This is a glossary of the colorful expressions used by characters in Planescape: Torment. The cant, jargon and lingo used by the inhabitants of Sigil is loosely based on 17th century English slang.[1]

A clueless berk should definitely read this to get the dark of the chant.


A[edit | edit source]

  • Addle-cove: An unfriendly way of calling someone an idiot, as in, " I would say you're mistaken or addle-coved." "I ain't the addle-cove you might think, sod."
  • Anarchist: A common name for members of the Revolutionary League.
  • Anthill: A city or a town.
  • Astral conduit: A naturally-occurring wormhole through the Astral Plane connecting the Prime Material Planes and the Outer Planes.
  • Ahar: A faction in Sigil, also called the Lost. Its members don't believe that there are any true powers. The local priests would like to see them get lost.

B[edit | edit source]

  • Bad blood: Refers to a despicable person. Also means "ill-feeling" as in "There's bad blood between them."
  • Bar that: An almost-polite way of saying "shut up," or "don't say that." It's quick, to the point, and can be used as a warning: "Bar that. You don't want to be rattling your bone-box with any fiend on the street."
  • Barmy: Crazy, insane. As in, "See, some doors [portals] stay still, an' some move... it'd drive a blood barmy tryin' to keep track of 'em all."
  • Basher: A neutral reference to someone. Usually but not always implying a thug or fighter. "Smartest basher I've ever known."
  • Believers of the Source: A faction in Sigil, also called the Godsmen. They believe that everyone's got the potential to be a power.
  • Berk: A fool. Insulting term, the opposite of cutter.
  • Bleak Cabal: A faction with despondent members and a view that says life is meaningless. Also known as the Bleakers, the Cabal, and the Madmen.
  • Blood War, the: Name of the eternal conflict between the fiends, specifically the baatezu and tanar'ri.
  • Blood: An expert, sage, or professional in any field. Calling someone a blood is a mark of high respect.
  • Bob: The business of cheating someone, whether it's of their cash, honor, or trust. Good guides in Sigil warn a cutter when someone's bobbing him. Thieves boast that they "bobbed a leatherhead on the street."
  • Body: "A body" is the popular way of saying "someone".
  • Bone-box: The mouth, named because of its teeth, fangs, etc. "Stop rattling your bone-box," is telling a berk to lay off the threats or bragging.
  • Box: A rogue modron that has taken up residence in Sigil.
  • Brain-box: Refers to someone's head, usually in a crude or uncomplimentary way. "Go soak your brain-box," is a common idiom, while "He banged his fool brain-box on it" means he finally figured out something (obvious).
  • Bub: Liquor, usually cheap and barely drinkable.
  • Bubber: A drunk, especially someone who has fallen on hard times. Bubbers don't get any sympathy from most Sigilians.
  • Burg: Any town smaller than Sigil.

C[edit | edit source]

  • Cage, the: A common nickname for Sigil, used by the locals. Refers to the fact that the only way out of the city is through portals, and many have a hard time finding their way back to their home planes.
  • Canny: Smart or talented.
  • Celestial: Intelligent being native to the Upper Planes. Includes devas and archons among others.
  • Center of the Multiverse: A place that doesn't exist: there is no true "center of the Multiverse." No matter where a body stands, he's at the centre of things (at least from his perspective).
  • Chant, the: News, local gossip, the facts, or anything else about what's happening. "What's the chant?" is a way of asking for the latest news.
  • Chaosmen: Another name for the Xaositects.
  • Clueless: People who don't know how the planes work, usually primes.
  • Collector: Person who collects dead bodies to be sold to the Dustmen.
  • Cutter: A complimentary term for someone, suggesting a certain amount of resourcefulness or daring. Opposite of berk.

