True or False: Slaves are NOT allowed to say “Tal” in greeting the Free.
FALSE: “The girls stood straight, proud under the gaze of a warrior. `Tal, Master,’ said many of them, as I rode slowly by.” Tribesmen of Gor
What isn’t appropriate for slaves is the hand gesture that the free use: “Tal,’ I said, lifting my right arm, palm inward, in a common Gorean greeting.” Outlaw of Gor
The reason for this it is thought that this gesture shows peaceful or weaponless intentions. As slaves, we’re always expected to have peaceful intentions so that gesture would be redundant at best.
Hail is also often used by people of expert status or higher rank: “‘Hail, Teibar!’ called another. From the latter manner of greeting, I gathered this Teibar might be excellent with the staff, or sword. Such greetings are usually reserved for recognized experts, or champions, at one thing or another. For example, a skilled Kaissa player is sometimes greeted in such a manner. I studied Teibar. I would have suspected his expertise to be with the sword.” Magicians of Gor
Sometimes even “Ho,” is used: “Ho!” called Petrucchio, weakly, lifting his hand, greeting me. “Greetings,” said Andronicus. “Greetings, fellows,” I said.” Players of Gor
The Tuchuk have their own ritual amongst Free Persons:
“He grinned a Tuchuck grin.’How are the Bosk?’ He asked. ‘As well as may be expected,’ said Kamchak. ‘Are the Quivas sharp?’ ‘One tries to keep them so,’ said Kamchak. ‘It is important to keep the axles of the wagons greased,’ observed Kutaituchik. ‘Yes,’ said Kamchak, ‘I believe so.’ Kutaituchik suddenly reached out and he and Kamchak, laughing, clasped hands.” Nomads of Gor
Typically in Gorean greetings, men addressed men by caste or position (Warrior, Officer, Praetor, Guardsman), by name, or as “Sir”, or sometimes “Master”, but never “Sir (Name)”. They also addressed other Men as “Stranger (which means enemy)”, “Fellow”, “Man of (City)” or “Citizen”. Men addressed Women as “Lady”, or with her name such as “Lady Florence”.
Women addressed Men by caste or position, by name, or as “Sir,” but never as “Sir (Name).” Women addressed other Women by name or position like “Keeper”, or Lady (Name).
“A Gorean slave, incidentally, always addresses free men as “Master” and all free woman as “Mistress.” Captive of Gor
-and never by their title or worse: “Master (Title.)” <-don’t do this!
Gorean Forms of Address
Please note, “Tal” is a greeting; it’s not used to say goodbye. Speaking of farewells…..
True or False: “Winds and Steel,” “Soft/Safe Paths,” and “Serve with fire,” are all common Phrases to say “goodbye.”
“I heard her voice over my shoulder. “I wish you well, Master,” she said.” Priest-Kings of Gor
– Gor is not really a “safe” or “soft” place. It is very Machiavellian in nature and in character. “I wish you well” is the most common way of saying goodbye.
True or False: Most of the language known as Kassar or “Old Gorean” spoken online is completely made up with no references in the books.
TRUE: There are other dialects mentioned in passing, with a few words here or there, but only a handful of Kassar words are mentioned. Some of the made up words are: heilsa, nidan, jashi, fadu, chaq, ahleena, jerag, me’shan, vana’she, avan’shea -NONE of these are BtB.
Speaking of fake words: servery, chillery, and scribery are not in the books either. It’s kitchen, cellar, and library. Also fur(ring) and (to) kennel are not verbs -it’s ok to use harsher language, we’re all adults here!
Also speaking of mis-used words:
~Ko-lar: usually used as an alternate spelling of collar. There is no support of this -in fact the book passage it is found in is meant to show that the pronunciation is the same exact word.
~Urth: usually used as an alternate spelling of Earth -never found in the books.
~Rask: usually used as an alternate spelling for a girl’s ass. The man who’s name is taken from might find that amusing but then again, maybe not!
~Ai: usually to mean “yes.” However, in the books, it’s more of an exclamation.
~Home Stone: please note this is always two words, and always capitalized.
~Thassa: the sea is always referred to as Thassa, always capitalized. Never “the” Thassa; she’s a living thing to Goreans, and therefore that is her name.
~black wine: spellings blackwine and blackwyne are both wrong. Black wine is two words.
