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Orc (pronounced /ˈɔrk/) is a word used to refer to various races of tough and warlike humanoid creatures in various fantasy settings. Orcs are often portrayed as misshapen humanoids who are brutal, warmongering, and sadistic. Conversely, some settings and writers describe them as a proud warrior race with a strong sense of honor (for example, Morgan Howell's Queen of the Orcs). They are variously portrayed as physically stronger or weaker than humans, but always high in numbers. They often ride boars, wolves and wargs. In many role-playing and computer games, though not in Tolkien's works, Orcs mainly have green skin (earning the name "Greenskins" in such games as Warhammer Fantasy).

Contents

Etymology of the word "orc"

The modern use of the English word "orc" to denote a race of evil, humanoid creatures begins with J. R. R. Tolkien.

Tolkien's earliest elvish dictionaries include the entry "Ork (orq-) monster, ogre, demon" together with "orqindi ogresse." Tolkien sometimes used the plural form orqui in his early texts.[1]

Tolkien sometimes, particularly in The Hobbit, used the word "goblin" instead of "orc" to describe the same type of creature, with the smaller cave-dwelling variety that lived in the Misty Mountains being referred to as "goblin" and the larger ones elsewhere referred to as "orcs".[2] Later in his life he expressed an intention to change the spelling of "orc" to "ork" in The Silmarillion[3] but the only place where that spelling surfaced in his lifetime was in the published version of The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, in the poem Bombadil Goes Boating ("I'll call the orks on you: that'll send you running!"). In the posthumously published Silmarillion, the spelling "orcs" was retained.

Old English influence

The word Orc is Old English for Foreigner, Monster, Demon and was used to refer to the Normans invading the English in 1066.[4] Middle Earth in Old English was the place between heaven and hell where humans dwell.

Tolkien's own statements about the real-world origins of his use of the word "orc" are as follows:

  • "the word is, as far as I am concerned, actually derived from Old English orc 'demon', but only because of its phonetic suitability"[5]
  • "I originally took the word from Old English orc (Beowulf 112 orc-neas and the gloss orc = þyrs ('ogre'), heldeofol ('hell-devil')). This is supposed not to be connected with modern English orc, ork, a name applied to various sea-beasts of the dolphin order."[6]
  • "The word used in translation of Q urko, S orch is Orc. But that is because of the similarity of the ancient English word orc, 'evil spirit or bogey', to the Elvish words. There is possibly no connection between them. The English word is now generally supposed to be derived from Latin Orcus."[7]
  • "Orc I derived from Anglo-Saxon, a word meaning demon, usually supposed to be derived from the Latin Orcus — Hell. But I doubt this, though the matter is too involved to set out here".[8]

The word *orcné (attested in the plural orcnéas) is a hapax legomenon in the poem Beowulf. It is generally supposed to contain an element -né, cognate to Gothic naus and Old Norse nár, both meaning "corpse". The usual Old English word for "corpse" is líc, but -né appears in dryhtné "dead body of a warrior", where dryht is the name of a military unit (vaguely translated "band", "host", etc.). In *orcné, if it is to be glossed as "orcus-corpse" the meaning may be "corpse from Orcus (i.e. the underworld)" or "devil-corpse", understood as some sort of walking dead. This etymology is plausible, but remains conjectural. The word orc appears in two other locations in Beowulf, but in both cases refers to cups of precious metal found in a treasure-hoard.

Old English þyrs, given as a gloss for Latin orcus, is cognate to Old Norse þurs "giant, ogre" (both from Common Germanic *thurisaz, in Norse mythology referring to one of the monstrous descendants of the giant Ymir). But it is to be noted in connection with Tolkien's reference to a gloss orc=þyrs that while there is an entry in an 11th century English glossary which implies such an equivalence ("[Latin] orcus [Old English] orc þyrs oððe heldeofol"), this is in fact a conflation of two glosses in an earlier glossary of the 7th century, found in two different places, namely: "[Latin] orcus [Old English] orc" and "[Latin] orcus [Old English] þyrs oððe heldiubol." The first of these two glosses is in a section devoted to household implements, and orcus is, in that place, a corruption of Latin urceus "jug, pitcher" or of orca "pot, jar". The word orc in the first gloss has the meaning "cup"; it is descended from an early Germanic borrowing from urceus, related to Gothic aurkeis "cup", both related to Modern English ark "vessel, container". In the second gloss, the Latin orcus is equated to Old English "giant, hell-devil", but not to any already-existing OE word "orc", as Tolkien mistakenly thought.

