Swearing in Roshar

By ccstat,
This is a compilation of all the curses and exclamations used in the Stormlight Archive. Hopefully it will illuminate the culture, magic, and history, and provide some entertainment as well. I appreciate your continued help in finding any that I have missed. This post is complete through Edgedancer. You can find a list incorporating curses from Oathbringer here. UPDATE Sep 2017: I have reworked and consolidated the organization. In most cases, I have removed the speaker attributions for the sake of clarity, as I felt that the speaker’s identity was superfluous. The speaker is noted in some instances to help identify the cultural context. If you think a particular phrase should be attributed (or not), please make your case in a comment. I believe the list is now exhaustive for WoK, WoR, and Edgedancer. Storms and Storming are universal, and people use them frequently. So far we haven’t had many scenes from people on the western half of the continent where the storms are weaker; there is a good chance that the storms are invoked far less in such regions. Notably, Taffa uses a storm-related curse in Dalinar’s Starfalls vision, indicating that it was used historically as well. Variants and related curses: "Stormwinds" (Lirin, Taffa), "Storms alight" (Jasnah), "Blustering" (Yalb), The Heralds, collectively and as individuals, are invoked across many Rosharan cultures. Vorin speakers most frequently swear by Kelek, but by the end of WoR Vorin speakers have invoked each of the ten Heralds at least once. As they occur in curses, the Vorin forms are: Jezerezeh, Nalan, Chana, Vedeledev, Pailiah/Pali, Ash, Battah, Kelek, Talat, Ishi [Herald] knows or [Herald] send are frequent formulations. ”Chana help” is a similar construction [Herald’s] [attribute] A herald is often paired with a body part or attribute. Some appear to be traditional associations, but others are most likely spontaneous variations. Examples Kelek's breath Kelek's tongue Ash's eyes Ishar's soul Nalan's hand Pali's mind—(Adrotagia) by Vedeledev's golden keys—(Kabsal) Talat's hand Other Variants: “Living Heralds above” Heralds send” "What in Kelek's name”—(Talik) notable because Rysn is amused at the usage of a Vorin curse by a Reshi trader Azish speakers use alternate names for the heralds, primarily invoking Yaezir (Jezrien) Variants: "for Yaezir's sake," "Yaezir help" Kadasixes and Stars--used by an Azish vizier. Kadasix is their word for Herald, but the association with stars is interesting, especially considering cosmological features like Taln's scar and the gas giants shown in the star chart in Arcanum Unbounded. Tashikki speakers frequently invoke Tashi, probably the Herald Taln, though other possibilities have been proposed (see this thread). Variants: "Tashi above," "Tashi, God of Gods and Binder of the World" Other Vorin Curses Almighty is a frequent Vorin curse, referencing Honor/Tanavast. Many variants of usage are found: "Almighty above" "by the Almighty's tenth name" "what in the Almighty's own eyes?" "by the names of God himself" "Almighty, cast from heaven to dwell in our hearts" Stormfather is a ubiquitous Vorin curse. NOTE: While the general usage is distinct, we should remember that Vorinism has conflated the Stormfather with Jezerezeh/Jezrien. We see explicit instances of this conflation from Kaladin, Moash, and Sigzil in WoK. Damnation is especially common among Vorin speakers. Zahel (a worldhopper living in Vorin society) has also used this curse. Variants and related phrases “What in Damnation's eleventh name?"—(Sebarial) “What in the Halls”—(Van Jushu) a reference to the Tranquiline Halls Other Cultures Passions--Thaylen Flick my sparks –(Lopen) Herdazian exclamation, a reference to sparkflickers. Blight it all – (Axies) presumably Siah/Aimian Dustmother—(Ton, a Bavlander in a Szeth interlude of WoK). Possibly Vorin? Glories within—(Szeth) presumably Shin Kali’kalin’s ghost –(Rock) Unkalaki, possibly referencing a Herald? Starlight-(Geranid) Speaker is a Vorin ardent with extended residence in the Reshi isles Spren So far, the only instances we have are from Wyndle: “Sweet virtue” and “Oh blessed mother”  Unique or Uncategorized Drynets—a sailor curse implied to be quite inappropriate. Starving--unique curse used by food-obsessed Lift. Storming Mother of the World and Father of Storms Above. (Lift) Originally Reshi, Lift has travelled widely, so it is difficult to assign a parent culture. By the Brightcaller's Rays -- used by Drehy, so presumably a phrase from far western Roshar (presumably Rira) Past Eras, as seen in Dalinar’s visions Three Gods--(Taffa) Sweet wisdom of Battar--(Taffa) Worldhoppers Shadows—(Nazh) Threnody