The following is a collection of points of etiquette which are common to
Gor. Everyone, free and slave will benefit from this paper.
Tal: Tal is a common Gorean greeting.
It is often accompanied with the right hand raised to shoulder level, palm inward, facing the body. This signifies that the
person being greeted is not considered an enemy. The gesture shows that the hand is devoid of any weapon. As slaves are not
permitted weapons, then this salute would be ludicrous. As slaves must also respect all free persons, they cannot consider
any to be their enemy. Thus the salute might even be considered an insult to a free person. Slaves may use the word "Tal"
as a greeting but they would not accompany it with the hand gesture. There are examples in the books of slaves using the word
"Tal" as a form of greeting.
Hail: This is a form of greeting reserved for experts and champions
at some matter. An expert swordsman or kaissa player would be greeted in this manner. No slave would ever be greeted in this
manner. Slaves may also use this term when referring to a qualified free person. A Ubar qualifies for this form of greeting.
I Wish You Well: This is the common Gorean phrase of farewell. It may be used by free persons
I Ask Your Favor: This is the common Gorean phrase for "please." It may also be
used by free persons or slaves.
Thank You: There is no special Gorean term or phrase to thank
another person. Slaves may be thanked or not, depending on the will of the free person. Many slaves are especially fearful
of any master who shows them such kindness.
Slaves Addressing Free People: All slaves must
address free persons as Master or Mistress. They will only address their own Master as "my" Master or Mistress. Slaves are
not permitted to address any free person by their name. The privilege of using a master's name is reserved for the free woman,
in particular the Free Companion. It is said that a slave girl grows bold if her lips are allowed to touch the name of her
master. But, some masters prefer to hear their name said by a slave. This is commonly permitted only in private, out of the
presence of free women. A slave may tell others the name of her master for explanation purposes only, such as to identify
Ubar: Ubar is an official title. Slaves addressing a Ubar should refer to him
as "Ubar" or "Master" but should not combine the two. "Master Ubar" is not a valid address. A free person's title is always
considered respectful for a slave. An "Administrator" or "Regent" would be addressed as such by a slave. Most free persons
should also address an Ubar by his title, and not by his name. If you have been given specific permission from the Ubar, you
may then call him by his name.
Ubara: Ubara is an official title. Slaves addressing the Ubara
should refer to her as "Ubara" or "Mistress" but she should not combine the two. "Mistress Ubara" is not a valid address.
Most free persons should also address an Ubara by her title, and not by her name. If you have been given specific permission
from the Ubara, you may then call her by her name.
Paga Tavern: When a slave enters a paga
tavern, she does not have to ask permission or perform any form of obeisance at the door. A slave should enter quietly and
go to kneel in the serving area. A slave should not greet any free person when she enters unless her owner is present. A slave
should always greet their owner, once they have gone to the serving area. A slave does need to ask permission to leave the
tavern. They should first ask their owner. If the owner is not present, any free person may be asked.
Slaves who are waiting in the serving area should pay attention to see if any free person needs food or drink. If a free person
requests a server, they should not have to wait if a slave is just kneeling in the serving area doing nothing. Free persons
must also be patient and wait for a slave to be available if they wish refreshment if all the slaves present are currently
serving others. Free women will not serve in a paga tavern under almost any circumstances.
Order of Precedence: In group settings, certain free persons should be given precedence by slaves, especially when serving.
A Ubar/Administrator should be given priority in all matters, as he is the chief of state and the highest ranking free person
in the city. After them, then comes the Ubara/Free Companion of the Administrator. After that, would be any other high ranking
persons present. Then, your owner should be given precedence. Finally, all other free persons would then have equal precedence.
Haggling: The rule in the marketplace and in stores is that there are no fixed prices. Haggling
is the order of business. If you wish to purchase an item from someone, haggle over the price. In haggling, you start your
offer low and the seller starts his price high. You try to come to a reasonable price, that makes both parties pleased. Many
merchants enjoy haggling as much as getting their money.
Begging: Goreans do not favor begging
and some even view it as an insult. When charity is in order, it is usually arranged by the caste or clan.
Free Women: Free women should be treated with respect and honor. Considerable deference is due to a free woman. Free women
may speak freely and without permission. They may be bold and do much of what they wish. But, free women must also beware
that they possess their freedom only by the will of free men. A Ubara/Tatrix should be treated with the utmost of respect
as she does wield great power in the city.
Lady: This is a term of respect used for free
women, especially those of high station or Caste. It is to be used only by free persons though. A slave would not use this
Station: Gor is a hierarchial world where your status, station and caste are vitally
important. In general, you show respect to those of superior status, station or caste. That includes free women. A free woman
of High Caste deserves respect from Low Caste men. A very wealthy woman would be considered of high status and would also
be due respect. Though men may consider themselves dominant over women, they still respect the ideas of status, station and
caste. Men also respect men of higher standing than themselves. A City Leader would have the highest status of any and would
be due respect from all.
Compliments: Gorean compliments are generally meaningful for
they are usually given only when deserved.
Children: Goreans are generally fond of children
and do not inflict suffering or abuse on them. Even slave children are seldom abused and are given much freedom at least until
they reach adulthood.
Sitting: Free men sit cross-legged. They rarely use chairs as chairs
are usually reserved for special people like Administrators, Ubars and judges. Most Goreans find chairs to be uncomfortable
anyways. Free women kneel to sit. Their knees are kept close together and their hands lie on their thighs, palms face down.
All slaves kneel to sit, and the position of their hands and knees depend on the type of slave they are. Slaves never sit
in chairs and might be whipped or even slain for sitting in them.
Streets: When walking or
riding down a street or road, Goreans commonly stay to the left of the road when passing others. This is done so that your
sword arm, commonly the right arm, faces the person you are passing