"Gargoyle" is an English corruption of gargl, the Gargoyles' name for themselves and their language. An informal word for gargl as the name of the Gargoyle language is "Gargish".

Spoken Gargish is grammatically rather flexible. Distinctions between nouns, adjectives, and verbs are indicated by gestures and intonations. This flexibility is also apparent in the names of magic spells derived from Gargish phrases. "Vas Sanct Lor", for instance, is derived from the Gargish vas saengkt lor, but it is equally correct to say saengkt vas lor or even lor saengkt vas. Gargoyles tend to omit words they consider to be unnecessary complications, like pronouns, and they often speak in infinitives. While a Human attempting to speak Gargish might come up with something like í est ker í le vid ú prae, "I'm certain that I've seen you before", a Gargoyle would simply say ker le vid prae (or more idiomatically, ker prae vid le), "to be certain having seen before". With practice, it's possible to deduce the implied pronouns in a Gargoyle sentence, but it's not always easy.

Unlike spoken Gargish, the written language has no way to mark the intonations and gestures that make the speech intelligible, so there are suffixes that mark words as being verbs, nouns, or adjectives, and also indicate the tense and aspect of verbs. In many cases, these are words which are meaningful by themselves, such as the adjectival suffix -de, which means "of" in isolation. Here is a list of the most common suffixes:

-char "part" (names a tool used for doing a certain action, such as agrachar "weapon")
-de "of" (marks adjectives or adverbs formed from nouns, verbs, and other words)
-ku "with" (forms adjectives, such as mirku "watery")
-le "end" (marks past tense or perfective aspect of verbs)
-lem "one" (similar to English -er in baker, writer, miner, etc.)
-re "begin" (marks future tense of verbs)
-sa "able" (similar to English -able, ible)
-tas "quality" (marks abstract nouns, such as ámotas "love", vs. ámo "to love")
-te "in" (marks present tense or imperfective aspect of verbs)
-ve "like" (forms adjectives, such as misve "similar")


Most gargoyles have names that describe their profession. Lensmaker (Lorrelinlem) is an example of that type of name. Other names are meaningful, like Behlem, the Just One. But many gargoyles, particularly the elite, have names which are meaningless in themselves, like Draxínusom. A number of these names are listed in the vocabulary.


Gargoyles have an alphabet of 30 characters, arranged in a 5x6 pattern. Similar sounds are grouped together by rows and columns. For instance, the first row, transcribed as p b m f v u, represents sounds that are produced with the lips, and the s ounds in the first column, p t ch kl k, are all voiceless stops. (The remaining rows are: t d n s z e, ch j ny sh zh i, kl gl nl hl l o, and k g ng h r a.) The letter u also serves to represent w at the beginning of a syllable when followed by a vowel. The sequence k-u is sometimes pronounced ku, as in kuante, but more frequently kw (traditionally transcribed as qu), as in quas. Three of the letters ( ny, nl, and hl) serve only to complete the chart, and are not found in contemporary spoken Gargish.

The Gargish language has long and short vowels. They are not normally distinguished in spelling, except where this would cause confusion. For example, uus means "up," but us means "diligence." In this document, long vowels are marked with an accent: us vs. us, sm vs. summ.


Here are a few samples of Gargish sentences translated literally, then into more idiomatic English.

Teresta sit lem antende nóm.
place-that lie ones not-have-of name
Here lie those that had no names.

Estatim i perle lorrel re inwíslor kódex ad quad.
that-time I used light-change begin make-know-light codex upon cube
Then I used the lens to form an image of the Codex upon the cube.

Ánte esta terreg máníte múr anísh zen.
in that place-home living number strange creature
In that land live many strange creatures.

A qua lemmúr wíste, an zen anku vol verde wís.
but what ones-number knowing, not creature not-with wing true-of knowledge.
But as everyone knows, no creature without wings is truly intelligent.

