz’.
- Gruntitrogg - Secret coming of age ritual practiced amongst Dwarfkind – details of this are amongst the most closely kept of all Dwarf secrets.
- Guz - To consume food or drink.
- Guzzen - Feed, insert, push.
- Hazkal - Ale brewed recently; a fiery young warrior.
- Hunk - Carry heavy rocks or other burden.
- Hruki - Breed of mountain goat.
- Ik - Putting your hand in something slimy and unpleasant in the darkness.
- Ip - Yes.
- Irkul - Pillared vault hewn in rock.
- Izor - Copper.[4c]
- Jifful - Process of careful and precise adjustment to fit – especially in respect of engineering or stonemasonry.
- Kadrin - Mountain pass.
- Kalan - Clan.
- Kantuz - One hundred.
- Karag - Volcano or barren mountain.
- Karak - Enduring.
- Karaz - Mountain.
- Karin - Shield, temporary protection.
- Karugrombthi - Living Ancestors.
- Kazad - Fortress.
- Kazak - War or battle.
- Khaz - An underground hall.
- Khazhunki - Knight, cavalry, rider. Lit. ‘carried warrior’.
- Khazukan - Dwarfs – literally hall-dwellers.
- Khrum - War drum.
- Klad - Armour.
- Klinka - Chisel.
- Klinkarhun - Common runes.
- Kol - Black stone, the colour black, sombre.
- Konk - Gold that is ruddy in colour; large and bulbous nose.
- Krink - Bad back due to continual stooping.
- Kro - Crow, raven, dark bird.
- Kron - Book, record or history.
- Kruk - A seemingly promising vein of ore which gives out suddenly; an unexpected disappointment; a venture which comes to nothing.
- Krunk - Underground rockfall; a disaster!
- Krut - A discomforting disease contracted from mountain goats.
- Kruti - A Dwarf suffering from krut; a goatherd; an insult.
- Kulgur - The art of cooking Troll.
- Kuri - Meat stew boiled up by travelling Dwarfs from whatever ingredients are at hand. Traditionally spiced with wild berries.
- Kvinn - Lady.
- Lok - Highly embellished or intricate; praiseworthy.
- Makaz - Weapon or tool.
- Milluz - One thousand.
- Mingol - Tall watchtower built on lowland.
- Naggrund - An area of great upheaval, devastation, or industry.
- Nai - No.
- Narwangli - A dung collector or Dwarf who smells strongly of dung.
- Nogarung - Drinking tankard made from a Troll’s skull.
- Nubungki - A Dwarf child deformed at birth, shunned by its clan and exiled. A great shame to the clan and the hold.
- Nuk - Nine.
- Odro - Eight.
- Ogri - Ogre.
- Ok - Cunning or skilful.
- Okri - Craftsman – a common personal name.
- Ong - One.
- Onk - Comradely accretion of dirt and grime on a company of Dwarfs who have spent many days underground.
- Onkegruni - "Widow Maker", name of the axe Grimnir gave his son Morgrim.
- Ragarin - Coarse and uncomfortable clothing made from a Troll’s hide.
- Rhun - Rune, word or power.
- Rhunki - Runesmith.
- Rik - King or lord.
- Rikkaz - Hammer.[9a]
- Rikkazen - Crush, to beat to a pulp, to turn to rubble.
- Rikkit - A small stone that falls on your head as you walk down a tunnel.
- Ril - Gold ore that shines brightly in rock.
- Rink - Command, to give orders, to lead.
- Rinn - A lady Dwarf or king’s consort.
- Rinri - Queen.
- Rogwak - An improvised team game played underground and using anything to hand as a ball – often a rock, preferably a Goblin’s head, or even a whole Goblin.
- Rorkaz - Informal shouting contest.
- Ruf - A large underground dome either natural or constructed.
- Runk - A one-sided fight; a sound thrashing!
- Rutz - Slackness of bowels caused by drinking too much ale.
- Sak - Five.
- Set - Seven.
- Siz - Six.
- Skarrenruf - The colour bright blue, the day time sky.
- Skaz - Thief.
- Skof - A cold meal eaten underground.
- Skor - Twenty.
