The common tongue (aka common language) is a dialect or version of the English language spoken in many lands in Daventry, according to the Wanderer and Derek Karlavaegen.[1]


It is clear that the Ancient One's language and modern common tongue share the same root, for their writings are directly translatable by simply replacing the appropriate letter of modern alphabet for its corresponding symbol in the ceremonial alphabet. It is probable that the Ancient Ones spoke in the common language and used graphic symbols in their writings as a code for secrecy for for their ceremonial beauty. Or, perhaps, the common "letters" for the spoken language evolved as short-hand notations for the complex symbols used by Ancient Ones.[2]

In addition to their alphabetical functions, each symbol also represents an emotion, a color, a creature, and a natural or metaphysical element.

It is known that the Ancient Ones used two scripts in works; the alphabet of the Ancient Ones which was used primarily for ceremonial purposes, as well as a version of the alphabet used in the common tongue of Daventry, but the style was archaic and fabulously ornate and all run together.[3]This practice of using both scripts was used by Winged Ones race they created as well (though winged ones switched to a more modern version of the language).[4]

The inscriptions on the Cliffs of Logic use a combination of the ancient symbols as well as riddles in the common alphabet.

Alphabet soup is a favorite soup served in the world of Daventry, made up of the pasta letters of the common alphabet.

There are at least two known versions of the common tongue, a more formal (archaic, literary, informal or dialect) and courtly Englishman (Shakespearean) variety, and a more contemporary American style. Graham and Rosella are fluent in both dialects[5]. The people of Daventry may have originally been from England (the Ogre had sensed Rosella and was nearly about to call her out as an Englishman), and the name of their country would also suggest they may have originally been from the Danes who founded the Daventry in England.

The languages of the higher races (as in humans and other peoples) is referred to as the 'speech of humans".[6] Animals are less likely to understand the 'speech of humans'.


The common alphabet includes 26 letters, including;

A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z[7]

These letters sometimes turned into the backwards alphabet cipher to encode messages. In which case Z" becomes "A", "Y" turns into "B," "X" is "C," and so on.


Formal commonEdit

  • Abhorreth
  • Afeared
  • Afore
  • Agone
  • Ain't
  • Alack
  • Alas
  • Aright
  • Art
  • Aye
  • Biddy
  • Beautieous
  • Bedlam
  • Beseech
  • Bespeaks
  • Betide
  • Blackguard
  • Booke
  • Brigands
  • Canst
  • Causeth
  • Compleat
  • Daemon
  • Daintry (archaic name for Daventry)
  • Doest
  • Dost
  • Doth
  • Doeth
  • Egad/Egads
  • Encloseth
  • Encompasseth
  • Fer
  • Formulae
  • Forsooth
  • Gadzooks
  • 'Gainst
  • Hast
  • Hath
  • Hark
  • Hearest
  • Hearken
  • Hither
  • Ho
  • Howe'er
  • 'im
  • Knave
  • Knowest
  • Lad
  • Larnin
  • Lo
  • Magick
  • Mayhap
  • Me
  • Meself
  • Methinks
  • Methought
  • M'lady
  • Morrow
  • Mum
  • Nay
  • Ne'er
  • Naught
  • O/'o
  • O'er
  • Oft
  • Olde
  • Pox
  • Pray
  • Prithee
  • Sayest
  • Seekest
  • Shall
  • Shalt
  • Shan't
  • Shoppe
  • Shouldst
  • Sire
  • Sirrah
  • Thrall
  • Thee
  • Thine
  • Thinkest
  • Thou
  • Though
  • Thy
  • Thyself
  • Thus
  • Till
  • Tidings
  • 'Tis
  • Towne
  • 'Twas
  • 'Twasn't
  • 'Twere
  • 'Twill
  • 'Twould
  • Tut
  • 'un
  • Vampyre
  • Verily
  • Wee
  • Wherefore
  • Whilst
  • Wilt
  • Whither
  • Woe
  • Wondrous
  • Wont
  • Wouldst
  • Ye
  • Yer
  • Yerself
  • Ye'll
  • Ye've
  • Yon
  • Zounds


  • Dad
  • Mom
  • Fella


  • Fill
  • Home

Behind the scenesEdit

The common tongue appears in various ways throughout the King's Quest series. From more formal 'olde' English style to more contemporary styles.