Ánte kódex skríle prí ben esh ver res quí quae.
in codex written one well and true answer any problem
Within the Codex is written the one right and true answer to any problem.

Anvolde lem ansa lók, esh anten skítas de volde lem.
not-wing-of ones not-can speak, and not-have know-ness of wing-of ones
The wingless ones cannot speak, and lack the intelligence of the winged ones.

Tú rete ku klí axi: ún, or, esh us.
all beginning with three principle: control, passion, and diligence
All begins with the three principles: Control, Passion and Diligence.

Ita anai de axi vidúkte trak semde bentas, ord.
thus not-there-is of principle see-guiding toward seven-of well-quality, order
Thus the absence of the principles points toward the seventh virtue, Order.


Want to see something cool? Download the Gargish Font. Unzip it and drop it into your Windows font directories (in Windows 95 this is normally C:\WINDOWS\FONTS). Then restart your web browser to this page and you should see the words below in Gargish!

a (a) but; yet
ad (ad) upon
ade (ade) however
a{o (aglo) armor
agra (ágra) attack; hit
ágra-char: weapon
ágra-char-in-lem: weaponsmith
ágra-lem: fighter; guard; warrior
ágra-tas: struggle
ah (áh) sixty-four
ai (ai) there is; there are
ai-re: there will be
ailem (áilem) matter; thing
áilem-de: solid
ak (ak) sharp
aki (aki) hawk
alb (alb) white
aksi (axi) principle
axi-múr: the three principles
ali (ali) (an)other
alt (alt) deep
am (am) honesty; honest
amo (ámo) love
ámo-lem: friend; loved one
an (an) negate; negative; not; none; no
an-ai: absence
an-áilem: nothing
an-ámo: hate; hatred
an-ámo-lem: enemy
an-bal-sil-fer: False Prophet
an-ben: sick; ill
an-ex: slave; enslave
an-ex-por: lock; locked; closed
an-flam: cold; douse; put out
an-húr: calm
an-in: destroy
an-jux: safe; untrap; remove danger
an-kad-sa: infallible
an-kal: banish
an-kans: famine
an-kred: discredit
an-ku: without
an-lor: dark; darkness
an-lor-tim: night
an-mání: hurt; harm
an-múr: few
an-múr-de: countless
an-nax: cure poison
an-nax-áilem: antidote
an-ord: chaos
an-ort: negate magic
an-por: still; motionless; stop; lock; rest
an-quas: real; reality
an-rel: static; constant; unchanging
an-sá: cannot
an-saengkt: unprotected; curse(d)
an-ten: lack
an-tim: never
an-vol-de: wingless
an-wís: foolish; unwise; forget
an-zen: inanimate
an-zú: awake; wake up, awaken
aniw (anísh) strange
anmanivas (anmánívas) Anmanivas (name)
ansikart (ansikart) Ansikart (name)
ante (ánte) enter; in; into; within
aper (apér) open
apér-ter: door; gate
apta (ápta) proper; correct
ápta-de: properly
arb (arb) bush; vegetation
arb-flam: forest fire
arc (arch) bow
arg (arg) silver
ari (arí) berserk
ark (ark) hide; keep (away)
art (art) master
atri (átri) hall
au (au) or
aud (aud) hear; listen; ear
aud-char: song
aur (aur) gold
aurvidlem (aurvidlem) Aurvidlem (name)
auks (aux) help
avatar (ávatar) Avatar
bal (bal) evil; bad; doom
bal-lem: Evil One
bal-sil: prophecy
bal-sil-fer: prophet
bal-zen: monster
beh (beh) justice
beh-de: proper
beh-lem: just one; judge
ben (ben) well
ben-de: properly; well