~Greens: usually in reference to Physicians. They are never called “greens” in the books, always Physician.
True or False: There are four types of Gorean sugar.
TRUE: “Lola now returned to the small table and, kneeling, head down, served us our dessert; slices of tospit, sprinkled with four Gorean sugars.” Rogue of Gor
That said, ONLY yellow and white are mentioned specifically -RED Sugar is NEVER mentioned specifically as one of the colors:
“She carried a tray, on which were various spoons and sugars. She knelt, placing her tray upon the table. With a tiny spoon, its tip no more than a tenth of a hort in diameter, she placed four measures of white sugar, and six of yellow, in the cup; with two stirring spoons, one for the white sugar, another for the yellow, she stirred the beverage after each measure.” Tribesmen of Gor
Remember it is SALT that comes in red, white, and yellow. It’s sugar that is JUST yellow and white, though there is the allusion to four types. Yes, there is molasses though.
True or False: Slaves may NEVER speak the name of the Free.
FALSE: “Slave girls, of course, may speak the name of their masters to others, for example, as in locutions such as, “I am the girl of Calliodorus of Port Cos,” or “I come from the house of Colliodorus.” It is only that they are seldom, in addressing the master himself, permitted to use his name. He is usually addressed simply as “Master,” or as “my Master.” Guardsman of Gor
True or False: Slaves can never touch money.
FALSE: Slaves were allowed to touch money, usually with permission but not always; they had better have an explanation on where they got it if they are found with it though:
“What do you have there, in your hand?” he asked. She clutched the tarsk more tightly. “Open your hand,” said the leader. She opened her hand, revealing the silver tarsk. He walked to her and removed it from her hand. “Have you been permitted to touch money?” he asked. “We could always check with her master,” suggested a fellow.” Dancer of Gor
True or False: Slaves may NEVER touch weapons.
Trick question! Several times in the books slaves are directed to touch weapons under supervision or during their tasks, or if they are a guard slave. SOME cities, depending on the area, consider it a crime for a slave to even touch a weapon.
“It can be a capital offense on Gor, incidentally, for a slave to so much as touch a weapon.” Mercenaries of Gor
Please note, kitchen knives, shaving implements, or sharp items used for chores are not typically considered weapons.
In some cities slaves can touch weapons as a guard slave: “Too, a free person on Gor is almost never in any danger from a slave unless it be a guard slave, and he is attacking its master.” Kajira of Gor
True or False: There are mugs on Gor.
“Menon turned about, a bit. I took him to be noting the place, across the table, with its dish and mug, where the free woman had been sitting.” Conspirators of Gor
True or False: Sometimes, Free Women were allowed in taverns.
“In most paga taverns,” he said, “free women are not permitted. In some they are.” Kajira of Gor
That said, most would not go into one even if they were allowed or with an escort. While we’re on the subject of Free Women:
~Face Stripping: This commonly wasn’t done. Especially by men of her own Home Stone:
“Face-stripping a free woman, against her will, can be a serious crime on Gor. ” Kajira of Gor
It generally takes a Magistrate and the woman to behave in a questionable fashion to reduce her to slavery in her own Home Stone. Of course the statements “La kajira” or “I am a slavegirl,” makes it then a gesture of submission to which she is subject to immediate slavery.
~Freedom: There is the general thought that once a woman is enslaved, she can never be freed. This is especially thought of for pierced-ear girls. This quote however, says differently:
“A girl with pierced ears is, of course, either a slave or a former slave. If she is a former slave, her papers of manumission had best be in perfect order.”
So we can see that slaves can be freed again, even pierced ear girls. That said, however it does go on to say that,
“More than one freed woman, because of pierced ears, has found herself again on the block, again reduced by strong men to the helpless state of bondage. Such a woman is usually, by intent, sold away from her city, delivered for a pittance to a foreign buyer.” Slavegirl of Gor
-So best keep them covered ladies!
Slaves & Serves
There are a lot of things done with serves from the days of IRC Gor that added a lot of ‘steps” (Usually 14, 10, or 7) to give the slaves something to type about. These are some left over remnants of serves that have no real basis in the books. Hopefully by now you have not heard of some, but it’s likely you have.