- Skrat - To search for gold amongst rock debris or stream bed; scavenge; sparse living.
- Skrati - Poor prospector.
- Skree - Loose rock on a mountainside.
- Skruff - A scrawny beard; an outrageous insult!
- Skrund - To hew rock; to get stuck in!
- Skuf - A drunken brawl or skirmish.
- Slotch - The sodden mix of water, mud and pulverised stone found at the bottom of a mineworking.
- Smak - Punish physically.
- Stok - To hit or strike.
- Strol - Walk or travel leisurely.
- Stromez - Stream.
- Thag - Slay by act of treachery.
- Thagi - Murderous traitor.
- Thaggoraki - Skaven, assassin, footpad.
- Thindrongol - Secret vault in which ale or treasure is hidden.
- Thingaz - Dense forest.
- Throng - Army; huge assembly of dwarfs; a clan.
- Thrund - A handgun.
- Trogg - A feast or heavy drinking bout.
- Troll - Troll.
- Tromm - Beard; respect due to age or experience.
- Tuk - Two.
- Tusk - Tooth.
- Ufdi - A Dwarf overfond of preening and decorating his beard; a vain Dwarf; a Dwarf who cannot be trusted to fight.
- Umanar - Roughly or approximately, and also indecision or vacillation.
- Umgak - Shoddy, poorly made.
- Umgi - Men.
- Unbak - Break permanently.
- Unbaraki - An oathbreaker – there is nothing worse in Dwarf estimation; an insult of the worst kind.
- Und - A watchpost carved into the mountainside.
- Ungdrin Ankor - The Underway, the ancient underground roadway of the dwarfs.
- Ungor - Cavern.
- Ungrim - A Dwarf who has not yet fulfilled an important oath; an untrustworthy Dwarf.
- Urbar - Trade.
- Urbaz - A trading post or market.
- Urk - Orc or enemy (also fear, to be afraid of, to retreat).
- Uzkul - Bones or death.
- Uzkular - Undead.
- Valdahaz - Brewery.
- Varf - Wolf, hound.
- Varn - Mountain lake.
- Vongal - Raiding band.
- Vorn - A farm.
- Wan - On its own at the start of a phrase, wan shows the phrase is a question. It’s the Dwarf equivalent of a question mark. This is usually missed off where a standard wan - question word is used instead (wanrag, wanrak, wanrum). Wan is also used immediately before another word to frame a question (ek wangit? ‘are you going’ literally ‘you go?’, wandar ‘is it good?’ literally ‘good?’).
- Wanaz - A disreputable Dwarf with an unkempt beard; an insult.
- Wattock - An unsuccessful Dwarf prospector; a down-at-heel Dwarf; an insult.
- Wazzok - A Dwarf who has exchanged gold or some other valuable item for something of little or no worth; a foolish or gullible Dwarf; an insult.
- Werit - A Dwarf who has forgotten where he placed his tankard of ale; a state of befuddlement.
- Wutroth - Wood from ancient mountain oak.
- Wyr - White.
- Zak - An isolated hut in the mountains.
- Zaki - A crazed Dwarf who wanders in the mountains.
- Zan - Blood, the colour red.
- Zanen - A bleeding wound.
- Zank - Cleave, cut, divide.
- Zharr - Fire.
- Zhuf - Waterfall, torrent, or rapidly flowing river.
- Zint - The metal tin – hence zinti, a tinsmith or tinker.
- Zorn - Upland plateau or high meadow.
- Zon - Sun.
- Warhammer Fantasy RPG 3rd ED -- Book of Grudges (pg. 12, 44-46).
- Warhammer Armies: Dwarfs (8th Edition) - pg. 37.
- 3: Warhammer Endtimes: Vermintide
- 4: Warhammer: Grudgelore
- 5: Warhammer RPG 1st Edition: Dwarfs - Stone & Steel
- 6: White Dwarf 300 (US)
- 6a: pg. 99
- 7: Dragonslayer (Novel) by Wiliam King
- 7a: Chapter 7: Preparations
- 8: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 4th ED -- Core Rulebook
- 8a: pg. 125
- 9: White Dwarf #314
- 9a: pg. 71