the nac mac feegle

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.

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’!”
“Bigjobs!”
“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

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.

okay, so rob anybody has a daughter, right? and i think her name is maggie? she’s mentioned briefly in hat full of sky and the shepard’s crown, iirc. and i have this headcanon burning a hole in my brain about her and it just refuses to get drawn, so have a ramble, kids.
hokay! so we know female pictsies are kinda rare, and that they must move out of their mound at a certain age and start their own clan with some of their brothers, cos you can’t have two keldas in one mound, two queens in one hive, etc.
but like. maggie anybody doesn’t want to be a kelda. she doesn’t want to know the hiddlins, she doesn’t want to have a bunch of kids, she doesn’t want to be hidden away underground her whole life and never get to see the sun again unless something goes horribly wrong.
maggie wants to fight. she wants to fight with her brothers and fathers and uncles, and tie feathers and braids in her long hair and beard, maybe someday get herself a rabbit skull helmet like her dad. some of the pictsies think okay, maggie’s a boy then. no worries, this happens, female children are rare but not unheard of.
but- no. maggie is very sure she’s a girl. okay, her family says, then you’re a kelda. no, maggie says, i am a girl and i am a warrior and i am not a kelda. rob won’t let her get the clan’s tattoos (bc iirc keldas don’t get tattoos or at least they don’t get blue ones? i remember the old kelda before jeanie being described specifically as nut brown rather than blue) and she argues with him and yells and glares but! she does not fold her arms. she does not tap her foot. she does not use any of the tried-and-true Kelda/Hag Methods of Feegle Control. she fights like a warrior. one is not less than the other, one is what she chooses over the other, and she makes it very very clear.
so finally rob gives in, cos she got the stubborness of her father AND her mother, and woe betide anyone who stands in her way. maggie anybody feegle grins through the whole process of getting her tattoos, refuses to shave, refuses to cover her chest (cos then she’d cover the seriously wicked bird right on her sternum) and, of course, runs off to show the hag of the hills what she’s accomplished. tiffany approves.

7

There’s no back story worth telling. I found Sculpy, and I made a Feegle maquette. Of course I did.

You can read this in a Soothby’s auctioneer voice, if it makes you happy:

This life-sized (5.5 in, not including the hair) Rob Anybody statuette is constructed of antique Sculpy – dated to at least 2003 and amazingly still malleable – tin foil, and paperclips. The hair was selected after an extensive deliberation over whether it was preferable to use yarn that was technically brick red, or full of sparkly bits. The sparkly bits yarn won on the grounds that what the fuck ever, he’s from Fairy Land. While the sheath is in place on his back, the claymore itself is missing from the right hand because it tips the whole thing over. The artist has so far resisted the urge to glue a dead beetle in his hair, but who knows.

Crivens.

9

Alternatively:

Lawful Good: Mr. Nutt/ Brutha/ Susan Sto Helit/ Carrot/ Granny Weatherwax
Lawful Neutral: Ponder Stibbons/ The Librarian/ Rufus Drumknott/ *Death/ Lady Margolotta
Lawful Evil: Lord Hong/ The Queen/ Dee/ Mr. Slant
Neutral Good: Tiffany Aching/ Otto Chriek/ *Death
True Neutral: *Death/ Cohen the Barbarian/ The Bursar/ Sacharissa Cripslock/ *Fred Colon/ Havelock Vetinari
Neutral Evil: *Greebo/ *Teatime/ Alice Weatherwax/  *Fred Colon
Chaotic Good: Nac Mac Feegles/ Teppic/ Maurice/ *William de Worde/ Mustrum Ridcully
Chaotic Neutral: Nobby Nobbs/ Mort/ *Greebo
Chaotic Evil: *Teatime/ *Greebo

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.