ben-fin: success
ben-in: craft
ben-in-áilem: artifact
ben-in-lem: goodscrafter
ben-in-tas: precision
ben-mon-tas: administration
ben-om-mání: prosperity
ben-tas: virtue
bet (bet) small
bet-lem: child
bet-ter-mír: well
bet-tim: young; new
bet-zen: insect
betra (betra) Betra (name)
bolew (bólesh) Bolesh (name)
brak (brák) arm
can (chan) allow
chan-por: admit
chan-por-tas: admittance
car (char) part
char-zen: member
daemon (dáemón) daemon
de (de) belong; possess; of; from; than; like
delsa (delsa) soft
des (des) reduce; lower; down
des-áilem: hail; meteor storm
des-de: below
des-in-tas: foundation; underpinning
des-lem: Gargoyle worker
des-por: descend
des-ter: valley
des-ter-múr: underworld
dig (dig) finger
dis (dis) apart; asunder
don (don) give; drop; yield
(draxínusom) Draxinusom (name)
duk (dúk) guide
dur (dur) for (period of time)
drak (drak) dragon
ek (ek) six
ekui (equi) horse
er (er) so
ew (esh) and
est (est) be; exist; is; are
esta (esta) that; those
esta-de: thereby; therewith
esta-tim: then
eks (ex) freedom; free; release
ex-por: open; unlocked
fel (fel) wrong
fel-tas: error
fel-wís: false; falsehood; lie; fable
feluka (felúka) Felucca (the moon)
fer (fer) bring; bear
fin (fin) end
firm (fírm) close; shut
flam (flam) flame; fire; heat
flam-tim: summer
fodus (fódus) Fodus (name)
for (for) strong
foranamo (foranámo) Foranamo (name)
forbrak (forbrák) Forbrak (name)
forlem (forlem) Forlem (name)
forskis (forskis) Forskis (name)
ful (ful) brown
gar{ (gargl) Gargoyle; Gargish
{or (glór) glory
grat (grat) thank(s)
grav (grav) energy; power
gres (gres) out; exit; way (out)
gres-por: exit; leave; go out; hatch; begone
harm (harm) harmony
hiuman (hiúman) human
horffe (horffé) Horffe (name)
hori (hori) gray
hur (húr) wind; air
i (í) I, me
ide (íde) my
ilem (ílem) we, us (he/she/they and I)
in (in) make; create; cause; form; become
in-bet: shrink; focus
in-des: reduce
in-ex: free; release
in-flam: ignite; burn
in-húr: blow
in-jux: threaten; endanger
in-korp: die; kill
in-lor: illuminate
in-mání: heal
in-mání-lem: healer
in-nax: poison (v)
in-ort: enchant
in-ten: maintain
in-por: go; come
in-por-dis: avert
in-saengkt: protect
in-vas: grow; enlarge
in-wís: learn; teach; study
in-wís-lók: interpret
in-wís-lor: create an image
in-zen: born; birth
in-zú: fall asleep
inforlem (inforlem) Inforlem (name)
init (init) begin
inmanilem (inmánílem) Inmanilem (name)
int (int) join
(inwíslóklem) Inwisloklem (name)
ista (ista) this
ita (ita) thus; so
jur (júr) oath
juks (jux) danger; harm; damage
jux-ark: protect (from harm)
jux-wís: alert
kad (kad) fail; collapse
kah (kah) sacrifice
kah-mání-zen-de: sacrificial
kans (kans) use; consume; eat
kans-in-lem: foodmaker
kal (kal) summon; call; greet; hello; usher in
kal-ort: cast (a spell)
kas (kas) helm
kat (kat) fall
ker (ker) sure; certain
ker-de: to be sure; certainly
kir (kír) circle
qar (klár) bright
qau (klau) chamber
qep (klep) take; get; steal
klep-lem: thief; pirate
qi (klí) three
klí-tim: thrice
kodeks (kódex) book; codex
kor (kor) courage
korp (korp) death; dead
kred (kred) believe; think; consider
