The Cant

The people on the Outer Planes speak a variant of Common known as the Planar Cant. The Cant mostly shares the vocabulary and grammar of the universal language spoken across the worlds but mastery of the Cant or lack thereof is considered a sure way to separate the clueless from the know. This list is not to be considered exhaustive but it illustrates some of the most common terminology characterizing this dialect.


Idiot, stated in a rather unfriendly manner and usable both as a noun and an adjective (‘addle-coved’).


The equivalent of midnight in Sigil’s unnatural light cycle.


The proper word for devils.

Bar that.

Sharp and effective way to tell someone to shut it. Often used as a friendly warning.


Insane, used both as a noun for insane people and as an adjective.


A neutral way to address a person, with connotations of thuggish or fighterish background.


Fool, used as a noun. Particularly refers to people who should have known better.


A cell or any space designed for custody.


The dead-ends of the Lady’s mazes as well as all hopeless or impossible endeavours.


Respected expert or other professional on any field deserving of one’s respect.


The act of cheating someone of something, used as a verb.


Noun for using passive voice.


The mouth, referencing its teeth or equivalent. Telling someone to ‘stop rattling their bone-box’ means commanding them to cease threats or bragging.


Cheap and barely drinkable alcoholic beverages, used as a mass noun.


Drunkard, particularly alcoholics. Often with the connotation that they have it hard even though such people garner little to no sympathy from the people of Sigil.


Any city smaller than Sigil in either size or significance, even though people from outside of Sigil hardly agree on the moniker being applied.

Cage, the

Name for Sigil used by locals. Derives from the idea that the city is a trap or jail.


People from the primes and other outsiders to the rules of the planes. Used as a countable noun, a mass noun (‘the Clueless’), and as an adjective.

Chant, the

News or other notable gossip and developments. It is queried about with the expression ’What’s the Chant?’


Thievery and other illegal and shady dealings. Used as a noun, a verb, or an adjective describing someone partaking in such activities (‘cross-trading’).


A way to refer to people with some respect if little politeness. Used according to taste but contains connotations of the target being considered resourceful.


A mass noun and an adjective for anything secret. Also, ‘being in the dark about something’ means not knowing something relevant about it.


Bribe, used both as a noun and a verb for bribery


A word for the sixteen towns around the outer ring of the Outlands, at the boundary between the Outlands and some other outer plane.

Give ’em the laugh.

Escaping the immediate influence or clutches of someone successfully.

Give the rope.

Being hanged, mostly used by thieves and other outlaws.

Her Serenity

The Lady of Pain.

High-up man

A person with influence or wealth worth coveting.




A place to rest, though mostly a poor one.

Knight of the Post / Knight of Cross-trade

Thief. Something of an honorific among thieves but generally an insult.

Lady, the

The Lady of Pain.

Leafless tree

The gallows.


Idiot, particularly of the thick-witted or dull variety. Used as a noun.



Mazes, the

The personal extraplanar prisons created by the Lady of Pain to punish those coveting too much power over Sigil. Also, any well-deserved punishment.


Prices one might be reluctant to pay but are forced to.


Currently outside of the Outer Planes.


The equivalent of noon in Sigil’s unnatural light cycle.


Swindles, cons, and other trickery. Used both as a singular noun and as a verb for such acts being committed.


Suspicious, vigilant and on-guard.


The plane-bound, embodied soul of a dead person.

Pike it.

An all-purpose phrase with no set meaning but a rude connotation.


Deity, used as a countable noun.

Put in the dead-book

Dead, when used as an descriptor. Also used for the act of killing, particularly hired kills.


Arrested or otherwise caught.


Used either sympathetically or sarcastically of the unfortunate. The usage depends largely on whether they were involved in the dealings of others or if they were caught in their own mess.


The proper word for demons.


A guide to Sigil.

Turn stag

Betraying someone and other treacherous actions. An extremely insulting way to describe the actions of others.

The Cant

5e Planescape: Tales of Devotion VariSami