These phrases / sayings were originally posted by LaughingOtter on the Istaria forums under the Lore section.

Source: [1]


Flame (subject) – Expression of anger, frustration, dislike, or other negative reaction to something. Ex: “Let a bunch of gnomes use my lair as a laboratory? Flame that!”

Scrapetail – Depressed, whiny, needy, begging, being a baby. From dragon body language. Emotions such as deep sadness, despair, grief or mourning, and regret often cause a dragon’s posture to droop and their tail to drag on the ground. Ex: “Don’t be such a scrapetail.”

Twine tails - Reference to the actual physical act of intertwining tails as an expression of intimacy or support. Often used to indicate the existance of a romantic relationship. Ex: "When you're an adult, you can twine tails with whoever you want. But as long as you're living in my lair you live by my rules."

Waterblood - Highly offensive and derogatory term for Helians. Originated during a debate between General Lunus and Scholar Helian. General Lunus remarked that Helian was soft on bipeds because "it's water in your veins, not fire!" Helian's famous response was, "If being of fire means blind arrogance and the elevation of violence above reason, then let me be of water!" Both later apologized to each other for the hostile exchange and General Lunus instructed his followers not to use the term, but the damage was done. Helian's words are commemorated by her followers in the use of water instead of lava in Helian structures.

When my blood turns to ice - Term indicating utter rejection of a given subject by the speaker. Ex: "I will accept food from naka when my blood turns to ice!"

When hatchlings fly - Dismissal of a given subject as being highly unlikely or impossible. Ex: "Twine tails with you? When hatchlings fly!"


Dustfoot - Derogatory term, implies lack of morals, bad life choices, a person of low character. Ex: "You snuck off to see that dustfoot again, didn't you?"

Seedling – A teasing term implying one is cowardly or afraid. Ex: “Don’t be such a seedling.”

Walk - A very offensive, vulgar expression of revulsion or defiant rejection. Ex: “Get married to you? I'd rather walk!”, "Take a walk, pig!"


Axe high! – The battle cry of the Iron Guard of Aughundell. Frequently used as a salutation between veterans, a rallying call, and as a parting statement. Ex: “Axe high, ‘til we meet again.”

Justice and honor – A formal acknowledgement, usually reserved for something of great importance. May also be used as an exclamation of joy and happiness. Ex: “’Will you marry me?’ ‘Justice and honor, yes!’”

Swap steel – An oath or agreement. Based on the custom of a bride & groom-to-be exchanging betrothal daggers to seal an engagement. No actual daggers need to change hands, but there does need to be an agreement. Ex: “The contract looks good to me. Shall we swap steel?”

True as gold – A declaration of value or trustworthiness. Ex: “This blade be true as gold. ‘Twill serve ye’ well.”


Bark and branch – An expletive, but not one which is offensive, blasphemous, or vulgar. Ex: “Bark and branch, what did you do this time?”

Leaves fall – A declaration that the world is not a perfect place and that problems are to be expected. Ex: “Don’t worry about it. Leaves fall.”

Squirrel in your heart – A reference to the arbotus. Most commonly used as a question, inquiring if the other person wishes to discuss something. Can also be used to describe having reservations, concerns, intimate desires, and guilty secrets. Ex: "So friend, what says the squirrel in your heart?", “The plan sounds good to my ears, but the squirrel in my heart thinks differently.”


Tail-tugger – Weakling, wimp, parasite. Someone who can’t make it on their own, who has to cling to the tail of someone better. Ex: “Get it yourself, you pathetic tail-tugger.” “If you spent as much time trying as you do looking for a tail to tug on, you’d have done it by now.”

Pink, pinkling – Soft, shapeless, weak, worthless, disgusting, nauseating. A person displaying any of those qualities. Also a derogatory term for humans. Ex: “Well, pinkling? You going to draw that axe or whistle ‘Ice and Fury’?” “This armor makes me look pink! Fix it or die!!”

  • Note: 'Ice and Fury' is a hymn to Niatha Moraven, praising her for creating the Fiends.


Crumblies - A mild expression of annoyance. Derives from the occasions when when everything you've been working on crumbles into useless pieces - again and again and again. Ex: "Oh, crumblies." (With thanks to Awdz )

Entropy – Reference to the tendency of systems to lose energy over time. Often used as a mild expletive. Ex: “Ah, entropy! That gear stripped again!”

The second step – From an old gnome joke: “The premise is fine and the conclusion is fine. It’s the second step that’s broken”. Indicates poor planning, faulty logic, or bad decisions. Can also express hope that a miracle might occur. Ex: “I’m going to ask her out and hope that solves for the second step.”

