the nac mac feegle

In truth, the Nac Mac Feegle believe that the world is such a wonderful place that in order to have gotten into it, they must have been very good in another existence and now have arrived in, as it were, heaven. Of course, they appear to die sometimes, even here, but they like to think of it as going off to be born again. Numerous theologians have speculated that this is a stupid idea, but it is certainly more enjoyable than many other beliefs.
—  Terry Pratchett, I Shall Wear Midnight
Discworld Politics
  • Vetinari: You have two cows. You convince them they will better off with you alive and in control than not.
  • Sam Vimes: You have two cows. They are probably guilty of something. Loitering, probably.
  • Young Sam: Where are your cows? Those goes "baah." Those are sheep. They are not your cows.
  • Moist von Lipwig: You steal two cows. You convince everyone they are made of gold and sell them for a fortune. You get arrested and become Minister of Agriculture.
  • Tiffany Aching: You have two cows. An elf tries to steal them and you hit it with a frying pan.
  • Nac Mac Feegle: Someone has two cows. You steal them, then fight them, then fight yourself. You win.
  • Rincewind: You run away from cows.
  • Unseen University: You have two cows. One is caught up in a magical accident and is now a chair. The other has become a professor.
  • Sybil Ramkin: You have many cows. They aren't dragons, so you don't care. You have 37 dragons.
  • Nanny Ogg: You have a cow and a bull. You enjoy explaining how they will make more cows.
  • Granny Weatherwax: You wish Gytha would stop explaining how you get cows.
  • King Verence: You try to create an economic plan for your country based on bovine products; your people are too busy listening to Nanny Ogg.

Terry Pratchett’s books have been, along with J K Rowling’s, the ones that I have most often and consistently reread since my early teens. I have so much admiration for his work, and his courage and campaigning these last few years. During hard times the Discworld audiobooks helped me, and my sister, too, to ease our churning minds and get some rest, though sometimes they made us laugh too much to fall asleep. 

Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg, Sam Vimes, Carrot and Angua, Tiffany Aching, Gaspode - there are too many beloved characters to name. Thank you Terry Pratchett for giving me so many friends and heroes, and in the sadness of your passing, those last brilliant tweets. What a legend.

I woke up this morning with the urge to post a brief and thoroughly non-exhaustive list of Discworld pun/reference names of varying levels of obscurity that people may or may not have gotten, and HERE IT IS.

  • Vetinari is a play on “Medici,” the extremely powerful Italian political family who inspired Macchiavelli’s “The Prince.”
  • The philosopher Didactylos’s name literally means “two fingers,” which refers to a rude British gesture roughly equivalent to flipping someone off.
  • Death’s manservant Alberto Malich is named after Albertus Magnus.
  • The feuding Ankh-Morpork Selachii and Venturi noble families are named, respectively, for the scientific name for sharks and a part found in jet engines. This is a reference to the feuding Sharks and Jets street gangs in the musical West Side Story, which is itself a retelling of Romeo and Juliet.
  • “Nobby” is a slang term for a policeman. Nobby’s dad, Sconner, gets his name from- well, you know how the Nac Mac Feegle call people “ya wee scunner”? Same word.
  • The guide to nobility Twurp’s Peerage is named after the Roundworld equivalent, Burke’s Peerage.
  • Mrs. Rosemary “Rosie” Palm, head of the Guild of Seamstresses, is named for. Um. Something a bit… rude.
  • All the golems mentioned in Feet of Clay have Yiddish names, and mostly uncomplimentary ones. “Dorfl” means “idiot” and “Meshugah” means “crazy.”
  • The head of the dwarves running the printing press in The Truth is Gunilla Goodmountain, whose surname is a literal translation of “Gutenberg,” the inventor of movable type.
  • The Smoking GNU is a reference to the GNU operating system.
  • Ridcully was introduced in Moving Pictures as “Ridcully the Brown,” as an extended parody of Radagast the Brown from Lord of the Rings.
  • Black Aliss is named for Black Annis, and the god Herne the Hunted is a play on Herne the Hunter.
  • “Greebo” means… well, I’ll quote the Annotated Pratchett File: “'Greebo’ is a word that was widely used in the early seventies to  describe the sort of man who wanders around in oil-covered denim and  leather (with similar long hair) and who settles disagreements with a  motorcycle chain – the sort who would like to be a Hell’s Angel but  doesn’t have enough style.”
  • Nanny Ogg’s house is called “Tir Nanny Ogg,” a play on “Tír na nÓg,” the otherworld in Irish mythology.
  • Miss Treason’s given name, Eumenides, is another name for the Erinyes, Greek goddess of vengeance.
  • Erzulie Gogol’s first name is shared with a Vodou goddess, and “Baron Saturday” is a play on “Baron Samedi.” (EDIT: somebody said it’s actually a straight English translation, which I was not aware of.)
  • Desiderata Hollow, good fairy godmother, has a first name derived from the Latin word for “to wish.”
  • “Lilith de Tempscire”‘s surname is just a French translation of “Weatherwax.”
  • The terrible pun in Casanunda’s name (he’s a dwarf, so he’s UNDA, not OVA) is probably obvious to a lot of people, but it took YEARS for me to notice it, so I’m including it on this list.
  • The old Count de Magpyr’s name is Bela de Magpyr, after, of course, Bela Lugosi. (And Vlad also mentions an aunt Carmilla.)
  • “Djelibeybi,” for those unfamiliar with British sweets or classic Doctor Who, is pronounced identically to “jelly baby.” The country of Hersheba was introduced after many, many Americans failed to get the joke- with limited success, because it’s less immediately recognizable as a play on “Hershey bar.”
  • “Omnian” is a multilingual play on “Catholic.” Omni- is a root meaning “everything,” and “Catholic” originally meant “universal.”
  • Lu-Tze’s name is a play on Laozi/Lao-Tzu/Lao-Tze, founder of Taoism.
  • Dr. Follett, head of the Assassin’s Guild thirty years ago in Night Watch, is named for… author Ken Follett, in exchange for a significant monetary donation to charity.
Whut’s the plan, Rob?“ said one of them.
"Okay, lads, this is what we’ll do. As soon as we see somethin’, we’ll attack it. Right?”
This caused a cheer.
“Ach, ‘tis a good plan,” said Daft Wullie.
—  Terry Pratchett - The Wee Free Men

