[RPG] What does thieves’ cant sound like?


Related but not exactly what I'm asking: Can Thieves' Cant be understood without a level in Rogue?

Also related: Would other PCs eventually notice two rogues talking in Thieves' Cant?

Thieves' cant is a spoken coded language only shared and comprehended by thieves; as far as my understanding goes that means this language shouldn't sound like a different language, but would likely use Common with hidden messages to hide its true intention.

The situation: A rogue PC is talking to a vendor NPC who is a member of the local thieves' guild, but other PCs are in the room. While the rogue PC is able to talk in thieves' cant to the NPC, what does the remainder of the party hear during this conversation?

Best Answer

During your rogue training you learned thieves’ cant, a secret mix of dialect, jargon, and code that allows you to hide messages in seemingly normal conversation. Only another creature that knows thieves’ cant understands such messages. It takes four times longer to convey such a message than it does to speak the same idea plainly.

(PHB p. 96, for DnD 5e)

According to the above quote, it sounds like normal conversation. The differences are probably in subtle things like whether you use one pronounciation or the other, which are both valid in different dialects.

This is at least what 5th edition DnD has to say about this. Other systems might of course have different intentions.