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Midlandian Phrases

Taken from the codified works of the Tortle linguist known as Franklin

Written by David_Ulph

Idioms

IDIOM MEANING
Behind the hills Plainly meaning "in the middle of nowhere".
Hunger is a good cook Literally means that the food you eat always tastes better when you are hungry, but extends to that anything feels much better after not having or doing it for a prolonged time.
I believe egg-water was put over me (in my sleep) Said in reaction to mischance befalling upon oneself as a direct consequence of ones own personal actions of stupidity. Comes from an old Midlandian folk tale.
I did not rise on my right hand today Said when one feels they are not themselves today, or feel off. The right has always been an important side to Midlandian culture, and to start the day not right is to last through the day in an odd place.
May you enjoy and wear it In response to someone trying on a fancy outfit for the first time, wishing them luck in the future to be in many happy situations where they will be able to wear said outfit.
Put silk on an antler, and it will be beautiful Meaning that you can dress anything up to look good, but in the end it will still lack action, power, quality, material or energy.
The man who holds his tongue, he keeps his friends An adaptation of the idiom "speech is silver but silence is golden".
The thing the children see is what they do, the thing they hear is what they say The young will always copy and learn from the actions of their elders.
To him who travelled furthest from home, the sweetest music ever were the words "come home" Everyone dreams of home, especially the further they travel.
What cannot be helped must be put up with There is no point mourning or trying to fix something unrecoverable and inevitable.
When you go to visit a wolf, take your dog with you If you know you are going to talk to someone or do something that is known to be dangerous, always make sure you have someone loyal to you by your side.

Insults

Insults don't fully consist of swearing in the quick-witted Midlandian culture, instead being a string of well thought-out crafted sentence personally directed at the recipient for why the insulting party feels the need for the insult. Arguments often will arise from this, as the two parties string more extravagant insults aimed against each other in an attempt for one to gain more social clout and respect that the other by the end where one party fails to craft a response in a reasonable amount of time.
 
For less well-educated lower classes, profanities and swear words from other cultures are useful and often used in replacement against the finely crafted artistic insult those who are more articulate can make. For upper classes with more linguistic education, insulting has become a sort of pastime to play with friends at social gatherings - no thanks to the cultural integration the social class of bards have had on Midlandian upper class.
 
These poetic games of poking fun at friends almost turn lyrical, as bards egg on each competing party by accompanying the duel of insults with music and influencing the crowd's reactions to suit what the bard thinks was a poor or strong rebuttal. While the bard does not act as a judge, and the insults string on until one party cannot reply, it is important to be the more impressive contestant in the presence of a bard even if you lose, as it is the bard that may travel the world and build your reputation to precede you.
 

Euphemisms

One aspect of Midlandian culture which directly links back to its druidic origins is its particular usage of euphemisms. Diseases and illnesses were in druidic culture believed to be a form of curse set upon those of the Garden by other-Realmly entities, especially the Archfey. So, in an attempt to prevent illness from befalling you personally, one would mention them not by their name or negative effects, but by a euphemistic alternative name which showed it to be in a positive light. This was in an attempt to confuse the entity inflicting the illness, who would wish harm or discomfort on mortals and not wish to inflict on them a condition they refer to as something positive.
 
While the reasoning behind the practice has long since been discarded, the actual use of euphemistic language when discussion conditions has curiously remained in Midlandian culture. Examples are as follows:
 
EUPHEMISM MEANING
The Good Woman Smallpox
The Outside Disease Epilepsy (originally to confuse the inflicting entity as epilepsy is believed to come from the inside rather than the outside)
"Thank You" To be said in response to someone sneezing in ones vicinity
"His Share of Paradise Be His" To be said at the end of a conversation about someone who has died, and it generally thought to not have been virtuous enough to have his Soul taken to Magus Realm and instead transformed into a Fiend in Mortis Realm. Originally used to ensure the person in question would not use their newfound powers as a Fiend to curse them.
Prompts Advent Calendar #8

WorldEmber Article #9

Midlandian Culture

In a broad sense, "Midland" does not exist in the Fourth Era, nor has one unified country truly existed since the Midlandian Empire. Instead, many lesser countries in the heartlands of the old empire are unified in religion (Holy See) and cultural roots only.
 
The Kingdom of Buerach and the Heldenic States divide Old Midland between themselves, though Midlandian Culture is also present in the Principality of Anthor in Wallatoria, the Grand Duchy of Rivercrown, and select areas in the northern half of the Kingdom of Ruddlestone.
 

Spread

The spread of Midlandian Culture is largely attributed to the specific means of colonisation employed by the Midlandian Empire, where veteran soldiers upon retirement would be granted by the Imperial Crown a small strip of land for them to own and work to denote them now being considered a citizen worthy of more rights than those who have not contributed to the Empire's military.
 
This was certainly the exact case for Rivercrown, where the Empire conquered the Ten Kingdoms of Redfall and used the land for their overpopulation of veterans seeking land for citizenship. As such, Rivercrown is more close to Midlandian culture in the present day than even Buerach and Helden which are in Old Midland itself.
 
The relationship between the Ruddlestone client state and the Midlandian Empire was always a complicated matter with the kingdom being brought under via forced treaty instead of conquest. The Empire assisted the invading Ruddlestone against the Fisher Kingdom of Arannas which used to reside in the area. As a seaborne people, the Ruddlers struggled to invade the furthest inland portions of Arannas in the north which bordered the Empire. The Empire assisted the Ruddlers militarily by too invading Arannas, and forced the new Kingdom of Ruddlestone to bend the knee or the Imperial Legions will continue marching south and take the entirety of the land. While in the Empire, Ruddlestone could not fully work the land in the north and so paid the Empire to allocate veterans to colonise arable land in the north to assist the nation.

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Cover image: by Grzegorz Przybyś

Comments

Author's Notes

Destiny is unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.


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Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
8 Dec, 2020 17:20

The idea of euphemisms are really interesting. I like the examples that are used to confuse haha.   The examples of idioms are really good too. :D You've obviously put a lot of thought into this.

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
9 Jan, 2021 01:17

I see that this is marked as "fan content" in the Author's Notes. Did these come from an official source, or is this something you invented/extrapolated based on information in the original source? Very well done either way!

Author of the Wyrd West Chronicles and the Toy Soldier Saga Eater of pickles, Friend of nerds, First of her name
Journeyman David_Ulph
David Alexander
9 Jan, 2021 05:14

Glad you enjoyed! :D   I have the disclaimer in my world basically because I use the same names for races and spells as D&D for ease of everyone (this being a homebrew D&D setting). Everything else is either completely out of my own head or out of my own head influenced from my Scottish cultural/folkloric upbringing.   This article, some of the idioms are my own translations of phrases my Gàidhlig teacher years ago at school used to tell me, and the others come from that same sentiment but are my own.   Hope that clarifies!

Latha math leat! Sending praise from the Hebrides - Welcome to Destiny!