Pern Wiki
Pern Wiki

Contents: Top - 0–9 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


  • Agenothree
    Pernese word for Nitric Acid, or HNO³. This chemical was loaded into portable tanks and used by the riders in the Queen's Wing or thread fighting ground crews to destroy any thread that reached the ground before it could burrow into the soil.


  • Belior
    The name of the closest of Pern's two moons (the other is Timor).
  • Between
    An area of nothingness and sensory deprivation between "here" and "there." Dragons and their riders spend moments between as they travel between two points in space and time. It is extremely cold between.
  • Beyond
  • Black Rock
    Pernese word for coal.
  • "By the Egg"
    Pernese oath.
  • "By the Egg of Faranth"
    Pernese oath.
  • "By the first Egg"
    Pernese oath.
  • "By the shards of my dragon's egg"
    Pernese oath.


  • Craftmaster
    People with the highest level of training in a craft.
  • Crawlers
    A sort of small, six-legged, gecko looking creature that crawls along walls and even ceilings with their sticky little feet. They have a round stinging mouth and no eyes. Humans and dragons loathe them, fire lizards love to eat them.


  • Day Sisters/Dawn Sisters
    The Pernese name for the Yokohama, Buenos Aires, and Bahrain. The term was mostly used after it was forgotten that they were spaceships, and they were assumed to be just a trio of unusually bright stars.
  • Dawn Sister was the ship used by Masterfisher Idarolan to bring Robinton to Cove Hold
  • Deadglow
    a numbskull, stupid. Derived from "glow."
  • Dragon's Tongue
    A native succulent Pernese plant which produces a gel similar to Terran aloe.
  • Dragonet
    Original name for fire-lizards
    Also refers to young dragons
  • Drudge
    A male or female worker engaged in the lowest levels of manual labor or upkeep of a Weyr, Crafthall or Hold.



  • "Fardles" or "Fardling"
  • Fellis
    A native Pernese plant which produces a juice that is used as a soporific drug.
  • Firefly
    A small winged beetle whose abdomen glows with a luminescent light. Looks a bit like the Terran firefly, but tends to glow in different colors.
  • Firestone
    A phosphine bearing rock found on Pern. Dragons and fire lizards can chew it to produce phosphorous gases which are ignited to burn Thread out of the sky.
  • First Crossing
    The "First Crossing" is a term that refers to the 15-year, one-way journey that the original Pern colonists made from Earth to Pern. Most of the colonists were in suspended animation for the entire 15-year trip. The crew of the colony ships were awake for 5-year shifts, and asleep the other 10.
  • Flamestone
    A highly volatile variant of firestone, capable of exploding into flame upon contact with moisture. Mistakenly used as firestone throughout the Second Interval.
  • Fly-by
    A small flying insect much like a gnat.


  • Grub
    A type of worm or millipede that has spread throughout the southern continent. They are known both for their eating of Thread and their beneficial effects on the plants around them. 


  • Herdsman
    Term used to refer to a member of the Beastcraft in the Sixth Pass.
  • Hold
    A hold is where all the "normal" folk of Pern live. Originally carved out of Thread-defensive rocky cliffs, they grew to include seats of government, commerce, and agriculture. They were led by Lord Holders, to whom citizens looked for guidance and leadership.
  • Holder
    Title for the leader of a minor hold. It is also an honorific for any member of a hold when addressing them.




  • Klah
    A Pernese beverage similar to Terran coffee. It is brewed from the bark of the klah tree. Its taste has hints of chocolate and cinnamon.
  • Klick
    Ancient word for kilometre.


  • Lady Holder
    Title for the wife of the Lord Holder; in late Ninth Pass, used as title for female Lord Holders.

Title for the leader of a major hold


  • Month
    Four sevendays
  • Mentasynth
    Mentasynth is a form of advanced bio-engineering developed by the Eridanis. The Mentasynth process results in enhanced mental abilities of certain animals resulting in increased intelligence and empathy. The abilities that result from Mentasynth are genetically transmitted.


  • Nathi
  • Needlethorn
    A native succulent Pernese plant whose hollow thorns can be used as hypodermic needles.
  • Numbweed
    A native Pernese plant that contains a strong analgesic which is made into a cream that numbs small wounds completely and dulls the pain of larger wounds.


  • Oldtimer
    Member of any of the five Weyrs that came forward with Lessa and has not adjust to the expansion and changes that have taken place in the 250 years of the Eigth Interval.


  • Packtail
    A tasty, but dangerously barbed fish. (Resembling the Terran monkfish).
  • Pass
    The time when the Red Star comes close enough to Pern for Threadfall to occur



  • Red Star
    Not a star, but a planet, the Red Star was a planet that was attracted into the Rukbat System only a few million years before the Pern expedition. Its orbit was almost parabolic in shape. Because of its orbit, it was conjectured by the original Pern colonists that the Red Star might eventually escape Rukbat's orbit or fall into the sun. It was noticed but ignored by the EEC team who explored Pern and declared it suitable for colonization. The colonists, upon arrival in the Rukbat system, speculated that they might see some spectacular meteor showers in about eight years time when the cometary trail crossed Pern's orbit.
  • Rukbat
    The name of the sun around which Pern orbits. Rukbat is found in the constellation Sagittarius the Archer.


