The Word-Hoard: Brogue




An Irish or Scottish way of speaking English.


I feel like this is a word I should have known a long time ago, and maybe if you come from good Celtic stock you’re already familiar with it. As commonly as Irish or Scottish accents tend to crop up in fantasy settings, this is certainly useful vocabulary. Finally another way of describing Gimli’s accent, other than “Scottish!”

Interestingly, the etymology isn’t so clear here. “Brogue” could come from the Irish brog, meaning “boot” or “shoe” and perhaps referring to the manner of speak of people who called footwear thusly. It could also derive from the Irish barrog, meaning “a hold (on the tongue).”


“It was that,” he said somberly, and I heard the brogue creep over his voice like velvet and his eyes grew brooding again. “There’s never an O’Keefe for these thousand years that has passed without his warning. An’ twice have I heard the banshee calling—once it was when my younger brother died an’ once when my father lay waiting to be carried out on the ebb tide.”

– A. Merritt, The Moon Pool (1918)


  1. I always thought it was “Irish brogue” and “Scottish burr.” The two are similar, with a common origin, but they are no more the same than a Mexican accent vs a Cuban accent.

    I was never comfortable with Rhys-Davies giving Gimli a Scottish accent.

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