Welcome to "Tongueflaps Hand-lending for Addlebrained Uplanders"!
or: A Gobbiespeak Spreadlist for Uplander Learnytimes
Hail, uplanders! This document is intended to provide a mostly comprehensive list of gobbiespeak vocabulary found in FFXIV and its supplemental materials, as well as a small primer on how the dialect itself works for any aspiring gobbie RPers out there (like myself—hello! I made a goblin OC that I accidentally got way too invested in, and this is my life now). The general mechanics listed below are mostly my own observations about the gobbiespeak dialect, building off of the gobbiespeak we see in game and the info included in the lorebooks. All terms listed in the glossary are pulled from either the Encyclopedia Eorzea(s), official lyrics to songs from the Alexander raid series, and of course the game itself (from NPC dialogue/popup text, location names, quest titles and descriptions, etc). Please note that since the glossary includes quotes to provide context as to how words are used, it contains spoilers.
» DISCLAIMER: I am far from a gobbie expert and I'm certainly not a FFXIV lore afficionado, so I'm positive that I missed and/or misinterpreted some things (expecially since I compiled the vast majority of this information in a single afternoon... my back hurts. Please do not be like me). If you see something incorrect or find a term in game that I missed, please feel free to reach out to me via my twitter! » This project now has a carrd! Feel free to share it with any gobbie enthusiasts out there if the Google Docs link is too long for your liking.
Looking for gobbiespeak vocabulary? Make speedyfeets to the next tab to embiggen your braincase!
General mechanics: Naming conventions:
» Structurally speaking, gobbiespeak isn't any different from English (or, y'know, Eorzean); the basic subject-verb-object sentence structure remains the same, which makes it pretty simple to write in. The only real difference is that gobbies often drop words that are common in English sentences, or substitute their own instead. See below for more details! » Gobbies speak in third person and seldom—if ever—use pronouns ("I/me", "he/him", "she/her", "they/them", etc) to refer to themselves or others. » Similarly, gobbies almost never use articles or demonstrative adjectives ("a/an", "the", "this/that", etc), choosing instead to either describe objects relative to their ownership (see below) or dropping articles/demonstrative adjectives entirely. » Possession is often (but not always!) described without apostrophe or pronouns: it’s “Uplander has lustyeyes for junk of Brayflox”. Not “my/Brayflox’s junk”. » This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but gobbies often use progressive tense for their verbs (“is doing”, “are walking”, etc). You don't need to do it constantly, but try describing your actions this way every once in a while to make them feel more goblike. » As noted in the Encyclopedia Eorzea(s), gobbiespeak is canonically a mishmash of compound words (usually noun + noun, adjective + noun, or adjective + adjective) that gobbies throw together on the fly, and it's been described by Eorzean scholars as “linguistic chaos”. No one gobbie uses the same term to describe the same thing twice. As such, there’s a lot of room for improvisation and freestyling in your gobbiespeak. Don't be afraid to mash words together and try weird things. Have fun—that's the most important part! » Goblin forenames are gendered, and always end in "-ix" for males or "-ox" for females; for example, Roundrox, Brayflox, and Feltsmox are girls, and Sweetnix, Quickthinx, and Slowfix are boys. Regardless, all goblin forenames end in "-x". (Personally, if you’re looking to make yourself a gobbie OC, I say you should be able to do anything you want. Make a nonbinary goblin! Make your goblin trans! Gender is fake!) » Goblin forenames are always two syllables long. I looked over every named NPC I could find, and didn't see an example in which that’s not the case. Then again, this game is really big... so I might be wrong! » Goblin surnames are always two or more syllables long. I wasn't able to find an example with more than three or four syllables, but again, this game is very very big. » Many gobbie surnames end in an "-x", "-s", or "-ks" sound. It sounds nice with the "-x" sound at the end of their forename, but of course, it's not required. » Sometimes their forenames and surnames rhyme, but there are plenty of gobbies in game whose names don't rhyme at all. Go for it if you like, it's cute! » Goblin names are often evocative of a gobbie’s personality, profession, interests, area of expertise, etc—this is because they literally composed their names themselves, the same way they smash words together in gobbiespeak! For example: Quickthinx Allthoughts gave himself his name because he’s a self-proclaimed all-knowing prophet; Brayflox is Alltalks because she's sociable and knows lots of gobbies and uplanders; Lightkix Eyesfixed is a patrolling guardgobbie; Mutamix Bubblypots is a master materia melder.
If nothing else, remember that gobbiespeak is chaotic and inconsistent, and let that knowledge spur you to great heights. There is no wrong way to gob!
Some notes from the Encyclopedia Eorzea(s):
"Although goblins use the common tongue [Eorzean] to communicate with other races, listeners often find themselves groping for meaning amongst the unusual compound words the beastmen substitute for everyday terms. This habit of mashing together nouns and adjectives extends to the goblins' names, resulting in some truly outlandish combinations. As a general rule, their given names will also end with either "ix" or "ox", these suffixes denoting a "handsome male" and "beauteous female" respectively." (EE I, p.259)
"Skilled traders, goblins have a knack for languages and, whenever possible, will conduct business in the tongue of their clients—a technique the goblins believe gives them an advantage in the dealings. As such, it was only natural that the wandering tribe was quick to pick up standard Eorzean parlance. Similar to Amalj'aan, gobbiespeak is heavy with compounds of two of more words strung together to form complex concepts; however, unlike how Amalj'aan strings its compounds together using a rigid formula, the language of the goblins employs an extremely loose grammatical framework that affords an abundance of freedom for improvisation—a unique syntax scholars have dubbed "linguistic chaos". This chaos is, for the most part, reined in when goblins attempt communication in other tongues, but conversations still tend to slow to a halt due to the beastmen's tendency to render their compounds in the target language." (EE II, p.039)
"The establishment of Idyllshire—a modern utopia wherein man and goblin might live side by side—appears to have further affected the goblins' tongue. While one might presume regular exposure to common Eorzean would result in the goblins abandoning their wordcraft, it has, in fact, done the opposite, with more and more convoluted vocabulary being coined with each new 'sunjump'." (EE II, p.039)
Testimonials: Special thanks:
"absolute madman" - @naschastrig "YOU FINISHED THIS IN ONE DAY?!" - @excogs "U are far too powerful this fucking rules" - @CuringWaltz_ "You're mad. This is fantastic. Thank you." - @Tom_Glasses "you think you're generally knowledgeable about the lore of your particular race but then roe wanders in with a comprehensive gobbiespeak dictionary and language analysis and you realize you just know fuck about shit" - @buncrimes » I made liberal use of the resources available at Gamer Escape and Garland Tools to assemble and organize this document. A thousand thank yous to the folks at both of those operations; this project would not have been feasible without their hard work! » A big thank you to my pals on FFXIV twitter for encouraging my madness, and a special shoutout to those of you who have also made gobbies of your own. I never would have thought to start this project without my partners in gob! » Lastly, thanks to my goblin OC, Boombox Boogiefeets. You little shit, this is all your fault.