Faux-fanity: Ranking Science Fiction Swearing From Shuck To Shazbot

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MazeRunnerThe Maze Runner
James Dashner’s 2007 YA novel The Maze Runner was a surprisingly fun read, dropping readers into a post-apocalyptic tale that was far more engaging to me than anything involving a Katniss or a…Divergent character. A group of teenaged boys comprise a makeshift society at the center of a massive maze, filled with dangerous creatures. These boys don’t have their memories intact, which means the conversations never turn to romantic lust or anything of that sort. Even without rock-solid memory banks, it’s like they inherently know that swearing is awesome. And it’s nearly impossible to rail against a Greenie or run away from a Griever without having something stronger than “Oh no!” to scream, so the Glade’s in habitants came up with their own foul language.

  • Shuck: The end-all, be-all of Glade exclamations. It’s probably no surprise which word “shuck” is supposed to represent, given it has the same last three letters. It’s pretty versatile, and the amended “shuckface” also comes up time and again. “Shuck it, this tree is impossible to climb.”
  • Klunk: This generally means “shit,” and almost always connotes an actual pile of dung. “This pile of klunk doesn’t know how to handle a spear.”
  • Slinthead: There’s no direct counterpart for this one, a derogatory description generally reserved for someone who just shucked up. Not even “shithead” seems to convey the proper feeling behind the word’s usage. “Ya dumb slinthead, you just wasted all of our fresh water.”

Profanity Effectiveness Rating: There’s not a shucking thing wrong with either of the first two words, as they roll off of the tongue pretty easily. Slinthead, however, doesn’t really do it for me. Slint, regardless of how you feel about the band of the same name, is just a wrong-sounding word, like “moist.” 9 out of 10.

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  1. Judge Fargo says:

    Sadly you left out “drokk, grud, and stomm” from Judge Dredd

  2. Crumpy says:

    I recall listening to a radio interview with either Rob Grant or Doug Naylor. In it the stated that Smeg was a shorted version of Smegma, which is a cheesy like substance that collects inside the genitals…. Just thought I’d share..

  3. darqmann says:

    Smeg is smegma abbreviated, and Twonk is a legitimate British insult.

  4. Dustin says:

    The original Battlestar Galactica also had the words “felgercarb” and “Gol-mogging.” Felgercarb was used for sh*t, as in “pile of felgercarb,” and Admiral Cain kept referring to the “Gol-mogging Cylons.”

  5. Randomer2112 . says:

    Admittedly from fantasy and not sci-fi, The Magazine Book of the Fallen is full of creative curses, my personal favourite “Hoods stoney (or hairy)balls on an anvil.” Hood being the God of Death