I typically try to not swear much on my blog so as to not offend anyone, but today we’re going to make an exception. Part of the fun of fantasy and sci-fi worlds is having slang words unique to those worlds, and that includes expletives. I have a lot of favorites from genre TV and books; here are some that you might actually catch me using in real life…
Honorable mention: Slag (Batman Beyond)
The Batman Beyond universe has a whole range of fun slang words; the most used (also my favorite) is schway, which basically means “cool.” The closest thing to a swear word in the show is slag, which seems to be used in several different contexts. Terry says, “I’m slagged” to mean he’s exhausted, but it’s also used in the phrase “slag it,” being more akin to “damn.” Slag is easy to pronounce (it’s already a real word, and a naughty one at that in the UK), and is obviously versatile.
5. Goddy (Legend)
Goddy always seemed to me to be a nice combination of goddamn and bloody, so it’s easy to get some feeling behind it, and it just rolls off the tongue so well. This futuristic dystopian series also uses the word trot as an insulting term for a person, but it seems less a political thing and more just another word for tool.
These two words are used frequently by main character Day, who has a unique way of talking that is fun to imitate.
4. Gorram (Firefly)
Firefly has several inventive swear words, but I can’t pronounce Chinese, so we’ll stick with this one, a popular choice of Browncoats everywhere. Presumably it’s a corruption of goddamn, as it sounds quite similar, so it’s very easy to substitute into normal conversation.
3. Hell’s bells (The Dresden Files)
This one is not made up, it’s just more likely to be used by your grandmother than your friends. It has the benefit of sounding quaint and British rather than offensive, though it’s much more recognizable as a swear to the average person due to the word “hell” being in there.
2. Sithspawn (Star Wars EU novels)
There are lots of hilarious swear words that have been made up for the Star Wars universe, but my favorite is Sithspawn, which you can parse as equating to “son of a bitch,” though it’s used primarily as an interjection. It’s a favorite expletive of X-wing pilot Corran Horn, as well as some other Corellians.
1. Frak (Battlestar Galactica)
This word originated with the 1970s Battlestar Galactica series, generally spelled “frack.” The 2004 rebooted series increased its usage and altered the spelling slightly to “frak,” making it a four-letter word while conveniently avoiding confusion with the now-hot topic of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”).
While some have found its use a little contrived, I find it to be genius. The BSG writers basically found a way to drop multiple f-bombs every week on cable television. It’s close enough to “fuck” that your mind automatically translates it, but distinct enough to feel like it’s a part of the sci-fi BSG universe instead of ours.
This word has become huge in popular culture, making referential appearances in other fictional media as well as being used regularly by fans. I have been known to use it myself, especially in geek circles. So, in short, it’s pretty much the perfect sci-fi curse word.