Tolkien's assumption that orc and þyrs were co-existent Old English words that had a shared meaning was therefore an error; an error shared for several decades by other scholars, as it had entered into some commonly-used dictionaries of Old English (e.g. Bosworth and Toller's "An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary" (1898), corrected in later editions).

Early modern usage

As far as what otherwise might have influenced Tolkien, the OED lists a 1656 use (see below) of an English word ‘orke’ in a way reminiscent of giants, ogres and the like. It is presumed that such usage (orke=ogre) came into English via fairy tales from the continent, especially from Charles Perrault (17th cent. France), who himself borrowed most of his stories (and developed his 'ogre') from the 16th century Italian writers Giovanni Francesco Straparola [c. 1440–c. 1557], who has been credited with introducing to Europe the literary form of the 'fairy tale', and Giambattista Basile.

Basile (d. 1632) wrote in the Naples dialect (though Naples was, at that time, controlled by Spain), claiming simply to be passing on oral folktales from his region that he'd collected over the years. In at least a dozen or more tales, Basile used 'huorco' (or 'huerco', 'uerco') which is the Neapolitan form of ‘orco’ [modern It. ‘giant’, 'monster'] to describe a large, speaking, mannish beast (hairy and tusked) that lived away in a dark forest or garden, and that might be evil (capturing/eating humans), indifferent or even benevolent — all depending on the tale. (See especially his tales Peruonto and Lo Cuento dell'Uerco.)

But the 1656 English use of 'orke' (forty-one years before Perrault published his Mother Goose tales) comes from a fairy-tale by Samuel Holland entitled Don Zara, which is a pastiche and parody of fantastical Spanish romances like Don Quixote, and presumably is populated by beasts and monsters common to them. (Note: Straparola was translated into Spanish in 1583. Independent of this, there is in Spain to this day the folktale of the ‘huerco’ or ‘güercu’, which is a harbinger of impending death; a shade in the form of the person about to die.)

From under the OED entry ‘orc’:

  • 1605 J. SYLVESTER tr. G. de S. Du Bartas Deuine Weekes & Wks. (II. i. 337) “Insatiate Orque, that euen at one repast, Almost all creatures in the World would waste.” [seeming ‘orca’ usage]
  • 1656 S. HOLLAND Don Zara (I. i. 6) “Who at one stroke didst pare away three heads from off the shoulders of an Orke, begotten by an Incubus.” [seeming ‘ogre’ usage]
  • 1854 Putnam's Monthly Mag. (Oct. 380/1) “The elves and the nickers, the orcs and the giants." [usage unclear]
  • 1865 C. KINGSLEY Hereward (I. i. 71) “But beyond, things unspeakable — dragons, giants, rocs, orcs, witch-whales … ” [usage unclear]

Whether 'orke', 'ogre', 'huerco' or 'orco', the word ultimately comes from Latin Orcus, the name of the Roman god of Death, a demonic/grim reaper-esque figure (not to be confused with Pluto the god of the underworld), and has apparently descended by several stages through the meanings "underworld, hell", "devil", "evil creature" and at last "ogre". Note that Tolkien and the lexicons he used also attributed the origin of the doubtful Old English orc to Orcus, and that in one of his invented languages the word for "orc" also had the form orco.

Words derived from or related to Italian orco are fairly common in Mediterranean countries; in addition to Italian dialectal uerco, huerco and huorco and Spanish güercu, there is also Tyrolean ork which may be either a house gnome or a mountain spirit that acts as protector of wildlife.[9]

Tolkien, being born in 1892, would certainly have been exposed to the Mother Goose tales and the like. Whether he ever read Straparola, Basile or even Holland's Don Zara is unknown. Whatever the case, he certainly would have come across creatures (orkes and ogres) descended etymologically from L. ‘Orcus’, and not just in Beowulf – though that earliest image seems to be the one that he most references.

Tolkien explicitly denied any intended connection between his "orc" and the other existing English word orc, referring to the killer whale (Orcinus orca), the grampus and other cetaceans. This is a borrowing from Latin orca (used by Pliny to refer to some kind of whale, quite likely Orcinus orca).