~Karta/Begging to enter: Karta is a made up position that was used in IRC days to beg permission to enter the ‘room’ or ‘channel’ they were in. This was a text-based environment so many such things were invented to differentiate slaves from Free. (One of these being an uncapped nickname for slaves -which is technically incorrect given that names are proper nouns and should be capitalized.)
Karta does not exist in the books under that name, but often times obeisance is described in its stead, which does exist. In the books, a slave says she is taught one hundred and four ways to enter the room during the course of her pleasure slave training. She adds another when the Master suggests “walking straight through.” Sula-ki, She-sleen, and Table are also on the list of non-BtB positions; though some are described they do not have those names.
While we’re on the topic of made up IRC conversions: ‘greeting order’ is also not a BtB thing, though still often taught, even though in character, most slaves would not know a Free Person’s caste, title, or position for the most part – nor is it really their business to know. We please all free, though and if any of this is commanded, we are expected to obey.
~Nadu: Some people believe that nadu is always with palms up (given that most standard animations have it this way.) This is actually incorrect -standard nadu is palms down:
““Come now, my pretty slaves” said Ginger. “kneel straight. Back straight, heads up. Back on your heels there!. Spread those pretty knees. Yes, that is the way men like it. Put your hands, palms down, on your thighs. Good. Good. Excellent!”” Savages of Gor
That said, a slave can show her palms to express herself such as vulnerability, submission and readiness to a Master -in one quote the Master glares at her until she assumes the proper position of palms down, but palms up can signal a slave’s desire to the man she is with:
“I saw a tiny movement in her hands, on her thighs, as though she would turn them, exposing the palms to me, but then she pressed them down on her thighs, hard.” Explorers of Gor
For trivia’s sake, “nadu” actually just means a command to “kneel” in Gorean. There is a variation in Thentis:
” The hands of the Pleasure Slave normally rest upon her thighs but, in some cities, for example Thentis, I believe, they are crossed behind her.” Outlaw of Gor
~Begging for use: There is a thought that a slave could never express her desire to be touched or used, and must only convey her need in silent symbols or signals. While there are many silent gestures in this manner, it’s also a fact that she can approach a master and beg for her use (and even for love):
“She backed away a bit and then, on her belly, crawled to me. She timidly pulled back the furs and pressed her lips to my thigh. Her lips were soft and wet. She looked up at me, tears in her eyes. “I crawl to my master on my belly,” she said, “and beg for his touch.” I smiled. I, a guest in the tent, now stood to her, of course, as master. Such girls come with the price of the lodging. “Please, Master,” she wept, “take pity on me. Take pity on the miserable needs of a girl.” I threw off the furs, and motioned her to my arms. She crept into them, sobbing.” Beasts of Gor
~White, yellow, & red silks to denote ‘training’ levels: Back in the days of IRC, kajirae trained for many years to reach various levels from white to red, or even beyond. This is not a BtB formula though, where in the books slaves are not required to wear any type of silk color to denote status -they were merely terms to denote virginity:
“The expression “red silk,” in Gorean, tends to be used as a category in slaving, and also, outside the slaving context, as an expression in vulgar discourse, indicating that the woman is no longer a virgin, or, as the Goreans say, at least vulgarly of slaves, that her body has been opened by men. Its contrasting term is “white silk,” usually used of slaves who are still virgins, or, equivalently, slaves whose bodies have not yet been opened by men.” Blood Brothers of Gor
~Third Person Speech: Most of the time, slaves spoke in first person in the books. Mandatory third person speech was usually reserved for times when told to “Speak as a slave!” to remind a slave of their place, or during training when they are being conditioned to understand that they are no longer their own person -not even entitled to a name. It is especially smart for slaves use third person speech at appropriate times, such as begging or asking for something. Speaking in third person constantly is an online-ism.
