Index / Last update: May 2002
My attempt to translate the unusual words from Carl Muckenhoupt’s game The Gostak into English. Note that there is no “correct translation”; everyone who plays the game will visualize and interpret things differently. That’s how it should be. The Gostak was entered in the 7th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (it placed 21st out of 52 entries), and is copyright 2001 by Carl Muckenhoupt.
— David Welbourn
abvate v. show, reveal : [The shamtag] skobes itself, abvating a pogrifon. // The droke abvates rorm.
-age suffix that which is, or has been ~ed [see: drokage, malkage, raskage, tophthage, tunkage, zankage]
bal (b) yes (y)
banch n. eye : Just tunding it rikes your banches. // She vorls her banches.
beckle v. shake? quiver? vibrate? : [The duscat's] beckling kirf and jirf. // You beckle like a duscat. The duscat beckles even more durly. // The poltive glaud beckles in the loff lutt. // The gheliper rebs your shamtag and beckles durly! // "That's... that's unheamy." But she beckles.
bewl n. home of the gostaks (city? building?)
blide adj. fully-charged? fully-inflated? [that which has been gasked fully]
boltep v. peel, strip : You boltep a palgic darf, and its calbice smibs into the brangy. It's now a footch darf.
bommly adv. off : to rike a coyd bommly
brangy n. ground, floor, down
brimny adj. ? [one of the coyds. Is brimny a specific color or shape?]
brenze n. ? : [The doshery] gombs to the brenze.
brolges n. hints
calbice n. shell? coating? armor? wrapper? icing?
camling n. minute; gameturn
chalm n. sign? : There's a musny on the chalm: "NO GASKING"
chender n. receptacle
clarby adj. ? [one of the coyds. Is clarby a specific color or shape?]
Cobbics n. a specific group of people that make panks and henfifes, are fond of poskot and calbices, and live in the nearby dorl. (Are they a race? tribe? species? cult? profession?)
contail v. study? pray? work? : This is the morleon where the drokes contail
coyd n. switch? dial?
cren v. lodge, stick in (something that glauds do)
curple bridge? tunnel? : curple of a morleon
da (d) no (n)
dape v. verb
darf n. some type of solid manufactured food (eg: cookie? sandwich? sausage?)
dass adj. bad? wrong? malfunctioning? : six nayfes of jenth, all dass and tavid // You lello [the stike] for a camling, but it just skobes itself again. It must be dass. // She was the gopest gheliper I've ever rebbed, and dass, too. // The doshes tunk you dass.
deave 1. n. location, room. 2. v. reside, stay. 3. adv. in place, moving about without leaving.
dedge n. command, statement, sentence
deek n. tooth?, ear?, wing? : Rasking [the gitch], you can reb its deeks. They're loddled, so it's a loddle-deeked gitch. // The gheliper disnarbs her deeks and vorls the doshes.
degomb v. leave, ie: "un-enter"
delcot n. courtyard? [place where birds fly and duscats attack]
dis- prefix opposite of
disbosh n. response : doatch at gitches about gitches / There is no disbosh.
discren v. dislodge, unstick from
disengope v. abbreviate [literally: unenlarge]
disgask v. discharge? deflate? [to un-gask, to no longer be blide]
dislello v. unclose, ie: open [syn.: skobe]
disnarb v. disrobe? unfold?
disrask v. untake, ie: drop [syn: pob]
distim v. imbue creature with light
distunk v. ignore
doatch v. say, talk | doatch at ask, tell : doatch at droke about darf
dobbly adj. pretty?, attractive?, nice? : The fostin is far too dobbly for the morleon, but then, that's why it's a fostin. // Poskot is not as dobbly as sindish. // It's a dobbly pogrifon of sindish and koldgeon.
dorl n. home of the Cobbics : "[The dorl's] motched with poskot. That's why the Cobbics deave there: for the poskot. They tund henfifes with it."
dosh n. baby? child? [creature that needs to be imbued with light]
doshery n. nursery? school? for doshes [also the "fesh of the bewl"]
droke n. sage, ie: someone whose task is to talk
drokage n. advice, verbal assistance
dugrid n. mouth? compartment? : [The shamtag's] dugrid is lelloed.
