Orc, the Word

by Varda-(Valar)
Nov. 18, 2002

Back to Orcs

    Orc was the Westron or Common Speech term. In Sindarin elvish, it was orch singular and yrch plural. In Black Speech, the word was uruk. The Isengarder Orcs, Uruk-hai, called themselves Uruk and all other Orcs snaga, the Black Speech word for slave.  Some others picked up the snaga term for lesser orcs. Orcs made their language from borrowed words, including from Black Speech, but it varied from tribe to tribe so that they had to use the Common Speech to communicate between each other.

Reference: Return of the King: "Appendix F"; Fellowship of the Ring: "Lothlorien", "The Great River", Return of the King: "Index"