De Worde

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Lord de Worde, as drawn by Matt Smith

Family Motto: LE MOT JVSTE

The Right Word (in the Right Place)

de Worde is the surname of one of the older noble families in Ankh-Morpork, the most powerful city-state on the Sto Plains. Like the other Ankh-Morpork nobles, the de Wordes are arrogant and patriotic. They consider that the best prize in battle is to achieve glory by killing and defeating the enemies, but that dying themselves is the second best prize and just as glorious. They have a town house on Nonesuch Street, but seldom use it since the city opened its gates to ethnic minorities.

Known members of the de Worde family include:

  • Lord de Worde. He thinks he is always right, there is no possibility that anybody could make a sensible argument against him; attempting to argue against him is a sign of insanity, a slipping of the good old ways, putting the nation in terrible peril. His opinions concerning dwarfs and other "lesser races" are not terribly liberal. To Gunilla Goodmountain, William's description of his father's attitudes not only draws a picture, it colours it in, too. Lord de Worde is always the leader of his circle of friends or whatever enterprise that he may be attempting. The latest was to depose the Patrician, Lord Havelock Vetinari. The attempt having failed, Lord de Worde's current whereabouts are unknown.
  • Rupert de Worde. Eldest son of Lord de Worde who would have been his heir. Went to the Assassins' School but probably didn't go for the license. A Hugglestones natural but for the accident of birth, Rupert thought that the Klatchians would turn and run when they encountered the brave Ankh-Morporkians shouting loudly with shiny steel swords in their hands; this belief proved fatal. Rupert is one of the very few casualties in the war that technically, and diplomatically speaking, never happened (for more details on the war, see Jingo; for information on Rupert himself, see The Truth).
  • William de Worde. Second son of Lord de Worde; as the cadet son he went to Hugglestones' Academy, where keenness was priced far higher than intelligence or similar lesser traits. The school trained the sons of nobles in the best brick-headed tradition, but William found a lot of time to read many books. For some time he lived alone in the more downtown area of Ankh-Morpork, writing a monthly newsletter to foreign dignitaries and also writing letters and documents for illiterate people who needed things written down. Scribing, in other words. Lord de Worde was livid, because a scribe was barely higher than a teacher, and the job didn't involve riding a horse at all.
  • There is also at least one de Worde sister, who is un-named in the chronicles. Little is known about her except that she owns enough ball-gowns to occupy an amount of space which elsewhere in Ankh-Morpork would be considered ample to raise a family of five. By inference, she is also approximately the same age and dress size as Sacharissa Cripslock. Towards the end of The Truth, William talks about "sisters" in the plural, in the context of not wanting his living siblings disgraced by their father's arrogant stupidity, so it is possible there are more than one.
  • Considering that the Senior de Worde has offspring it is safe to assume that there is or was a Lady De Worde. Although there is little elaboration on William's relationship with his mother, it can be assumed that it was at the very least much better than that he had with his father.