kredon (kred-don): entrust
krill (krill) Krill (name)
ku (ku) with
ku-ánte: within
ku-por: combine
kul (kul) knife
lai (lai) joy
lap (lap) stone; rock
laplem (laplem) Laplem (name)
le (le) end; action completed; could
le-in: achieve
le-in-tas: achievement
leg (leg) read
lem (lem) he, she, it, they; him, her, it, them; one; those
lem-de: his, her, its, their
lem-múr: everyone; those
len (len) gentle
len-tas: gentleness
librum (líbrum) librum
liy (ling) language
lok (lók) say; speak; tell
lók-de: talking
lor (lor) light
lor-rel: lens
lor-rel-in-lem: lensmaker
lor-tim: day; daytime
lum (lum) humility
lup (lup) wolf
mag (mag) important
man (mán) remain
mán-char: remains
mani (mání) life; healing; live
mání áilem: food
manu (mánu) hand
mar (mar) sea
mek (mek) sword
mek-lem: swordsman; fighter
mel (mel) black
min (min) less
mir (mír) water
mír-mání: healing potion
mír-sarp: sea serpent
mis (mis) same; too
mis-tas: balance
mis-tim: also
mis-ve: similar
mon (mon) to lead
mon-wís: advice
mont (mont) mountain
mu (mú) compassion
mul (mul) pride
mur (múr) number; multiple; group; many
múr-om: society
naks (nax) poison (n); poisonous
(naxátilor) Naxatilor (name)
naw (násh) Nash (name)
neb (neb) mist
nes (nes) require; must; has to
ni (ni) no; neither
nom (nóm) name
o (o) by
ok (ok) eight
ok-de: eighth
om (om) spirituality
om-de: sacred; holy
om-jux: desecrate
or (or) passion
orb (orb) moon
orb-lap: moonstone
orb-rel: phase of moon
ord (ord) order
ort (ort) magic
ort-lem: mage
ort-mír: magical potion
os (os) bone
ov (ov) egg
pa (pa) by
pal (pál) pale
par (par) equal
par-de: equally
ped (ped) foot
pen (pen) five
per (per) use; function
per-sa: valuable
pisk (pisk) fish
plu (plú) more; most
plú ben: better
por (por) move; movement; moving; bring
por-áilem: take; remove
por-char: leg
por-mír: stream; river
pos (pos) follow; after
pos-tim: future; will; shall
prae (prae) before; precede
prae-tim: past; was; ago
prae-tim-de: ancient
pri (prí) one; unity; first
prí-de: single
prí-in: unify
prí-lem: lord; king; ruler
prí-tas: singularity
kua (qua) what; which; as
qua-lem: who; some
qua-ter: where
qua-tim: when
qua-wís: why; because; reason
kuad (quad) cube
kuae (quae) problem
kuaeven (quaeven) Quaeven (name)
kuan (quan) Quan (name)
kuar (quar) four
kuas (quas) illusion; illusionary
quas-korp: fear; illusion of death
quas-zen: clone
quas-áilem: duplicate
kui (quí) any; anything
kuo (quó) how
ra (ra) valor
rap (rap) quick; urgent; now
rap-tim: quickly approaching; nigh
re (re) (in order) to; to begin; will; shall
re-in: begin
reg (reg) home
rel (rel) change; changing
rel-por: moongate; moongate travel
res (res) answer
reski (reskí) remember
rit (rit) ritual
rot (rót) turn
ru (rú) red
runeb (rúneb) Runeb (name)
sa (sá) can; able; may
sadis (sadis) pain; torture
sadis-túrn: dungeon
saeykt (saengkt) protection
saengkt-grav: force field
saengkt-lor: invisible; invisibility
sal (sal) spring (forth)
sarp (sarp) serpent; snake
sarp-an-zen-ex-lem: snakecharmer
sarp-arí-lem: berserker
sarpliy (sarpling) Sarpling (name)
sek (sek) two; both; second