This isn't portal science - An assertion that the issue at hand is not complicated or difficult to comprehend. Ex "If you like him, just hit him with your spanner, drag him into the transmitter compartment, and give him a full-contact circuit check. This isn't portal science."

Transpatial requisition – Acquiring something in an unauthorized or illegal manner. Ex: “Technically I don’t have the clearance level to see these plans, but I did have a transpatial requisition form handy.”


By the Mountain! – Oblique reference to the Mountain God, used as an oath or an expression of surprise. Ex: “By the Mountain! Where did you find that?”

House Elf - Refers to the historic practice of taking elven slaves during raids on Feladan. Elven slaves were prized for their longevity and were frequently maimed or hobbled to ensure they could not run away. Often used as a boast or demeaning threat. Ex: "Put up your fists and fight, little man. I need a new House Elf."

Kion fire sale, Kion prices – Something acquired at a very low price or obtained for minimal effort, may or may not have involved theft. Reference to their ancestors’ pastime of raiding & looting Kion. Ex: “Found it at the pawnbroker, and for Kion prices.”

On the ice – In trouble, experiencing severe misfortune, romantic problems. Ex: “Well, the girlfriend met the wife and I’m on the ice with both now.”


Blueskin – Derogatory term used between humans, implying that the subject is speaking or acting in a fiend-like manner. Antagonistic, mean, condescending, spiteful, petty. Ex: “Do you have to be such a blueskin all the time?”

Talk like a Helian - Refers to a person who is all talk and no action, or who tends to pontificate endlessly. Believed to have originated in response to either Scholar Helian's conduct prior to the Schism or to some of the Helian faction's earliest and least successful attempts to guide and educate humans after the founding of Chiconis. Ex: "Bring some extra klava, he talks like a Helian."

Tazoon – A person who is attractive but empty-headed. Foolish, self-centered, superficial. Less frequently used to mean boring or uneventful. Ex: “How could you go out with him? He’s an utter Tazoon.”

Ashlander, Vandus, Ashlander Vandus – expression of skepticism, sarcasm or disbelief. Ex: “Who’s going to make me? You and Ashlander Vandus?”, "You want ALL that done before nightfall? Oh, sure, I'll just get Ashlander to help me, and it'll be no problem!", "Nope, me and Vandus got it under control."


Hrrash! – Stop, halt, don’t do it, cease and desist. A strong imperative, indicates the speaker is on the verge of physical violence. While more of an instinctive sound than an actual word in the Saris tongue, anyone who has encountered an enraged Saris is likely to have heard it at least once. Ex: “Hrrash! Touch me and you’ll draw back a bloody stump!”

Mjau! - Excellent, well done, congratulations! Ex: "Expert Confectioner? Mjau!"

Sand and sun – An expression of pleasure or contentment. Ex: “Sand and sun, these chocolate mice are delicious! I must get the recipe!”

Sea Thief, Sea Thieves - An offensive term for Half-Giants. Also used as a general insult, implying lack of manners, uncouth actions, dishonest intents, and poor personal hygiene. Ex: "He has the tongue of a poet, but the hands of a Sea Thief."

Merrasat's Embrace, Merrasat's Gaze - A reference to the eternal sun and warmth on Kion's many beaches. Typically used to wish someone well. Ex: "Be safe in Merrasat's Embrace!"


Baccatae – Crazy, unhinged, demented. Usually translated as “wine-crazed”. Satyr berserkers translate it as “divine madness” and claim that it is the gift of Bachanatus to them in battle. In that context, also referred to as The Frenzy. Ex: “Have you gone baccatae?” “Fafnir charged us, and I gave myself to The Frenzy.”

Io Evohe, Evohe – Hail, welcome, well met. Expression of warm greeting between friends. Ex: “Evohe! Good to see you again. Have some wine, you must be thirsty!”


Half-shell – Fool, nitwit, joker, buffoon. Ex: “If you two half-shells have enough time for pranks, you have enough time to help Ssoren with the Imperial readiness reports!

Mammal, Softskin - General terms referring to the humanoid races. The literal translation from the Sslik is 'softskin', but humanoids often interpret this term as a deliberate insult, which it is not. For this reason, the translation is usually rendered as 'mammal'. Ex: "Most mammals don't care for authentic Sslik cuisine."

Tailfeathers - Moderately offensive term of disbelief or mistrust, derived from the fact that Sslik don't grow feathers on their tails. Implies that the subject is making deliberately false or misleading claims. Ex: "Eat as much as one wants and still lose weight? Tailfeathers!"

Yanking (my) tail, pull (my) other tail - expression of disbelief or irritation, used in the same way as the human expression "pulling my leg". Ex: "That one was born a Saris? Pull Ssoren's other tail next time!"