See also: ORC and Orc

English

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Alternative forms

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Pronunciation

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Etymology 1

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From Middle French orque, Italian orca, and their source, Latin orca (type of whale). Doublet of orca.

Noun

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orc (plural orcs)

  1. (archaic) Any of several large, ferocious sea creatures, now especially the killer whale. [from 16th c.]
Translations
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Etymology 2

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Savage orc

Probably from Italian orco (man-eating giant); later revived by J. R. R. Tolkien, partly after Old English orc, which he took to mean "demon". Both are from Latin Orcus (the underworld; the god Pluto). Doublet of ogre.

Sense 2 is a semantic loan from Ukrainian орк (ork, evil monstrous humanoid creature; orc) or Russian орк (ork), both from the English word and possibly under the influence of Russian у́рка (úrka, prison slang for 'criminal'). Popularized in English in 2022, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Noun

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orc (plural orcs)

  1. (fantasy, mythology) A mythical evil monstrous humanoid creature, usually quite aggressive and often green. [from 17th c.]
    Hypernym: greenskin
    • 1656, Samuel Holland, Don Zara del Fogo, I.1:
      Who at one stroke didst pare away three heads from off the shoulders of an Orke, begotten by an Incubus.
    • 1834, "The National Fairy Mythology of England" in Fraser's Magazine for Town and Country, Vol. 10, p. 53:
      The chief exploit of the hero, Beowulf the Great, is the destruction of the two monsters Grendel and his mother; both like most of the evil beings in the old times, dwellers in the fens and the waters; and both, moreover, as some Christian bard has taken care to inform us, of "Cain's kin," as were also the eotens, and the elves, and the orcs (eótenas, and ylfe, and orcneas).
    • 1954, JRR Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring:
      There was a flash like flame and the helm burst asunder. The orc fell with cloven head.
  2. (slang, derogatory) A Russian soldier or gangster. Sometimes considered an ethnic slur for Russians.
    • 2015, Andrew Wilson, The Ukrainians: Unexpected Nation, page 354:
      Ukrainians themselves, including those on the right, preferred to call the events the 'Revolution of Dignity', depicted not in terms of ethnicity or class, but in simple civic black and white – a revolution of the people against Yanukovych's 'Mordor' and his 'Orcs'.
    • 2022 March 1, Bruno Maçães, “Europe’s Illusion of Peace Has Been Irrevocably Shattered”, in Time:
      And now we must watch the old world go up in flames, in the mad spectacle of Putin’s orcs descending upon Kyiv to execute his macabre plan.
    • 2022 July 25, Michael Wasiura, “Belarusian Exiles Join Ukrainians in Taking Up Arms Against Russia”, in Newsweek[2], retrieved 2022-07-25:
      Plenty of Belarusian exiles have gone to Europe, but if you run West, then the Orcs [a Ukrainian slang term for "Russian soldiers"] will just follow you there. It's better to risk your life as a free person than to keep running.
    • For more quotations using this term, see Citations:orc.
  3. (slang, derogatory, offensive, ethnic slur, Internet slang, by extension) A Russian person.
Derived terms
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Descendants
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Some listed may be semantic loans.

  • Catalan: orc
  • Czech: ork
  • Danish: ork
  • Dutch: ork
  • Estonian: örk
  • Finnish: örkki
  • French: orc
  • Georgian: ორკი (orḳi)
  • Greek: ορκ (ork)
  • Hungarian: ork
  • Icelandic: orki
  • Japanese: オーク (ōku)
  • Korean: 오크 (okeu)
  • Latvian: orks
  • Lithuanian: orkas
  • Marathi: ऑर्क (ŏrka)
  • Norwegian: ork, orc
  • Polish: ork
  • Portuguese: orc
  • Romanian: orc
  • Russian: орк (ork)
  • Serbo-Croatian: ork / орк
  • Swedish: ork
  • Ukrainian: орк (ork)
Translations
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See also
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Anagrams

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Catalan

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Noun

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orc m (plural orcs)

  1. an orc

Old English

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Pronunciation

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Etymology 1

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From Proto-West Germanic *ork.

Noun

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orc m (nominative plural orcas)

  1. cup, tankard
Declension
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Etymology 2

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From Latin Orcus (the underworld; the god Pluto).

Noun

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orc m

  1. hell
  2. a demon
Usage notes
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  • The sense "demon" is uncertain. Two ambiguous occurrences of orc, one in the plural compound word orcneas in Beowulf (singular orcné, where *né means "corpse", as in dryhtné) and the other in a glossary which glosses Latin Orcus as "orc. þyrs hel deofol", have been interpreted to mean "demon" (including by the OED), and Tolkien held this interpretation when he revived the word with a similar sense in modern English, matching some of the Romance descendants of Orcus. However, it has been argued that this is a misunderstanding and that both instances are of the other sense, "hell".[1][2]
Declension
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Derived terms
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References

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  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Bosworth-Toller lists only the sense "underworld", not "demon", and interprets the glossary entry as "orcþyrs [oþþe] heldeófol" a statement that Orcus is the god/þyrs/deofol of orc ("hell")

Old Irish

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Etymology

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From Proto-Celtic *ɸorkos, from Proto-Indo-European *pórḱos. Cognate with Latin porcus and English farrow.

Pronunciation

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Noun

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orc m

  1. piglet
    Synonym: banb

Declension

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Masculine o-stem
Singular Dual Plural
Nominative orc orcL oircL
Vocative oirc orcL orcuH
Accusative orcN orcL orcuH
Genitive oircL orc orcN
Dative orcL orcaib orcaib
Initial mutations of a following adjective:
  • H = triggers aspiration
  • L = triggers lenition
  • N = triggers nasalization

Descendants

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Mutation

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Old Irish mutation
Radical Lenition Nasalization
orc unchanged n-orc
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

References

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Portuguese

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Etymology

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Unadapted borrowing from English orc.

Pronunciation

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Noun

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orc m (plural orcs)

  1. (fantasy) orc (evil, monstrous humanoid creature)