A hollow voice says "Plugh".

If you're a fan of the famous computer game, "Adventure," in which you can spend hours exploring a cave full of treasure and peril while haunted by sepulchral voices, the above will sound familiar and perhaps take you back a few years.

If not, you can find out more at the links below.

Plugh is a magic word used in several text adventure games, including:

Somehow, however, plugh never quite retained the fame it deserved. Instead, it fell into the shadows of another more famous magic word: xyzzy.

Oh, and I never really did know how to pronounce the word, plugh, Someone recently posted an old usenet article written by Don Woods as follows:

From: Don Woods  
Date: 1997/02/27 
Newsgroups: rec.games.int-fiction 
Subject: Re: XYZZY 

Alas, Crowther was responsible for XYZZY and PLUGH. I
think I remember him saying that he'd generated them at
random, but I don't remember how (or even if) he pronounced

For my part, I say "zizzy" and "ploog". I'm actually rather
emphatic about the latter, since it's supposed to be said in a
hollow voice. I've heard some people pronounce it "plug", "pluh",
or even "pluff", and when I imagine the hollow voice trying to say
those I keep thinking the poor voice is going to break down
laughing... (A hollow laugh, naturally. :-) 

On the other hand, PLOVER was my addition, and since it's
keyed to the name of the bird ("an emerald the size of a
plover's egg!") it ought to be pronounced like the bird. But --
aha! -- being ignorant on the topic, I always thought the bird's
name was pronounced ploh-ver. It wasn't until I saw the
discussion here that I thought to look up the word, and found
that both pluh-ver and ploh-ver are accepted, but pluh-ver is
apparently preferred. Oh well. But if you pronounce it pluh-ver,
don't blame me if the magic doesn't work! 

-- Don. 

Many years ago, my cousin and I were so into these games (especially Adventure) that we wrote a game language and several adventures that used this language. You can play these games on your Android phone (search Google Play for "Explore") or on the Web at:


Related links: