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The D&D phonetic alphabet

After making a string of phone calls where I needed to spell things for the person on the other end of the line, I decided it was finally time to learn the NATO phonetic alphabet so I could stop doing this:

Okay, it’s five, P as in pork chop [shit, now I’m hungry], six, three, H as in hors d’oeuvres [why the fuck did I choose something that sounds like it starts with an O?] . . .

I typed up the list, stuck it to my monitor, and started memorizing it.

Then, over on G+, Adam McConnaughey mentioned “U as in unicorn,” and I started thinking about a D&D phonetic alphabet using monster names.

But not one designed for maximum clarity, like the NATO phonetic alphabet — one made with names that are funny, difficult to pronounce, fun to say, and, ideally, confusing for the person on the other end of the line.

One that’s full of terrible phonetic choices — like this little dude, who sounds like he was named by Mister Mxyzptlk:

I as in ixitxachitl

Here’s what I come up with using two of my favorite monster books, AD&D 1e’s Monster Manual and Fiend Folio:

Need to liven up your next grinding, soul-crushing, red tape-filled phone call? This should do the trick.

“Wraith” has a silent W, making it sound like it should be an R-word . . . but it’s the W. “Ixitxachitl” is clearly an I-word, but I always stumble over it when I say it aloud. “Gnome” is another sounds-like-the-wrong-letter entry. And so on.

If the majority of my monster books weren’t in storage, I bet there are at least a few other letters that could be made more confusing. Suggestions welcome!

7 replies on “The D&D phonetic alphabet”

Or you could just get creative, as in the movie Hot Shots:

Lt. Commander Block: Yankee Doodle Floppy Disk, this is Foxtrot Zulu Milkshake, checking in at 700 feet, request permission to land.
—-
Jim ‘Wash Out’ Pfaffenbach: Alpha Velveeta Knuckle Underwear, you are cleared for take-off. When you hit that nuclear weapons plant… drop a bomb for me!
Lt. Commander Block: Uh, Sphincter Mucus Niner Ringworm, roger!

Yep, all good. Thanks for asking!

I’ve been busy with other stuff, and my sniff test for whether or not to post is “Do I feel like blogging today?” I haven’t felt like blogging for the past couple of weeks, and I don’t want to churn out posts just for the sake of it — that’s a quick path to burnout, at least for me.

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