~Slaves begging mercy and/or forgiveness: There was a thought that slaves could not beg for forgiveness, only mercy. The books show us that they could beg for both:
“Do you bargain?” I asked. “No, Master,” she cried. “No, Master! Forgive me, Master! Please forgive me, Master!” Fighting Slave of Gor
“Show me mercy,” she begged.” Beasts of Gor
~Slaves & Eye Contact: Eye contact is a tricky subject on Gor. It’s usually wise for a slave to not look a Free Person in the eye unless commanded, however some Free prefer it. Both ways are actually supported by the books, usually for psychological reasons:
“Sometimes in training, incidentally, or as a discipline or punishment, the slave is not permitted to look into the eyes of the master. Indeed, sometimes, in training, she is not permitted to raise her eyes above the belt of the trainer…..also, many slaves find it difficult to look into the eyes of the master. He, after all, holds total power over them and they fear to displease him. What if he should interpret her gaze as suggesting the least insubordination or insolence?….But there is on Gor no discouragement, commonly, of eye contact between masters and slaves. Indeed, in the deep and profound relationships of love and bondage, such eye contact is usually welcomed and encouraged.” Savages of Gor
~Taking three steps back: On IRC taking three steps back was invented so slaves would “not turn their back to the free” which is a tactical impossibility to pull off at all times. ‘Turning your back to the free’ is not a thing on Gor as it is for the Romans, nor is it considered rude or impertinent if a slave was positioned to face her Master and away from others. Clearly a slave would use common sense and attempt not to be rude, however, they would never twist themselves around or constantly move or adjust position to avoid it either. As such, taking three steps back before turning to go to the kitchen doesn’t exist in the books.
~Testing the rim on skin to ensure it’s safety: There is absolutely no mention of this in the books. In fact would likely be considered bad form on the part of the beast doing so.
~Slaves pressing the rim to their pussies to sweeten it: As you can probably imagine, if testing the rim against our skin is considered barbaric and rude -pressing it to our pussy to ‘sweeten’ the rim is also completely unheard of BtB.
~Holding the vessel to her heart to ‘pray’/pause three beats of the heart before offering: There are no known instances of slaves praying or offering up prayers. They are not even allowed inside temples as it is thought they would defile them. Holding the vessel to a slave’s heart for three beats is another IRC invented online-ism. Holding it to your belly briefly prior to kissing the side has book references:
“‘Press the cup to your belly,’ I told her. She did so. She then held it there, in both hands.” Explorers of Gor
~Kissing the rim: Naturally you can probably start to guess that kissing the rim was a very rare occurrence as well. Kissing the side of the cup, however has dozens upon dozens of references in many different books:
“One of the men lifted his cup and I hurried to him. I took the cup and filled it. (…) then I pressed my lips to his cup as I must, as a slave girl, and handed it to him.” Slave Girl of Gor
~Tasting the drink for safety: There is no mention of this in the books; in fact quite the opposite:
“`Why do you not drink? I asked her. `A girl does not drink before her master,’ she said. `I see that you are not totally stupid,’ I said. `Thank you, Master,’ she said.” Guardsmen of Gor
~Assassins get special serves: On IRC, slaves were taught a specialized method of serving those of the assassin Caste that has absolutely no basis in the books. Most slaves probably would not be able to ascertain a man’s caste unless he wore the dagger, and even then, most slaves like most free would seek to avoid said assassin. If called to serve, however he is served like any other free.
Most view Assassins in the books as follows: Innkeepers and Shopkeepers will tolerate their presence and do business with them, all be it reluctantly. Regular citizens (especially Free Women) do not approach, challenge, question, flirt with, sit with or otherwise interact with Assassins. Regular citizens are fearful of and avoid Assassins. Citizens who behave otherwise might arouse the suspicion of the Warriors as spies for Assassins.
~The Body Serve: The act of pouring wine or any drink down your nude body so that the drink pours down your breasts and from your pussy lips into the drinking vessel is a complete online-ism.
~Bazi Tea Ceremony: On IRC, a ceremony was invented to be an intricate serve involving many cups and various offerings to denote different phases of the Free Person’s life, much like a Japanese tea ceremony. This is of course completely made up. Tea is served per usual, sometimes heavily sugared and in three cups at a time, but that is not always the case. Defer to the Free’s preference on this as both single up and three cup versions are in the books. The three cup version tends to be a Tahari region preference.
~Ka-la-na in Silver: There was a thought going around once that if Ka-la-na is served in a silver vessel it would render it poisonous. This quote shows that that thought is pure nonsense:
“I do not wish to come home with you now,” she said, lightly, a bit of Ka-la-na spilling from the silver goblet she held. At a gesture from Kliomenes, who sat, cross-legged, beside her, a half-naked paga slave, whose left ankle was belled, refilled Miss Henderson’s cup.” Rouge of Gor
Still the lower castes are superstitious and might actually believe that it does, even if it holds no bearing in reality.