Dwarven Idioms

Written by Mark Sexton, Edited by Steve Tremblay

The dwarves of Theria have a reputation of toxic pride among both sexes. As a race, their innate sense of superiority has been a source of ire for many years. Cultural expansion and warlike traditions have born a good number of saying and idioms primarily in reference to the shortcomings of past enemies. Some examples include:


Don’t just dig in the dirt- This is means to do a job of inferior quality. It comes from the belief that other races in the underdark are unskilled primitives.
“Gareth, if ya want to be remembered, ya can’t just dig in the dirt every day”


Hitting your head on the hearth- A failure to plan or being short-sighted.
“We can’t be hitting our heads on the hearth like the bull-boys of Thunderspire.”


Beating your rug with a torch- A futile effort.
“Nora, the boy just won’t listen, you’re beating your rug with a torch.”

Drinking from a gilded horn- Someone who is acting above their station.
“Well, isn’t Dorn drinking from a gilded horn tonight?”

Double-pumper- A person who overcompensates for a shortcoming. This comes from a forge worker double-pumping the bellows to make it hotter than it needs to be.
“Those cocky Eladrin are just a bunch of double-pumpers.”

A broken string- Something that doesn’t matter or has little value. Not referencing a bowstring, this actually comes from an aversion to stringed instruments and bardic activities.
“I know yer disappointed, but it’s just a broken string.”

Pin and hinge- Two things that belong together or complement each other.
“Tordynn and that girl get along like a pin and hinge.”

Bright spot- A failure or mistake that been disguised. When used without context clues, it is often mistaken for a complement by other races, this is derived from the act of over polishing a flaw in metal, leaving it brighter than its surroundings and drawing additional attention.
“If you would learn to keep yer mouth shut, you wouldn’t be such a bright spot on the [family]name!”

Polished horn- A smooth talker or charismatic person. Taken from the persuasive nature of one of the “horned races,
”Tieflings. “Oooh that Balgruf pisses me off, but he’s such a polished horn I can’t catch him in his lies.”

Dancing an Elvish jig- Going crazy. More than a statement about mental health, this adds the additional layer of being unnecessarily emotional as well. This has been used to express elation, frustration, and even confusion based on context.
“If you try to argue with Gor’un, he’ll leave you dancing an elvish jig before you’re through.”


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