Home Characters Gethenian Sexuality Vocabulary Plot Homoeroticism in LHD Analysis Links Further Reading

Vocabulary Found in The Left Hand of Darkness

13 Commensals of Orgoreyn--Ruling group of Orgoreyn

Ansible—a device used for long range communication, like over light years

Bespeaking—speaking to someone else using telepathy

Chabe stove—a small stove with a potent, condensed power source

Child of the flesh”—offspring that one has physically given birth to

Dothe—“the voluntary, controlled use of what we call ‘hysterical strength’”

Ekumen—group of 3000 nations and 83 planets

Farfetching—being able to adequately assess others’ personalities and motives

Fastness—a remote settlement in which practicers of the Handarra, such as the foretellers, or those seeking solace, live.

Foretellers—a sect of the Handarrata, who can answer one question about the future in exchange for a large sum of money

Gichy-michy—high energy, low density condensed foodstuff. An adequate ration for a Gethenian is a pound per day. It is eaten by immersion in boiling water, after which it expands forming a kind of bisquit.

Handarra—the ancient religion of Karhide of which the foretellers belong

Huhuth—Karhidish group attempting to censor obscenity

Kadik-germ—a kind of grain

Kemmer—a form of heat, when the Gethenians develop a gender and mate, occure for a few days each month

Kyorremy—“upper chamber of parliament” of Karhide

Mobilean ambassador from the Ekumen

Mindspeech—mind to mind communication, official form of communication of the Ekumen

Nusuth—“no matter”

Open Trade Faction—faction of Orgota government that sympathizes with Ai’s cause. They want to end the embargo on trade with Karhide.

Orgota—a citizen of Orgoreyn

Pervert—a Gethenian with a permanent gender and perpetual kemmer

Presence—“a kind of trance” used by the Handarra

Russy—“fierce little rat-snakes”

Sarf—faction of the Orgota government in league with Tibe, also the secret police organization of Orgota

Shrifgrethor—a measure of someone’s status or pride, kind of like a little prestige meter in one’s head

Somer—state of sexual inactivity

Thangen sleep—the period of fatigue and weakness following the use of dothe strength

vow kemmering”—the Gethenian form of marriage—a vow to remain in a faithful monogamous relationship

Weaver- head foreteller

Yomeshta—practicers of the old Orgoreyn religion Yomesh