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

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FrakBattlestar Galactica
When you think of the granddaddy of faux, science fiction-based curse words, odds are the first one that springs to mind is “frak” from Battlestar Galactica. Though it originated in the 1978 original, frak proved such an effective fake swear that it was adopted by other shows and even transcended the boundaries of science fiction. It popped up, primarily as an homage, on shows like 21 Jump Street, 30 Rock, Chuck, Warehouse 13, and many, many more. Like we said, it’s the top of the heap as far as fake profanity goes, and if you want to both curse without cursing and tip off your audience as to your geek cred, you toss in a frak or two.

  • Frak is most analogous with fuck, which should be pretty obvious, given that they’re both four-letter words, share two of the same letters, and sound similar to one another. And while the curse began on the original series, it was on Syfy’s more recent adaptation where the word really came into its own. The modern incarnation took the usage to new heights, giving it a variety and nuance it previously lacked, not to mention that they used it a lot.

Profanity Effectiveness Rating: As we said, this is the gold standard of fake science fiction swear words, and just like the version that gets bleeped, it is appropriate in almost any situation. You can use it and f-bomb as an insult, as either a positive or negative exclamation, and as a sharp declarative or a drawn-out expression of awe. There’s a visceral texture to the word, as well as an edge that cuts hard. Say it right, and you can damn near feel the impact. 10 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