Underworld Lore | "Dungeon Slang" Article Series

Hey Fellow Groglings, UNDERWORLD LORE is looking for examples of slang terms that could be part of common parlance among experienced dungeoneers, tomb-robbers and crypt-pilferers, underworld explorers and persons lost in the underworld. 

Comment below with your slang terminology. This will be another educational supplement found in UL#2, with additional future installments if we have enough material.

Gobnobbler. Slur for goblin or goblinoid creature, suggests that all goblins are obsessed with sucking their own warty pricks ("gobs"); eg. "This is me share and that's your'n. Now why don't ye ugly, green gobnobblers go fellate yerselves," quoth DALT DOOGINS the Delfer during negotiations with a contingent of goblin mercs.


  1. Groth. Delvism for the cold humid smog coiling at great depths, formed from sump mists, gas traps and hurriedly stamped-out campfires, and flit through with ethereals and the disrupted; believed variously to be a soul of the underworld, one of the purgatories for disembodied delvers and the first stirrings of a Wydgies Tew; eg. "Yer groth in me bones, 'N me bones in yer groth, Lone moan, quaff scroff," chanted CHURLIE'S ANGLERS in an attempt to ward off the Spune.

  2. Örörör, imitative mocking of humanoid speech meaning delwer treats it as unintelligible gibberish.

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  5. Crapout. A dead-end passage, esp. one filled with dirkle.

    Dirkle. Calcified feces of unknown origin found in abandoned lairs; e.g. "Bah! What kind of hoard is this? 'Tis nothing but a handful of coppers and dirkle!"

    Earwasher. A narrow, low-ceiling water-filled passage which must be crawled through while dragging one ear in the water and one on the ceiling in order to pass; e.g. "When you hit the big pool, head to the left and take the earwasher through to the treasure room!"

    Frump. To explore or enter previously unexplored underground passages, e.g. "We somehow frumped our way into a flail snail mating cavern--it was horrible!"

    Frumping Canary (also Frumping Thrush or Frumping Fool). The person taking point and leading the way through a previously unexplored underground complex.

    Goosh. Water-softened rations warmed over a lantern or torch and thus sooty and foul-tasting; e.g. "Gimmie some of that there goosh, Artrec--don't hogs it all for yourself!"

    Knobby Goblin. A quickly improvised ladder using rope and any convenient rungs lashed to the rope by any at-hand means. E.g.: "It was to far to jump down, so we made a knobby goblin out of some rope and our spears and quickly made the descent."

    Snuffler. An extremely narrow passage that can only be traversed naked and by not inhaling.

    Uulate, most likely derived from the Gnomish ewlatte, the first breath of a new-born gnome. The low, incessant hum pulsing from the earth in the deepest, darkest parts of the underdark when one stops, stands still, and breathes. No one has discovered its true source, but rumors abound that it is the breath of an Elder God or deity of Goetic Magic that has been trapped between planes.

    Winsler. A vertical shaft in a mine or cavern that appears to lead to the surface but merely bridges two levels. Example: "There we were six levels beneath Crackton's Tower and I saw a light up the shaft right above us. It had to have been the way we got down there in the first place, so I hit myself with a Fly spell and took off up the shaft only to slam my head into the top of that damn winsler!"

    Winkie. A fraying rope, esp. one fraying while lifting or lowering a heavy load; e.g. "Hurry up and drag Balton up here--that rope is a winkie and we don't want him making any noise if it lets loose!"

  6. Clortho: shoot in the groin. (e.g., "Let's Clortho this bugbear and clear out!) Named for a delver with the knack.

  7. Deth Sauce. The mixed and pooled detritus and effluvia left over after a pitched encounter. Monster blood, unburned oil, smashed potion containers, slime corpses, zombie pus, incinerated humanoids, ghoul spooge and of course the cranial fluid of fools. Said by some to be the fluid that births all slimes, oozes and puddings.

  8. Death Maze: a term used for any dungeon reputed with adventurer's high mortality rate and with little or no history of successful exploration. e.g. "That place? Don't go there, is a death maze!"

  9. Spelunkmelt: A particular type of mental illness associated with exploring dungeons for too long. It is characterized by a complete degradation of caution in circumstances when others would recoil, while simultaneously driving the afflicted individual to behave in a completely paranoid manner in other situations.

    Usually used in the phrase "gone spelunkmelt".

    "I'm tellin ya, he just walked straight into that prismatic pool like it was bathwater. I swear he must have gone spelunkmelt after that close call with the winkie."