For more on Tolkien's invented etymology of the word "orc", see Tolkien's Orcs below.

Similar words of distinct origin

The use of the word "orc" in any of its monstrous senses should not be confused with various other words that have a superficial resemblance, including Gaelic orc (a Goidelic form of Proto-Indo-European *porkos "young pig") and Norse ørkn meaning "seal."[10]

Tolkien's Orcs

The humanoid, non-maritime race of orcs that exists in Middle-earth is J. R. R. Tolkien's invention, albeit one which he stated in letter #25 was influenced by George MacDonald's The Princess and the Goblin. The term 'Orc' is usually capitalised in Tolkien's writing, but not necessarily in other sources.

Within Tolkien's invented languages, the Elvish words for "orc" are derived from a root ruk referring to fear and horror, from which is derived an expanded form of the root, uruk. A noun *uruku is produced from the extended root. This eventually turns into Quenya urco, plural urqui. A related word *urkō produces Sindarin orch, plural yrch. The Quenya words are said to be less specific in meaning than the Sindarin, meaning "bogey". For the specific creatures called yrch by the Sindar, the Quenya word orco, with plurals orcor and orqui, was created.

These orcs had similar names in other languages of Middle-earth: in Orkish uruk (restricted to the larger soldier-orcs), in the language of the Drúedain gorgûn, in Khuzdul rukhs, plural rakhâs, and in the language of Rohan and in the Common Speech orc.

Description

In Tolkien's writings, Orcs are of human shape, of varying size but always smaller than Men, ugly, filthy, with a taste for human flesh. They are fanged, bow-legged and long-armed, and some have dark skin as if burned. In a private letter, Tolkien describes them as "squat, broad, flat-nosed, sallow-skinned, with wide mouths and slant eyes ... degraded and repulsive versions of the (to Europeans) least lovely Mongol-types".[11] They are portrayed as miserable, crafty and vicious beings.

They fight with ferocity (so long as a guiding 'will' [e.g., Morgoth or Sauron] compels/directs them). In some places, Tolkien describes Orcs as mainly being battle fodder (Cf. The Battles of the Fords of Isen). Orcs are used as soldiers by both the greater and lesser villains of The Lord of the RingsSauron and Saruman.

Orcs eat all manner of flesh, including human. In Chapter II of The Two Towers, Grishnákh, an Orc from Mordor, claims that the Isengard Orcs eat Orc-flesh, but whether that is true or a statement spoken in malice is uncertain; what does seem certain is that, true or false, the Orcs resent that description. However, knowing what they are like and from later events, it seems likely that Orcs do eat other Orcs. Later in The Two Towers, Merry and Pippin are presented with meat by an orc after a fight occurred in which the Uruk-hai killed several orcs; the narration is vague as to what species the flesh belongs to.

Origins

Orc Origins are first described in The Tale of Tinúviel as "foul broodlings of Melko (Melkor) [sic] who fared abroad doing his evil work". In The Fall of Gondolin Tolkien wrote that "all that race were bred by Melko (Melkor) of the subterranean heats and slime. Their hearts were of granite and their bodies deformed; foul their faces which smiled not, but their laugh that of the clash of metal, and to nothing were they more fain than to aid in the basest of the purposes of Melko."

In The Silmarillion, Tolkien conceived Orcs to be Elves, enslaved by Morgoth, broken and twisted into his evil soldiers. Other versions (including notes made both early and late in Tolkien's life) have Orcs as 'parodies' or false-creations of Morgoth's that are animated solely by his evil will (or, perhaps, by his own essence diffused into each), and made intentionally to mock or spite Eru Ilúvatar's creations — the Eldar and Edain.

When writing The Hobbit, Tolkien carried over the concept of the "orc" that he had developed in writing early versions of The Silmarillion, just as he carried over references to Elves, Gondolin, and other elements of the Silmarillion.

Orcs in other fantasy works

Since the publication of Tolkien's epic novel, The Lord of the Rings, creatures called "orcs" have become a fixture of fantasy fiction and role-playing games. In these derivative sources, orcs and goblins are usually considered distinct races of goblinoids. For some time they were often depicted with pig-like faces, although there is no such description in Tolkien's work. A possible explanation of this is the coincidence with Irish orc (cognate of English pork) that means 'swine'. An alternative theory is that they were often depicted as pig-like due to the tusked and pig-like description of "l'Orco" (the Ogre) in Canto 17 of Ariosto's Orlando Furioso.