dunmile adj. crazed? maddened? insane?
durch v. touch? kiss? push? : >durch cobbic glaud / It durches you back.
durly adv. strongly : You zank it durly. It smibs into the brangy. // The duscat beckles even more durly. // You malk it stinly. It malks you back more durly.
duscat n. some type of creature : "So that's what's been glaking drokes in the morleon. [The duscat] must have been volded from the delcot by the gheliper."
falliger n. ? : Darfs of jenth are scurm! It's a wainted falliger. // "Like the morleon. That's what darfs of jenth are."
fargish v. give : "I'll fargish it at its droke and doatch at him about you."
fesh n. task, purpose, role : "I'm a droke; my fesh is doatching. But you're a gostak. Your fesh is tophthage and distimming. Distimming the doshes."
feshary n. library
fetticle n. comma
flome v. intr. flash? sneeze? cough? fart? ring? yell?: You flome stinly. // The naft of loddle-deeked gitches are volded by the floming and pell deave.
foll n. mark? blessing? imprint? : A glaud with folls of the Cobbics is a scurm thing.
footch n./adj. [type of darf]
fosk (f) n. up (u), ceiling
fosken adv. upwards
fostin n. closet?, storeroom?
frike v. fly : gitches frike out to zank warbs / [the gheliper] frikes fosken
gamda n. someone that can create ghelipers, and imbue areas with darkness.
gask v. charge? inflate? : You can't gask something politive. // You gask it until it's blide, but it disgasks. // You can't gask [the cobbic glaud] through the calbice.
gemmly adv. on : to rike a coyd gemmly
gharmy adj./adv. unpleasant(ly)? unhappy(ily)? : [The footch darf's] gharmy with footch. // The droke tunks you gharmy. // [The doshes are] all gharmy and wass to be distimmed.
gheliper n. guardian? nurse? [created by a gamda to guard the doshes and create wards to stop anyone from entering the doshery. She can fly.]
gitch n. bird
glake v. attack
glaud n. ward, seal, type of barrier : A juffetless glaud is no glaud at all.
gnurr v. win, triumph, succeed : *** You have gnurred ***
goaves n. claws? teeth? : The pank malked the jenth with its goaves.
gomb v. enter
gomway n. path? road? garden?
gope adj. big, large
gostak n. person who "distims the doshes"
gropple n. grape?, berry? [food item grown on the gomway's ceiling] : The pilter leils a gropple
gurr prep. against?, near? : [The droke] just deaves gurr the loff lutt, doatching at himself.
halpock n. game
heam n. use : Is there heam or fesh in that?
heamy adj. useful, interesting
henfife n. something that the Cobbics make with poskot, and that gasks : Ever tunked a gasking henfife? Those henfifes sure can gask things.
hoff (h) west (w)
hoggam n. nest?
hosh adj. ? [unheamy type of darf]
jallon n. menu, helpmenu
jeddy n./adj. [red? plastic? pearl? new? etc] : It's a jeddy-paided darftunder.
jenth n./adj. some kind of hard material (stone? steel? quartz? diamond?): "Ah, jenth. It can't be durched, or zanked, or skobed. But I once rebbed a pank in a sitch of jenth. The pank malked the jenth with its goaves, and it just pobbed from where it was crenned."
jihoff (jh) southwest (sw)
jiloff (jl) southeast (se)
jirf (j) south (s)
juffet n. heart? brain? battery? : "[The juffet's] as tavid as jenth. Just tunding it rikes your banches.
jurmy adj. ? : [The gomway] is a jurmy deave, but not as jurmy as the morleon.
kihoff (kh) northwest (nw)
kiloff (kl) northeast (ne)
kirf (k) north (n)
koldgeon n. ? [edible material that's hard on the eyes. Shamtag juffets should have lots of koldgeon to be effective.] : It's a dobbly pogrifon of sindish and koldgeon. // There's koldgeon in some of the darfs.