D[edit | edit source]

  • Dark: Anything secret is said to be dark. "Here's the dark of it" means "I know something no one else does and I'll share it with you."
  • Dead, the: Another name for the Dustmen.
  • Dead-book: The Dustmen literally keep Dead-Book, recording all deaths. This gave rise to the expression "penned/put in the dead-book" meaning to be dead, or to die.
  • Deader: Anyone who is dead, but not undead.
  • Defiers: Another name for the Athar.
  • Doomguard: A faction in Sigil that believes in entropy and decay. Also called the Sinkers.
  • Dustmen: One of the factions of Sigil. They believe in the True Death, the meaningless of life, and the cleansing of oneself of all passion to achieve nothingness. They're also called "the Dead".

F[edit | edit source]

  • Faction: One of the fifteen philosophical groups in Sigil.
  • Factol: The leader of a faction.
  • Fated, the: A faction that holds that if they've got something, it's because it belongs to them. This doesn't always sit well with others. Fated are also called the Takers or the Heartless.
  • Fiend: Primarily refers to demonic races such as the baatezu and the tanar'ri, but sometimes includes any intelligent beings native to the Lower Planes.
  • Fiendling: Refers to a person with demonic heritage, such as a tiefling or alu-fiend.
  • Fraternity of Order: A faction in Sigil, also called the Guvners. They believe that knowing physical laws gives a cutter power over everything.

G[edit | edit source]

  • Gate: Another name for a portal to another plane.
  • Gate-town: A burg on the Outlands that has a gate to another Outer Plane. Each plane has one gate-town (like Curst), and the town often has the same basic appearance, outlook, and attributes as the inhabitants, architecture and terrain of the corresponding plane. When a gate-town completely embraces the nearby plane, it slips into it.
  • Give 'em the laugh: To escape or slip through the clutches of someone or something.
  • Godsmen: Another name for the Believers of the Source.
  • Graybeard: Can mean any mage or other intelligent person, but from Morte's perspective, it means old skeletons.
  • Great Ring, Great Wheel: The Outer Planes, often depicted in maps and diagrams (which are often misleading) as a ring. This also refers to their infinite size, another allusion to the endlessness of a ring.
  • Great road: A series of permanent, always-active gates scattered throughout the Outer Planes. The Great Road connects all the Outer Planes, although the gates themselves are so spread out that it's said it would take many lifetimes to walk the entire Great Road. A few of the gates are linked by paths, but most are not connected in any way.
  • Guvners: Another name for the Fraternity of Order.

H[edit | edit source]

  • Hardheads: Another name for the Harmonium.
  • Harmonium: A faction of Sigil, sometimes called the "Hardheads", and believe that it's their way, or the highway.
  • Heartless, the: Another name for the Fated.
  • High-up: Powerful. This refers to a spell, position, or anything else with plenty of power that can theoretically be measured. Also a person of money and influence. Factols, for example, are high-ups. It's bad form to call one's self this; it's a phrase others bestow.
  • Hipped: Stranded. "Hipping the rube" means stranding someone by sending him through a one-way portal.

I[edit | edit source]

  • Indeps: The common name for members of the Free League.
  • Inner Planes: The planes of elements (Air, Earth, Fire, Water) and energy (Positive and Negative), as opposed to those of concepts and alignments (Outer Planes).

J[edit | edit source]

K[edit | edit source]

  • Kip: Common term for a place of residence, or even just a place to sleep for a night, usually has a cheap connotation (flophouses in the Hive or elsewhere). Also, to call kip is to make a place a body's home, at least for a while.
  • Knight of the Post, knight of the cross-trade: Undignified way of saying that someone is a thief or a cheat. Dhall refers to Pharod as a knight of the post. Trist also refers to Byron Pikit as one.

L[edit | edit source]

  • Leatherhead: A dolt, an idiot; a dull or thick-witted fellow. Also an adjective: "a leatherheaded sod".
  • Leafless tree: The gallows, which is where some berks wind up after they've been scragged.
  • Lost: Dead. "He got lost" means he won't be coming back without a resurrection.
  • Lower Planes: The planes of evil alignment (the Abyss, Acheron, Baator, Carceri, Gehenna, Pandemonium), home to fiends.