Description of the Land Orc from Orlando Furioso (1516) Canto XVII, 29-30.

29
"Mentre aspettamo, in gran piacer sedendo,
che da cacciar ritorni il signor nostro,
vedemo l'Orco a noi venir correndo
lungo il lito del mar, terribil mostro.
Dio vi guardi, signor, che 'l viso orrendo
de l'Orco agli occhi mai vi sia dimostro:
meglio è per fama aver notizia d'esso,
ch'andargli, si che lo veggiate, appresso.

30
"Non gli può comparir quanto sia lungo,
sì smisuratamente è tutto grosso.
In luogo d'occhi, di color di fungo
sotto la fronte ha duo coccole d'osso.
Verso noi vien (come vi dico) lungo
il lito, e par ch'un monticel sia mosso.
Mostra le zanne fuor, come fa il porco;
ha lungo il naso, il sen bavoso e sporco.

William Stewart Rose Translation (1831) of the Above Stanzas

29
"While, with much solace, seated in a round,
We from the chace expect our lord's return,
Approaching us along the shore, astound,
The orc, that fearful monster, we discern.
God grant, fair sir, he never may confound
Your eyesight with his semblance foul and stern!
Better it is of him by fame to hear,
Than to behold him by approaching near.

30
"To calculate the griesly monster's height,
(So measureless is he) exceeds all skill;
Of fungus-hue, in place of orbs of sight,
Their sockets two small bones like berries fill.
Towards us, as I say, he speeds outright
Along the shore, and seems a moving hill.
Tusks jutting out like savage swine he shows,
A breast with drivel foul, and pointed nose.

In the 1980s another orc archetype was introduced by the table-top miniature war games Warhammer Fantasy Battle; a heavily-muscled, green-skinned barbarian with exaggerated tusks, brow, and lower jaw whose personality is not so much evil as crudely thuggish, often to a comical degree. This style of orc has since become popular in a vast number of fantasy settings and games, including a signature of the Warcraft series of computer games and spin-offs.

Dungeons & Dragons

For orcs in the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, see Orc (Dungeons & Dragons).

Warhammer

Games Workshop's Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000 games feature Orcs as well (spelled Orks in Warhammer 40,000). The latter setting is unique for featuring Orks in a science fiction environment, capable of building crude, but functional vehicles, firearms and even spaceships. Anatomically, Warhammer Orcs are no taller, unless when standing up straight instead of slouching, but substantially broader than humans, with short legs and long arms much like an ape. They have massive heads which come directly forward on their necks, giving them a stooping appearance. They have tough thick green skin which is highly resistant to pain. Warhammer Orcs aren't very smart, but can be cunning at times. They are extremely warlike and the whole society is geared towards constant warfare. The constant need to fight is the expression of Orc culture, a fact that keeps the Orcs from forming anything but temporary alliances with each other. In combat they can transform even the most common object into a lethal killing instrument. Orcs tend to ally with Goblins (called Gretchin in Warhammer 40,000) and Snotlings, but their alliance is more of a matter of the Orcs bullying their smaller Goblinoid (Orkoid in Warhammer 40,000) cousins into being everything from servants, to Human (Goblin) shields, to an emergency food source. They worship a pair of gods known as Gork and Mork (other gods were included in earlier editions of the game, but are no longer included), one of which is described as brutally cunning, and the other as cunningly brutal, though the orcs themselves do not seem to know which is which.

Warcraft

Statue of a Warcraft Orc riding a wolf mount at BlizzCon 2009.

In the Warcraft computer game series Orcs are depicted as more ethically and socially complex than in most renditions. The great Orcish race is a savage but noble society made of shamanistic and fierce warriors. Their race came from the world of Draenor, and were corrupted by a demonic force known as the Burning Legion, as the Legion saw that they could make a most fierce and savage army. Under the Legion's influence, the Orcish Horde slaughtered the Draenei, who consequently fled from Draenor to escape the Legion, and then were led to the world of Azeroth. After two devastating wars, the Orcs were finally defeated on Azeroth by the Human Alliance and rounded up into internment camps. They remained there until a young Orc named Thrall, who was raised by humans, rallied them together, freed the Horde from their demonic taint, and helped return them to their shamanistic roots.

