Common Phrases

At the Academy, people from many countries gather, but some phrases are well-known to all. As one can expect, many are related to cards or to various parts of the continental symbolry. For those gossiping about others, or openly attacking others, these phrases are a welcome way of expressing their opinions.   Phrase: Being a few cards short of a full deck.
Meaning: Not being very smart, not being all there.
Origin: A deck with missing cards isn't useful.   Phrase: A Jack can never become a Knight.
Meaning: One should know their place.
Origin: A Jack stands below a Knight in card value, and will never become worth more.   Phrase: Only ever following suit.
Meaning: Not forming one's own opinion, only following others' lead.
Origin: Following a partner's suit in a game of cards, rather than thinking for oneself.   Phrase: Talking big but fearing roses.
Short version: Fearing roses.
Meaning: Not daring to act tough against people that stand up for themselves.
Origin: The Roses suit is associated with passionately standing up for oneself, which bullies fear.   Phrase: Being blackhearted.
Meaning: Being brave and willing to fight for others.
Origin: Black is symbolic for willing to protect villages by resisting unknown dangers.   Phrase: A good person need not fear the quill.
Short version: Not fearing the quill.
Meaning: Good people don't need to fear the state, nor idle gossip.
Origin: Quills are the weapons of Royal Accountants and the free press.   Phrase: Being nothing more than a white arrow.
Short version: Being a white arrow.
Meaning: So obsessed with worshipping an ideal, that one is out of touch with reality.
Origin: White can stand for unrealistic ideals, and arrows are meant to stand for those willing to protect others. The combination is about defending an unrealistic ideal instead.   Phrase: A gray mind wanders.
Meaning: A person that stands back and observes, cannot be trusted to always have one's back.
Origin: Gray is linked to both detachment and transitioning, so a detached person cannot be trusted to stand by others, rather than move on when least expected.

Cover image: Antique Book by Pexels


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9 Dec, 2020 09:20

haha these are great!! I feel like I'm a few cards short of a full deck sometimes (especially this morning)!

Creator of the dark fantasy world of Melior
I also make worldbuilding resources!
10 Dec, 2020 08:15

Incidentally that's the only one of these that also exists in our world. ^_^ Guess card players all think alike.

9 Dec, 2020 18:06

I love these! I think my favourite is 'blackhearted', because it doesn't mean what I expected it to mean. :D

10 Dec, 2020 08:18

Yeah, I'm proud of that one! ^_^ I deliberately changed the meaning of Black for the Symbolry prompt, and then it ended up quite the logical trope aversion here.

13 Dec, 2020 03:47

Nice! :D The third and the fifth are my favorite ones. :3

13 Dec, 2020 08:51

I love how all of them give me a lot of info about your setting! I particularly love that you changed the meaning of black and white from common assumptions.   There's no formatting in the page, so I'm not sure if that's because of time constraints, or maybe you are not aware of all the options. So, in case it is the second, I am leaving here the codex for bbcode. I think even just bolding or underlining the sections of "phrase, meaning, and origin" would make the reading a lot easier.

13 Dec, 2020 15:55

I wasn't sure how to format it initially, so kept it unformatted initially. I experimented in a second world, and yeah, bold looks better so added that.

16 Dec, 2020 08:37

Being blackhearted melts my heart. It is so warmly different from how we use it everyday.

Introducing my challenge entry, with my cat as the main character and visitor to the tavern.
16 Dec, 2020 12:43

'Think of a world where black is good and white is bad' is a writing prompt I always wanted to try out, and I managed in my symbolry, so got it in here. =)

16 Dec, 2020 13:46

I love these idioms, they are all so vibrant and expressive, they give a really great insight into your world :)

Author of Interarcanum !
Master Brinsmead
Caitlin Phillips
17 Dec, 2020 22:49

These are so fun! Your idioms give a real snapshot into the colourful culture of your world.

Cait x
8 Jan, 2021 19:15

Others have already pretty much said what I would say, but I really liked the inversion of some tropes "blackhearted" and the mutation of others "white arrow." Good work!

Author of the Wyrd West Chronicles and the Toy Soldier Saga. Mother of Bunnies, Eater of Pickles, Friend of Nerds, First of her Name.