In a 1987 'Advanced Dungeons & Dragons' role-playing game accessory ("Book Of Lairs II" by various authors), and specifically in a scenario where humans are chasing a leprechaun down man-sized warren tunnels, I have:

the din has obviously been smoothed [over the trap]

and later:

he shows them which rock to roll away from the din wall [to reveal the secret handle].

Does "din" have a meaning other than "loud noise"? Could it be a double transcription/OCR error (my guess), and if so, what was the word most likely used originally?

  • 1
    I'd guess it's intended to mean "soil" or "soil dust" or whatever the tunnels were dug from. OED has no meaning for din at all other than "loud noise", so they haven't recorded any other meaning at any time through history. It would be useful to include the source of the quotations, especially the author and title of the work.
    – Andrew Leach
    Dec 9 '16 at 8:30
  • Thanks, I added the relevant information. The text is from the pdf edition of that book, so I suspect an OCR glitch.
    – L.S.
    Dec 9 '16 at 8:42
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    Vote to close, because scanning errors are not on-topic; din wall is not a productive combination in English. Dec 9 '16 at 16:01
  • @AlanCarmack It's easily covered by "word choice" in the on-topic list.
    – Andrew Leach
    Dec 9 '16 at 17:07
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    @Andrew Who chose to use din wall? What is the likelihood of this question being useful to anyone in the future? Dec 9 '16 at 22:11

I think it's an OCR error for dirt.

the dirt has obviously been smoothed [over the trap]
he shows them which rock to roll away from the dirt wall [to reveal the secret handle]

Tunnelling would result in soil dust being available to smooth over a trap, and form walls out of the earth.


3. a. Mud; soil, earth, mould; brick-earth. colloq.


In certain typefaces rt may be interpreted as n, especially if the arm of r and the top of t are particularly short. It's a little surprising that OCR has correctly identified party a little earlier in the paragraph; but combined with a dictionary party is more likely than pany. The same may not be true of dirt and din, which are both known words.


The Book of Lairs II, hosted in Uzbekistan


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