Warcraft Orcs are humanoid, but prodigiously muscled and green with broad noses and distinctive tusked mouths. Male orcs are significantly larger than humans, around 6 and a half feet tall when standing straight. Females are slightly larger than a human female, and while much more slender than their male counterparts, they are nonetheless well-muscled. Female orcs' tusks are very small to nearly nonexistent, arguably more exaggerated canines than tusks. Orc warriors are characterized by wearing scant armor with horned helmets and wielding axes as weapons. Warcraft is one of the few settings in which Orcs are not inherently evil, and, after significant plot developments in the latest Warcraft games, can even be heroic. One could consider the orcs unfairly treated by humans and not only misunderstood, but vilified. The humans' enmity and prejudice towards the Orcs can be traced back to the first and second invasions, and could be partially justified, as it was orcs under the control of the Burning Legion that invaded. Also, despite the best efforts of reformist orcs like Thrall to usher in an era of peace between humans and orcs, Humankind's suspicions towards the orcs are further exacerbated by the bellicose and expansionist attitudes of portions of orc society, such as the Warsong Outriders who encroach upon the ancestral territories of the Night Elves (allies of the humans).

Their political standpoint in the Warcraft universe is set as the leading race of the Horde, an association of races made to help their mutual survival. Trolls, a similar species in the game, live in the same area as the orcs in World of Warcraft — bringing many similarities between them besides the differences of their origins and body type.

Earthdawn and Shadowrun

In the fantasy role-playing games Earthdawn and Shadowrun, orks are, in contrast to the common fantasy Orc, neither inherently good nor evil. In Earthdawn they have their place among the other name-giving races: humans, dwarfs, elves, obsidimen, t'skrang, trolls, and windlings.

In Shadowrun, orks are just one race among others on Earth in the years past 2011. They emerged during the Unexplained Genetic Expression in the year 2021 as either young humans changed to orks or babies were born as orks from human parents. They are categorized as Homo sapiens robustus, and are considered metahumans, like trolls, elves, and dwarfs. Orks are able to interbreed with humans and fellow metahumans. Despite this, their offspring will be of the race of only one of their parents. No half-breeds exist. They grow much faster than humans, reach maturity at the age of 12, and give birth to a litter of about four children, though six to eight are not uncommon. Their average life-expectancy is about 35 to 40 years. They are physically larger and stronger than humans. Their mental capacities are considered slightly inferior on average to humans, though they are still not as dull as the average troll.

Magic: The Gathering

In the CCG Magic:The Gathering, Orcs are portrayed as generally cowardly warriors who relied extensively on the smaller, less intelligent Goblins when waging warfare. Very few creatures of the "Orc" type were printed, most of which appeared in the Fallen Empires and Ice Age expansion sets. While Orcs were reprinted in more recent core sets, they never appeared in any subsequent expansion sets until Coldsnap. Coldsnap, however, introduces more Orc cards, along with a legendary Orc Shaman: Sek'kuar, Deathkeeper.

Might and Magic

In the Might and Magic franchise, in the Kreegan universe, orcs are variously portrayed as orange, green, or brown. In Heroes of Might and Magic, they are associated with the Barbarian faction.

In Ashan, the orcs are orange, extremely muscular humanoids, created by wizards by fusing demon blood with human flesh for use as shock troops against a demon invasion. In Dark Messiah, a player spends a significant amount of time facing members of the Redskull Clan, a group of orcs living on an island important to the plot. They are led by a shaman (which a conversation between two orcs implies to be a popularly-elected position), and make references to worshiping an unnamed fire goddess. In Tribes of the East, the mainland orcs are modeled after the Mongols, are led by a khan, and worship a personified Father Sky.

Heroscape

In Hasbro's Heroscape line of game products, Orcs come from the pre-historic planet Grut and are thus known as Grut Orcs.[1] They are blue-skinned, with prominent tusks/horns protruding from the chin/cheeks and are slightly smaller than man-sized, except for the elite heavy gruts[2] which are the size of a normal human. Several Orc champions ride prehistoric animals (including a Tyrannosaurus Rex[3], a Velociraptor[4] and saber-tooth tigers known as "Swogs"[5]), indicating that the orcs are accomplished animal tamers.

