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

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GrifeLegion of Super-Heroes
The Legion of Super-Heroes have been protecting the future of the DC universe since their introduction in Adventure Comics #247, way back in April 1958. They’ve been through many different iterations over the years, but the team is comprised of young heroes from dozens of different worlds, gifted with just about every superpower you could think of, all assembled to defend the United Planets. This is a team traditionally made up of teenagers, and anybody who remembers high school knows there’s going to be quite a few potty mouths. Thankfully, the LSH writers have come up with several go-to futuristic profanities over the decades.

  • Grife: A general exclamation of anger or frustration. “Aw, grife! The cleaners didn’t get the space mustard out of my unitard!”
  • Sprock: The LSH’s stand-in for the old, reliable f-bomb. It seems like no fictional profane vocabulary is complete without an equivalent for that all-purpose swear. Expect sprock to be used liberally in the films of whoever the 31st century equivalent of Quentin Tarantino is. “I have a question. How do you get out of this sprocking outfit?”
  • Squaj: Another substitute for the f-bomb, or just a general insult. The q doesn’t work quite as well as the hard k when it comes to expressing your pissed-offedness, but it’ll do in a pinch. “Did you see the Dominator candidate at tryouts? That is one ugly-looking squaj…”

Profanity Effectiveness Rating: “Grife” works well because it is phonetically close to “Christ,” thus allowing the LSH writers to take the future-lord’s name in vain without taking the future-lord’s name in vain. “Sprock” has both the single-syllable guttural impact and the hard consonant ending of of “fuck,” but I think the “fu” rolls off the tongue better. “Squaj” is just plain fun to say. However, you’re not likely to hear any of these being used in the real world, except maybe at a comics convention. 6 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