leil v. eat
lello v. close
loddle v. ? : [The gitch's deeks are] loddled, so it's a loddle-deeked gitch. // "Loddled, is it? It's been many camlings since the gitches of tondam have been loddle-deeked. That'll be the gheliper's doing.
loff (l) east (e)
lonn n. knight?
louk v. type, as on a computer keyboard; display using type, as on a computer screen
lurpid adj. typical? common? : A lurpid warb of the brangy.
lutt n. wall; direction
malk v. scratch? : Your gitch malks you. // You malk it stinly.
malkage n. that which has been malked : The pilter malks it with its goaves and leils the malkage.
martle adj. little? cute? : All my martle doshes!
mavrous adj. ? : pilters are almost as mavrous as panks // [The doshery's] far more mavrous than the bewl, and gombs to the brenze.
milm (m) n. inventory (i)
misdeave n. mischief? mad-scheme? : But at least the gheliper's misdeave is skent.
morleon n. church? [a place in the tondam whose walls and ceiling are sindish]
mosky adj. quiet? still? : It's mosky in the delcot.
motch v. fill : The dorl's motched with poskot.
murgous n. dangerous? sharp? wicked? strong? : A mavrous pilter with murgous goaves. // The shamtag flomes durly, with murgous skades! // "No skades from the bewl are as murgous as mine."
musny n. message, inscription
naft n. flock, grouping : a naft of glitchs
narb v. wear? fold?
nayfe n. layer? type? inch? : six nayfes of jenth
nurl v. mutter (close synonym for doatch; you can nurl at someone about something, or just nurl.)
osta adj. previous, last
paid v. paint? color? encrust? plate? wax? tile? : The fosk and lutts are all of paided sindish. // It's a jeddy-paided darftunder.
palgic adj. ? [type of darf]
pank n. animal made by Cobbics : The pank malked the jenth with its goaves. // "Murgous goaves, those panks rask. They can malk sindish or boltep the calbice off a lonn."
pell v. go | pell at go to
pilter n. ? [hungry animal with strong claws or teeth] : A mavrous pilter with murgous goaves.
plave n. ? [kind of animal] : A duscat or a plave can't rask things.
plazzy adj. next
pob v. drop, put, throw [syn.: disrask]
pod adj. loud
pogrifon n. ? [Made of sindish and koldgeon. Since sindish is what the morleon's walls and ceiling are made of, and koldgeon is edible and hurts to look at, a pogrifon is something rather odd by our standards, like marble-and-marmalade, chocolate-and-gold, or drywall-and-cheese. The gostak's pogrifon may be nice to look at, but weak for its apparent purpose, ie: as the heart of the gostak's skade-maker (shamtag). Since almost anything can serve as the heart, maybe the word 'pogrifon' might have nothing to do with shamtags or skades, and could merely refer to its shape, eg: sphere or cylinder.]
poltive adj. animate, alive, ie: is a living creature
poskot n. type of material which the Cobbics use to make henfifes. Also, the Cobbic glaud is filled with poskot. : "[Poskot is] not as tavid as jenth or as dobbly as sindish, but the Cobbics are stam of it. The dorl is motched with it."
rask v. take, possess, hold, get, carry
raskable adj. takeable
raskage n. possessions or contents, ie: that which is being carried or held
reb (r) v. look (l); see
reeg n. tool or specific type of tool (welder?)
reggle v. unlock
reggler n. key
regomb v. reenter, return
renzes n. senses? defences? scales? : her renzes snave, unzankable
rike v. switch, change a setting | rike it gemmly switch it on | rike it bommly switch it off
roggle v. lock
roggler n. lock
rorm adj. wonderful?, sweet? : How rorm it would be to pell back to the bewl. // The tarshen darf is rorm. // The droke abvates rorm.
samilen n. kitchen? cafeteria? [room of the tondam]
scurm adj. awful? horrible? evil? : A glaud with folls of the Cobbics is a scurm thing. // Darfs of jenth are scurm!
shamtag n. 'skade'-maker [Container (only one item at a time). Turns on and off. "Flomes when you durch it." It's original heart is a 'pogrifon'. Hearts with lots of 'koldgeon' or emitting light create strong skades.] : "Ooh, a shamtag! Is that all that the bewl pobs at its gostaks? Can it even tund skades?"