The shadow reached a flat rock that offered a magnificent view of the fields and wood below, and there the army came out from among the roots. It was made up of very small blue men, some wearing pointy blue caps but most of them with their red hair uncovered. They carried swords. none of them was more than six inches high.
They lined up and looked down into the new place and then, weapons waving, raised a battle cry. It would have been more impressive if they’d all agreed on one before, but as it was it sounded as though every single small warrior had a battle cry of his very own and would fight anyone who tried to take it away from him.
“Nac mac Feegle!”
“Ach, stickit yer trakkans!”
“Gie you sich a kickin’!”
“Dere c’n onlie be whin t’ousand!”
“Nac mac Feegle wha hae!”
“Wha hae yersel, ya boggin!”

– the introduction of the Nac Mac Feegle | Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


Tiffany Aching covers: The Wee Free Men

I’ve been rereading the Tiffany Aching books with two friends and in the course of a Twitter conversation I suddenly decided to round up all of the covers I could find for the series because I wanted to.

This isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list–for one thing I’ve left off all the very slight different translated editions–but if I’m missing a favorite, by all means let me know!

Naturally there are a lot of sheep featured, but what I find fascinating is how much the Nac Mac Feegles are assumed to be the main characters.

A closed door

Sometimes I feel like the adventures are still happening on Discworld. We just can’t see them anymore.
Carrot and Angua just welcomed their daughter, Lilac, into the world.
Young Sam gets lots of attention from his classmates because he knows about dragons and other amazing creatures on the Disc.
Tiffany is still working hard on the Chalke, and the Nac Mac Feegle have been keeping their eyes on the young wee lass she intends to take under her wing.
Susan and her grandad had tea last weekend, it almost felt normal, which concerned Susan, but not enough to skip tea tomorrow.
Rincewind, he feels restless. Narratavium on the disc seems to have stopped making his life hell, and the need to run makes his legs ache, like a storm is coming.
There are no new storms Rincewind.

The turtle moves.

Today I was in town and bought “The Shepherd’s Crown”. The afterword says it’s Terry’s last book, so this will be a somewhat bittersweet experience .. But one I’m really looking forward to!

I have reread the Tiffany Aching series over the past two weeks, and an idea has formed in my mind.

I have been wanting a tattoo since I was sixteen or so, and now I thought that I might get a feegle silhouette with the words “Dree my weird!” underneath - that’s Feegle for “Face the fate that is in store for me”. Since I am prone to overthinking, this might be nice to remind me to be more bold… It’s a big idea right now, and a bit frightening still, but I will let it sit for a while and see what happens. :)

“And they’ll be useful,” Nanny added, lowering her voice. “Fighting’s what they like best.”
“Whist, yon fellaight fra’ aquesbore!”
“Drinkin’s what they like best,” Nanny corrected herself.
“Nae, hoon a scullen!”
“Drinkin’ and fightin’s what they like best,” said Nanny.
“An’ snaflin’ coobeastie.”

– on what the Nac Mac Feegle like best | Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum

anonymous asked:

I don't feel like Izuku would purposely win the Nac Mac Feegles over, I feel like that's one of those things that always happens by accident. Like maybe some bad guy kidnapped a Kelda and Izuku rescued her just because he's Izuku. Nobody had to ask him to. and now there are tiny blue men following him around whether he likes it or not..

…You know this is becoming more and more tempting as an AU.

Also I can totally see Izuku pulling a “Cat Returns” kind of scenario, like he does some random act of kindness and ends up with an army of tiny blue Glaswegians at his back.

A dragon age fic in which Vivienne’s hatred and fear of spirits is outweighed by her need to get Cole into a new wardrobe and better hair and skincare routine, which is also a fic about Cole balefully submitting a makeover because he knows Vivienne is still struggling with her immense grief for Bastian and that she needs a meaningless, weightless project to throw herself into so that she can feel a little more okay, which is also a fic where Vivienne introduces Cole to Orlesian cuisine, which is also the first and only food he has ever eaten, and inadvertently turns him into a surprisingly discerning cheese snob, which is all ultimately a fic about how any sufficiently strong cheese has a consciousness of its own and this is now a discworld fic