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

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John Crichton faced many challenges after slipping through a wormhole and winding up on the other side of the galaxy, sharing a living ship with a bunch of fahrbot escaped prisoners. Language thankfully wasn’t one of them, as a shot full of translator microbes ensured he could understand what all the aliens were saying. Okay, mostof it. Crichton still had a bit of a learning curve to pick up all the local lingo. And boy howdy, did the Farscape writers love coming up with alien slang. In fact, I think Farscape handily tops this list for the sheer volume of faux-fanity — at least assuming we don’t give Firefly credit for “the entire Mandarin Chinese language.” Want to learn how to cuss in the Uncharted Territories? Sit your eema down and pay attention, you frelling piece of dren.

  • Frell/frelling: There’s perhaps no bit of English profanity as useful and flexible as the good old f-bomb, so naturally Farscape has its own version. It’s fun to use, but the lack of the hard consonant means it doesn’t have quite the visceral satisfaction of “frak.” On the other hand, it does serve as the root of the even better “frellwit,” which I had forgotten about but will now add to my daily vocabulary.
  • Dren: As Ka D’Argo once told Crichton, “You smell like dren. You look like dren.” You can probably work out the meaning of “dren” on your own, unless you’re a real dren-for-brains. Probably Farscape‘s second-most-used swear, it doesn’t bear much resemblance to its English equivalent, but for some reason I love it. If you’re a Farscape fan, you probably do too, and if you claim otherwise, you’re full of dren.
  • Eema: The thing your dren comes out of, or an individual with a strong resemblance to such.
  • Others: Honestly, we could easily have built this list solely of Farscape swearing, because there’s a lot of it. Aside from frell and dren, we’ve got blotching, crank, draz, drannit, driblocks, fa-pu-ta, fekkik, gris, hazmot, hezmana, mivonks, plok, prabakto, shaltan, shivvies, schlock, and probably a dozen others I’m forgetting right now.

Profanity Effectiveness Rating: “Frell” may not have the concussive impact of “frak,” but if you’re looking for sheer variety, Farscape‘s profane lexicon just can’t be beat. Somebody should put together a “Farscape Swear Word of the Day” calendar. Wait, no, that’s our idea! No stealing! 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