Elder Scrolls

In Tamriel they are civilized humanoids, noted for their unshakable courage in battle, with large under-teeth protruding from the bottom jaw out from their mouths. One of the taller races of the Elder Scrolls series, they are, contrary to other renditions, not muscle-bound and war-like but still significantly bulkier than most. They are distinguishable by their green skin. The orcs, or Orsimer (meaning the Pariah Folk in the elven tongue), are a strain of descendants of the original elven race. The Orsimeri were followers of the god Trinimac, but transformed from gold-skinned elves to green-skinned orcs when Trinimac transformed into Malacath by the Daedric Prince Boethia. Another unique quality about the Orcs in the Elder Scrolls are that they are talented smiths and excellent rank-and-file soldiers, traits generally given to dwarves in most other versions

Shadowspawn

In the land of Nodothril, orcs are a strong race of savage goblinoid creatures that live in the Venodril Mines. They have adapted specifically to life in the dark caverns, and their eyes are highly sensitive to light. They have a high rate of attack, low intelligence, and their weapon capabilities include hammers, clubs, axes, bows, knifes, and short swords.

Discworld

In Terry Pratchett's Discworld series orcs are a nearly extinct race who were bred/made from men (rather than goblins, as was commonly believed) to be weapons in a great war.

So far only one living orc (by name "Mr. Nutt") has been shown as a character, although it is indicated that others exist in the wilds of far Uberwald.

Mr Nutt was originally kept ignorant of his species due to the brutal reputation and legends of orcs, which reflect the traditional fantasy concept of soulless killers. Mr. Nutt is shown to be not necessarily a "bad" creature, and by extension the species in general is portrayed as a victim of victors' propaganda.

Given the opportunity and guidance it appears they can easily educate themselves, and display a great sense of honesty and morality. However they were originally created as slaves to battle and knew only lives of cruelty and violence, thus giving rise to their fearsome reputation.

Fate

In Fate the video game, Orcs are portrayed as tall creatures of might, similar in concept to Yetis and Ogres. They wear clothes and unlike the other two, are usually armed with a weapon. They are gray-skinned, robust, and have horns protruding from their head, which looks vaguely like that of a Rhino.

See also

References

  1. ^ Parmavilatkayat" volume XII: "Qenya Lexicon Qenya Dictionary"*'Ork' ('orq-') monster, ogre, demon. 'orqindi' ogresse. [The original reading of the second entry was >'orqinan' ogresse.< Perhaps the intended meaning of the earlier form was 'region of ogres'; cf. 'kalimban', 'Hisinan'. "The Poetic and Mythologic Words of Eldarissa" gives 'ork' 'ogre, giant' and 'orqin' 'ogress', which may be a feminine form. ...]"
  2. ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. (1937), Douglas A. Anderson, ed., The Annotated Hobbit, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2002, foreword, ISBN 0-618-13470-0 
  3. ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. (1993), Christopher Tolkien, ed., Morgoth's Ring, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, p. 414, 422, ISBN 0-395-68092-1 
  4. ^ "1066 The Battle for Middle Earth" 2009
  5. ^ Carpenter, Humphrey, ed. (1981), The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, #144, ISBN 0-395-31555-7 
  6. ^ Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings.
  7. ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. (1994), Christopher Tolkien, ed., The War of the Jewels, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, p. 391, ISBN 0-395-71041-3 
  8. ^ http://home.clara.net/andywrobertson/wolfemountains.html Unpublished letter to Gene Wolfe
  9. ^ http://www.sphinx-suche.de/lexmonst/ork.htm (Google translation)
  10. ^ http://www.orkneyjar.com/placenames/orkney.htm
  11. ^ Carpenter, Humphrey, ed. (1981), The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, p. 274, ISBN 0-395-31555-7 

External links


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010
(Redirected to orc article)

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also ORC

Contents

English

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Etymology

Probably from Italian orco. Popularized by J. R. R. Tolkien in The Hobbit.

Pronunciation

Noun

Singular
orc

Plural
orcs

orc (plural orcs)

  1. (fantasy) A monstrous humanoid creature, semi-intelligent and usually aggressive.

Translations

Synonyms

See also

Anagrams








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