sek-de: other
sel (sel) choose; select
sem (sem) seven
sem-de: seventh
semi (semi) half
sent (sent) feel; feeling
si (si) if; whether
sik (sik) dry
sil (sil) star; astrology; prediction
silamo (silámo) Silamo (name)
sini (síní) blue
sinvraal (sinvráal) Sin'Vraal (name)
sit (sit) lie; rest
ski (skí) know; knowledge; tell
skí-tas: intelligence; knowledge
skis (skis) cut; tear apart; separate
skri (skrí) write; writing
skrí-lem: writer
sku (sku) shield
sol (sol) only; but
son (son) sound
sum (súm) suppose
summ (summ) honor
sur (súr) sun
ta (ta) shoot
ta-re-por: boomerang
tablap (tablap) slab
tan (tan) touch
tas (tas) quality
te (-te) present tense of verbs; action in progress; in
te-in: continue
te-mání: survive
te-mání-tas: survival
te-per-tas: persistence
tem (tem) storm
ten (ten) have
ter (ter) place
ter-alt: interior; bowels (of earth)
ter-áilem: plane
ter-ánte: entrance; mouth (of cave)
ter-ark: hiding place
ter-esta: there
ter-flam: fireplace
ter-húr: sky
ter-init: original(ly)
ter-ista: here
ter-ista-por: come
ter-mír: lake
ter-múr: world
ter-ort: temple; shrine
ter-por: reach
ter-reg: land
ter-vas-arb: forest
ter-zú: bed
teregus (teregus) Teregus (name)
tim (tim) time; wait
tim-por: arrive; come
trak (trak) to; toward; for; unto
trak-por: pull; draw
trak-tas: direction
tramel (trámel) Trammel (the moon)
tri (trí) interesting
tu (tú) all
tú-tas: whole
tú-tim: always; forever
turn (túrn) cave
u (ú) you
ul (ul) final; last
ul-tim: ultimate
ulem (úlem) you (pl): you and they; "you-all"
um (um) shadow
un (ún) control
uy (ung) claw
urs (urs) bear
us (us) diligence
us-ágra-lem: troop-leader
us-arb-vas-lem: leader of farmers
uus (úus) increase; raise; up
úus-lem: Gargoyle leader
úus-por: ascend
vaglem (vaglem) wanderer
valkadew (válkadesh) Valkadesh (name)
vas (vas) great; big; long; ultimate
vas-áilem: everything
vas-an-ben: plague
vas-an-lor: eclipse
vas-arb: tree
vas-arg-sarp: silver serpent
vas-des: bottom
vas-korp-ágra: battle; war
vas-mír: ocean
vas-por-áilem: tremor
vas-quas: confusion
vas-tim: old; age; epoch; great time
vas-úus: top
vas-wís: (great) knowledge; (ultimate) wisdom
ve (ve) like; as
vel (vel) even
ven (ven) find
ver (ver) true; truth; right
ver-de: truly
ver-in-de: perfect
ver-vid: heed; respect
vers (vers) all right
vest (vest) search
vestas (vest-tas): quest
via (vía) path; course; road
vid (vid) see; look; view; eye
vid-lem: seer
vidúk (vid-dúk): point
vidúk-tas: sign
vir (vír) green
vír-mír: swamp
vit (vit) glass
vol (vol) fly; wing
vol-de: winged
vorteks (vórtex) vortex
ui (wí) we, us (you and I/me)
uide (wíde) our
uilem (wílem) we, us; all of us (you, they, and I)
uis (wís) know; knowledge; wise; wisdom; intelligent
wís-char: head
wís-de: wisely
wís-lem: scholar
wís-lor: see; vision; image
uislem (wíslem) Wislem (name)
uissur (wíssúr) Wis Sur (name)
zaw (zash) something; somewhat
zen (zen) creature; being; animal
zen-korp: undead; daemon
zen-múr: race; people
zen-tú: body
xel (zhel) iron
xen (zhen) family
zu (zú) sleep
zú-áilem: sleep dust
zú-tim: winter

Copyright © 1996 by Origin Systems, Inc.