Unidentified scrolls can have any one of many labels. In Hack 1.0, these labels are initially paired with the scroll types in a way that seems to be meaningful. It is often claimed that Hack 1.0 uses a fixed label for each scroll type, but in fact it does shuffle the labels.
The various labels, and their meanings, are:
- ANDOVA BEGARIN
- Unknown meaning. In Hack, this scroll was originally always the scroll of fire. Possibly "End Of A Beginning"
- DAIYEN FOOELS
- "Dying fools". Originally scroll of enchant weapon.
- DUAM XNAHT
- "Thanx Maud" spelled backwards. Originally scroll of amnesia.
- ELAM EBOW
- Unknown meaning. Originally scroll of magic mapping. When looked at backwards, it sounds close to "woe be male"; this could be a reference to men not liking to ask for directions. If said aloud, it sounds like "LMBO", an initialism for "laughing my butt off".
- ELBIB YLOH
- "Holy Bible" spelled backwards. Originally scroll of genocide.
- FOOBIE BLETCH
- Unknown meaning. Possibly Jargon 'foo', ('bar'?), 'bletch'. In Hack 1.0, this is initially a spare label.
- GARVEN DEH
- Unknown meaning. In Hack 1.0, this is initially a spare label.
- HACKEM MUCHE
- "Hack 'em much". Originally scroll of damage weapon; the scroll of charging now occupies this slot.
- JUYED AWK YACC
- Tenuous reference to Unix tools ed(1), awk(1), yacc(1). Originally scroll of destroy armor.
- KERNOD WEL
- "Kenned well" in Scots. Originally scroll of identify.
- Finnish for "a letter" (as in a letter sent by mail). The scroll of mail was added in Hack 1.0.2, and the choice of initial label suggests that the labels are indeed meaningful.
- LEP GEX VEN ZEA
- Unknown meaning. Originally scroll of create monster, and "LEP GEX" is the rather monsterous leopard gecko.
- NR 9
- Possible reference to The Beatles' confusing Revolution No. 9. Originally scroll of confuse monster.
- "Reverse annoyance" in Sanskrit. Originally scroll of remove curse.
- "Taming" in Russian (slightly misspelled or mistranscribed but still easily identifiable by Russian players, PRIRUCHENIE would be more correct). Originally scroll of taming.
- READ ME
- "Read me". Originally scroll of blank paper. Reference to Alice in Wonderland.
- Unknown meaning. Possibly "Vomit" backwards and misspelled. In Hack 1.0, this is initially a spare label.
- "There's gold in them tharr hills!". Originally scroll of gold detection.
- VE FORBRYDERNE
- "Woe to the criminals!" in Danish. Originally scroll of punishment.
- VELOX NEB
- Unknown meaning (but velox is Latin for "fast", maybe "fast any be"?). In Hack 1.0, this is initially a spare label.
- VENZAR BORGAVVE
- Unknown meaning. Originally scroll of teleportation.
- VERR YED HORRE
- Unknown meaning. Originally scroll of light.
- XIXAXA XOXAXA XUXAXA
- Spanish (archaic spelling) for "mwahahahaha", a stereotypical evil laugh. Originally scroll of scare monster.
- YUM YUM
- "Yum yum!" Originally scroll of food detection.
- ZELGO MER
- Unknown meaning. Originally scroll of enchant armor.
Not all of these are used each game.
- def.objects.h in Hack 1.0, line 175: list of Hack 1.0 scrolls and their initial labels
- hack.o_init.c in Hack 1.0, line 60: this section of code executes once per object type, and shuffles the descriptions of all object types that have descriptions except tools