Graham speaks in a more traditional English style in Hoyle I, and some of the lines in Hoyle 4, and an English accent King's Quest 8. There is also a line or two in King's Quest 1 SCI where Graham speaks in more traditional English when exiting or restoring the game.[8] in particular: "Dost thou truly wish to cease our adventuring?" Valanice speaks with a noticeable English accent in all versions where she has a voice actress. Rosella is given more traditional English style in Hoyle 1 and uses British English terms like "mum" in KQ2.

In KQ1 the magic word Fill can be seen at the bottom of the magic clay bowl, there is also a letter with the clue to solving the Gnome's backwards name (a name that is based on a backwards version of the English alphabet). Technically the note is said to be written in a 'familiar language' (it never specifies what language), but the clue itself does relate to 'common' alphabet. The graphics are too lowres to make out any recognizable letters or symbols. It maybe English/common in the novel itself however.

KQ5 manual mentions that the spell symbols correspond to letters of the English alphabet.

In Wizard & the Princess, there are two notes that make up the word "Hocus" in English letters. There is also a locket with the word "Lucy" on it, and shoes with the word 'Whoosh' on them.

In KQ1, the bowl contains the magic word Fill. The Rumplestiltskin's name is based on an Backwards alphabet cipher.

IN KQ2, the spell word "HOME" can be seen on the amulet.

In KQ3 the English alphabet is seen on the bottle of Saffron, the signs for the Tavern and the Store, and the pages of the The Sorcery of Old in the manual.

The promotional ad made for King's Quest 4 for a video catalogue has a narrator speaking in an faux-English accent.

In KQ4 the comment; "Fate be what it may, you are dragged off to meet it." "Fate be" is in a more archaic term of phrase.

In KQ5, the English text can be see on the signs (including the warning sign at the entrance to the Dark Forest, the shops and country inn). and the side of the gypsy wagon.

In KQ6, English text can be seen on the names of the stores, the sentence, the wedding announcement and Alhazred's letter. The Guidebook which is an in-universe document is written all in common (with exception of the Winged Ones language code, which is still based on common language, but uses a different set of symbols than the standard alphabet, symbol is associated with a 'common' letter).

In KQ7, English text can be seen on gold and brass bowls (14K Gold, Brass Made in Falderal), the Bug Powder, the Danger sign on the elevator, the cover of The Wisdom of Falderal, the box for the weird creature (Fragile/Spare Parts), the F and T settings on the magic scepter, the "MASKS" board in the Faux Shop, the "1st" on the blue ribbon at the Faux Shop, the text on the base of the statue, the signs on the village buildings, and the note on the door to the Town Hall, banner that says Happy Birthday on it, and a tapestry that says Duke. There is also description on Vlad's Tomb. Finally there is the inscription on the headstone that appears if Rosella falls into it.

In KQ8, there is a sign that says "Daventry" on it it. Many of the tombstones also have English text on them.

It seems clear that Derek Karlvaegen speaks and writes in English as Peter Spear, and others were able to read his essays and letters. In addition, the Eye Between the Worlds appears to have standard English keyboard, and Derek was able to understand the letters, numbers and symbols on each 'tooth'.

Technically 'common' will be whatever language the game is 'translated' into as well for that player. But the games orignal language is 'English'. Not all graphics are necessarily changed in the other language ports, and still remain English though the subtitles/script themselves are edited.


  1. KQC3E, 276
  2. Guidebook, pg 29
  3. KQC4E, pg 276
  4. KQC4E, pg 272-273
  5. KQ1SCI, Hoyle 1, Hoyle 4, KQ8
  6. KQC3E, pg 25
  7. Guidebook, pg 29-31
  8. "Shall we really begin the adventure from the very beginning?", "Dost thou truly wish to cease our adventuring?"
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