M[edit | edit source]

  • Madmen, the: Another name for the Bleak Cabal.
  • Mark: To make note of something, or to be identified, noticed.
  • Mazes, the: Where the Lady of Pain places troublemakers in Sigil, literally creating mazes out of unused portions of the city. It's also come to mean any particularly well-deserved punishment, as in, "It's the Mazes for him and I can't say I'm sorry."
  • Mercykillers: A faction of Sigil, believe in absolute justice, and that mercy is for the weak. Also called the Red Death.
  • Mimir: A magical construct in the form of a skull, created to provide information. Slang for someone who mindlessly repeats whatever he is told. Typically used by Indeps and Anarchists to refer to anyone who is putting forward the "official" stand on any event.
  • Minder: A bodyguard.

N[edit | edit source]

  • Nick: To attack, cut, or strike someone, often used in threats. It's also used for other injuries to someone, such as stealing from him, as in "I nicked him good, and got his chiv."

O[edit | edit source]

P[edit | edit source]

  • Peel: To swindle, con or trick. Can be used as a noun.
  • Peery: Suspicious and on one's guard.
  • Petitioner: A mortal who has died and reformed on the plane of his alignment and/or deity without memory of his former life. A petitioner's ultimate goal is to become one with their new plane.
  • Pike it: An all-purpose rude phrase, as in, "Pike it, berk."
  • Pike off: Used to tell someone to get lost. Also means to anger someone, as in, "Once he discovers he's been peeled, he's going to be really piked off."
  • Planewalker: Anyone who knows their way around the Planes, usually adventurers that are considered capable, knowledgeable, and experienced.
  • Planeborn: A member of one the native philosophical races of the Outer Planes.
  • Portal: A doorway allowing passage to (and possibly from) another plane. These are always found in bounded spaces like archways, and always require a key. Also called gates.
  • Power: A being of incredible might, drawing energy from those who worship it and able to grant spells to priests. Also called a deity or god.
  • Prime: The Prime Material Plane or someone from that plane.

R[edit | edit source]

  • Red Death: Another name for the Mercykillers.
  • Revolutionary League: A faction in Sigil that wants to see all the other factions destroyed. Also called the Anarchists.
  • Rule of Three: One of the fundamental rules of the Multiverse: The idea that everything in the multiverse tends to happen in threes.

S[edit | edit source]

  • Scragged: Arrested or caught.
  • Screed: A monotonous tirade, or someone who gives one. If used to refer to a person, it means someone who speaks at length without any real knowledge, or simply an argumentative person. As in "Don't listen to him, he's just a screed."
  • Sensates: Common name for the Society of Sensation faction.
  • Shamblers: A term used to describe the undead.
  • Sign of One: A faction whose members think that everybody is the center of his own universe. Also called the Signers.
  • Signers: Another name for the Sign of One faction.
  • Sinkers: Another name for the Doomguard.
  • Society of Sensation: A faction that believes life's got to be experienced to be understood. Also called the Sensates.
  • Sod: An unfortunate or poor soul. Can be used to show sympathy or sarcastically.
  • Sodding: A derogatory term used to stress magnitude. A "sodding idiot" is an amazingly stupid berk.
  • Spellslinger: A mage.
  • Square: Honest, good, or good enough. Frequently used to describe Celestials or the Harmonium, sometimes disparagingly. "I'll slip you that chant if the jink's square."

T[edit | edit source]

  • Takers: Another name for the Fated faction.
  • Tout: A tour guide.
  • Transcendent Order: A faction in Sigil. The formal name for the Ciphers, who believe that the truest responses occur when a body acts without thinking.
  • Turn stag: To betray somebody or use treachery.

U[edit | edit source]

  • Unity of Rings: The theory that everything forms a logical ring or circular pattern of some kind, as illustrated by the Outer Planes in particular.
  • Upper Planes: The good-aligned planes. Includes Arborea, Arcadia, the Beastlands, Bytopia, Elysium, Mount Celestia and Ysgard.

X[edit | edit source]

  • Xaositects: A faction in Sigil. Another name for them is the Chaosmen, who are literally bound by chaos, and as such, usually can't even talk normally.

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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