Hey y’all! Besides reading, one of my main hobbies is gaming. I’m a big fan of RPGs (I love the story, go figure. Very in character for me.) and play a lot of World of Warcraft (WoW) and Elder Scrolls Online (ESO). WoW has a new game expansion coming out next week, and I’m super excited for it!
My S.O. got a copy of the new expansion to play as the developers were finishing it up, and when we came across a new creature that had a word neither of us knew, it made me think about what an incredible vocabulary games have.
Here are 5 words that I learned from these two video games over the many years I’ve been playing.
Greaves of grievance, we craft our cuisses from the tanned skins of our defeated foes, defending our hides with the hides that did not defend them.Dremora Legs Crafting Motif, ESO
Cuisses: thigh armor; the singular is the French word cuisse which literally just means thigh
Unsurprisingly, I’ve learned a lot of words for armor and weaponry through these games, since they have a lot of swords and fighting aspects. But even after playing these kinds of games for years, I came across a new one!
Also please acknowledge how beautiful and clever and just linguistically delightful that sentence is. I adore it.
caldera: a large volcanic crater, especially one formed by a major eruption leading to the collapse of the mouth of the volcano
Alright. Considering the town of Caldera is home to a mine, in the shadow of the massive volcano in the middle of the island continent, and in the middle of a giant crater…. this name makes sense. I was really well prepared for 6th grade geography.
“I’m actually quite comfortable here, mate. Cozy accommodations, the transliminal tones of the ocean waves, gangly meat-brains to mock. But I guess I should be going.The Augur of the Obscure, ESO
transliminal: something beyond the usual threshold, associated with spirtual transcendence; being an experience beyond all others ever experienced
Yes, okay, this quote is from a magical talking skull. BUT, it’s also a really eloquent and odd talking skull. It’s also a reference to a pretty trippy theory of psychology that relates to intense mental aspects like mystical experiences, lucid dreaming, and psychosis.
“Beautiful, isn’t it? One of Sotha Sil’s favorite ateliers. I think Barbas is already inside.”Barilzar in the Clockwork City, ESO
atelier: an artist or designer’s workshop or studio
This quote stopped me in my tracks a bit. Something about the scene and the word and the story just made me pause and take it in for a moment. For some background, Sotha Sil is a god who creates intensely complex mechanical creations. Below is his favored atelier, which I then had to go into to destroy his creations that had been corrupted by a malignant dark god to…
If you were interested in the end of that sentence, you should really just go play the Morrowind expansion for ESO. 🤣
Shadowlands, World of Warcraft
tenebrous: dark or shadowy, obscure
Well, the meaning of the word was not quite as robust as I expected, but it does suit the Shadowlands world well. This is the word that started it all! (At least, started the idea for this post. ^.^) In the game lore, the Shadowlands are the world of the dead where all souls go to different covenants based on their actions in life. So for the mystic ghostly animals there to have shadowy body parts makes a good deal of sense. My question is who could kill such an adorable little Runestag?!
Don’t give me that nonsense about video games being a waste
I’ve legitimately learned a ton from video games. My vocabulary has increased a lot, for sure, but I’ve also learned a lot of historical details (from medieval games, for example) and technical creativity (from creating macros and leveraging mods) and social skills (from group quests and ignoring the worst people in chat) and so on.
I’m pretty confident no one really puts out reports claiming that video games rot your brain or whatever anymore… but this is my further defense in favor of gaming. ☺ And hey, if any of these words were new to you too, maybe it’s time you jumped into an MMO! Hit me up and I’ll help you level. ✌