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Just finished listening to Magos and there were a few Glossia phrases in there.

I got to thinking then. I remember the other Eisenhorn novels are full of Glossia. Has Abnett ever made a dictionary or a better explanation than he gives in the books about how Glossia works or maybe even glossary or a dictionary?

Thorn - Eisenhorn himself in all the examples

Talon - Ravenor in all exmples

Eagle - Medea

  • Very doubtful, but he gives a very good explanation in the Eisenhorn books. Because of the way Glossia works, it would be very hard to create a dictionary for it I think. It's all about understanding the implication behind the words and phrases, not the literal meanings. – Daft Sep 5 at 13:46
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As @Daft mentioned, no - there is no such dictionary, because this is not a "dictionary" code (as a code where one word can be always represented by another word). Instead, it requires just a little bit of intelligence and thinking in a similar pattern.

For example:

  • Thorn is taken from Eisenhorn's surname (EisenHORN ->Thorn)
  • Talon is a code for RAVENor because a raven has talons
  • "Razor Taurus pathway" (used for requesting support) can be deconstructed as "attack quickly, decisively, draw blood" (razor), "frontal attack, bull charge" (Taurus pathway). Similarly "pattern vulture" means "avoid confrontation, wait for the danger to go away" since vultures avoid predators.

So let's try something like "Rose thorn, by flamelight crescent" (information that Lorse has been killed on mission with Eisenhorn): Lorse was apparently pretty but as an ex-ganger, she would be aggressive, "prickly" - hence "rose" (or, since we know that "thorn" as we know means "Eisenhorn" and rose is usually red, which would then turn this into "red thorn": Eisenhorn has been wounded). Then we have "by flamelight" - flame suggests fire and "fire" can also mean "shooting", so "by flamelight" might mean "by firefight" - something has happened as a consequence of a shooting. Now "crescent" - for me it suggest a waning moon - so a "dying, getting weaker" moon. So the whole sentence can be translated as "Lorse and Eisenhorn under fire, have casualties".

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