shebtak n. ? [food item, eg: cheese] : There's shebtak in some of the darfs.
shinkod adj. sacred? : Shinkod to all gostaks, and fesh of the bewl.
shoracle adj. fixed in place, attached : [The coyd] seems to be shoracle to the darftunder.
skebbic adj. ? [type of darf]
skobe v. open [syn: dislello]
sharmy adj. handsome? : a snave and sharmy shamtag
sitch n. patch? field? vein? outcropping? : a sitch of jenth
skade n. flame? flare? odor? noise? song? : With the right juffet, you can durch skades from your shamtag. // The shamtag flomes durly, with skades of the gheliper!
skent adj. foiled? ended? undone? : But at least the gheliper's misdeave is skent.
smarch v. smirk? laugh? : The gheliper smarches. "No skades? Some gostak you are."
smib v. dissolve?, discorporate?, melt? : You zank it. It smibs into the brangy. // You'll smib when you're zanked, and not before.
snave adj. good? clever? smart? great? sharp? bright? : The whomm ones [darfs] are even snaver. // Well, aren't you snave! // a snave and sharmy shamtag // Being malked by a gitch isn't snave, but being malked by a naft of them is.
stam 1. adj. fond : the Cobbics are stam of poskot // Those Cobbics aren't stam of their glauds. 2. n. enjoyment : Tunking brolges can glake your stam of the halpock.
statch v. gild?, weld? : You rask no statching reegs to statch with.
stike n. door? fence?
stin adj. weak, dim
stottily adv. erratically? noisily? : The shamtag flomes stottily, as if the glaud in its dugrid were vorling its juffet.
suddy adj. ? [type of darf edible by animals like plaves, panks, or pilters, but poisonous to gostaks]
tandry adj. strong? hardy? heavy? : Even untophthed, the duscat is tandrier than you.
tarshen adj. ? [nice type of darf, eg: roast beef]
tavid adj. hard
tavidlouker n. printer (literally: hardtyper)
thale adj. empty : The chender is thale.
tim v. imbue with darkness (opposite of distim)
tobrit n. weapon?, sword?
tondam n. ? [setting of the game as a whole, eg: school, hospital, monastery]: "Well, there's a delcot and a morleon. And until the gamda tophthed the morleon, there were drokes."
tophth v. imbue with darkness : Gostaks distim, not tophth.
tophthage n. darkness, ie: that which has been darkened
tund v. make, create
tunder n. maker, eg: a darftunder makes darfs
tunk (t) v. examine (x)
tunkage n. examinables, ie: that which can be examined
tunsel adj. nice? happy? : Everything was so rorm, so tunsel,...
unheamy adj. useless, uninteresting
unleilable adj. inedible
vold v. frighten? repel? : You can't vold yourself! // [The duscat] must have been volded from the delcot by the gheliper. // The gheliper is volded by her own skades!
vorl v. guard, protect : At least [the raskable glaud] can vorl the doshery from the gitches. // Vorling is the fesh of ghelipers. // The gheliper deaves gurr the doshes, vorling them. // Since the gheliper is vorling them, the gheliper is distimmed instead.
waint v. ? : Darfs of jenth are scurm! It's a wainted falliger.
warb n. worm : A warb degombs the brangy. // Your gitch zanks and leils your warb.
wass adj. eager? needful? : [The doshes are] wass to be distimmed. Pell at the doshery! This is your fesh!
whomm adj. [best type of darf, like a dagwood sandwich, or a pizza with "the works"] : Snave, very snave. There's so much koldgeon in this darf, you can't tunk it for more than a camling.
xyzzy v. ? : You xyzzy deave, unheamily.
zank v. kill : You can't zank what isn't poltive. // You wouldn't zank a droke. // *** You have been zanked ***
zankage n. violence : Zankage isn't the answer to this one.
zarf v. ? : How can I zarf you? There is nothing to zarf.
zoncha (z) v. wait (z)
Index / davidwelbourn(a)hotmail*com / last update: Oct 25, 2007.