  • "Scorch it"
    Pernese Oath
  • Second Crossing
    The Second Crossing refers to the relocation of Pern's colonists from the Southern Continent to the Northern Continent during their 10th turn on the planet. The term "Second Crossing" was used since it was the second time that the colonists relocated their base of civilization, the "First Crossing" was the 15 year voyage from earth.
    The relocation to the Northern Continent was necessitated by volcanic activity that threatened the colony. The most suitable site for their relocated colonial headquarters was located on the Northern Continent which was less susceptible to volcanic activity and contained large number of caves that would offer natural shelter from threadfall.
  • Sevenday
    Pernese word for "week".
  • "Shards"
    Pernese oath.
  • "Shells"
    Pernese oath.
  • Snake
    Short word for Tunnel snake, a six-legged creature native to Pern (Water snake is another)
  • Spinner
    Native species of Pernese spiders.
    There are also imported species descended from ones brought by the colonists whose silk can be gathered and spun like silkworm silk, though not quite as fine. Called gossamer spinners.
  • Springs
    Insects that hang in spiral loops until they find someone or something to cling to. They have an irritating, prickly bite.
  • Scoring


  • "Taking a short dragon-ride"
    A euphemism for the ending of an unwanted pregnancy. This arose because the extreme cold of between can cause spontaneous abortion, but did require sensible a convalescence. This process of abortion was accepted on Pern, at least among dragonriders. As a result of this risk, female green riders would fight Fall with the queen's wing (where they would not need to jump between as frequently) when they were pregnant and wanted to keep the baby.
    According to Telgar Weyrwoman Zulaya there had only been a few of these between-abortions in her time as Weyrwoman (end of First Interval/beginning of Second Pass).
  • "Thank the Dawn Sisters"
    Pernese oath; used by Jayge Lilcamp (The Renegades of Pern).
  • Thread
  • "Through Fall, Fog and Fire"
    Pernese oath.
  • Timing it
    The practice of jumping Between times
  • Timor
    The name of the moon which is furthest from Pern (the other moon is Belior).
  • Trundlebug
    A useful insect that eats parasites, turns the soil and acts as a pollinator. They have the most elaborate color camouflage of all the insects found on Pern and come in many colors.
  • Tunnel Snake
    Tunnel snakes are reptilian vermin that infest Pern. Unlike Terran serpents, tunnel snakes possess six limbs which some use to burrow and dig. Others are adapted to survive an amphibious life, with either webbed feet or paddles. Only a few species of tunnel snakes are edible, as the colonists learned early on. Some species also have a venomous bite, that could prove fatal if left untreated.
  • Turn
    Pernese word for 'year'



  • VTOL
    A sort of furry insect with double pairs of wings. The discoverers of these insects named them VTOLS (for "Vertical Take-Off and Landing").


  • Weyr
    Either a place that is home to many dragons (Weyr) or the resting place of an individual dragon (weyr).
  • Watchdragon
    the dragon whose rider has pull watch duty on the Weyr roster. A watch is generally four hours long. Essentially Weyrs are military camps. Sentries are part of the ethos. During a Pass, they watch for any chance of erratic Fall of Thread, or for anyone entering or leaving the Weyr [1]
  • Weyrbrat
    Pagoritive name for any child or young in a weyr
  • Weyrleader
  • Wingleader
  • Wingsecond
  • Weyrling
    A young dragon and its rider who are not yet ready to join a Wing.
  • Weyrlingmaster
    Senior dragonrider responsible for training weyrlings.
  • Weyrsinger
    Any Harper who is also a Dragonrider. C'gan was a blue rider and a Weyrsinger
  • Weyrwoman
    The rider of a gold dragon. When capitalized, the rider of the senior queen who is responsible for managing the Weyr.
  • Wherhide
    Pernese term for leather made from wherries. Werhide is tougher and longer lasting than leather from runners or heardbeasts, but also stiffer and harder to work with.
  • Wherries
    Wherries are large avian creatures with 6 limbs, a strong rear pair for walking and grasping; the forelimbs are used for rending and tearing, while the middle set of limbs are large leathery wings. Unlike Terran birds, the wherry is covered in a soft fur like down. Wherries are used as food stock, and their fatty flesh will often be an indication of where it fed, picking up a fishy taste when it feeds by the sea, and a nutty taste when it has fed on grains from the plains. They were named for their resemblance to wherries, a form of flat-bottomed barge used on Earth, by the EEC survey team. It is unclear in the books if there are different species of wherries.
  • Wingsecond
  • Withies
    An aquatic plant found in the Northern Continent's many rivers. In the Ninth Pass it was common for an entire Hold's population to go gathering them in spring. They were used in basket-weaving.
  1. Dragondex Some Terms of Interest