BLOG How To Swear Like A Geek

SFX Blogger Pigmonkey takes a fracking brilliant look at some smegging great swear words sci-fi and fantasy has given us

We have a bunch of off-the-rack sci-fi swear word replacements for any situation. This list is just some of my favorites and by no means a complete list. I also must stress that is it probably not accurate. This is my interpretation of these words. Most come to us by the way of the magical picture box, though some have been filtered through books.


This was a brilliant show that really reveled in the ability to make up its own swear words. These people cussed continually and gave us some classic words that are interchangeable with modern expletives.

Dren – This is, at best, fecal matter. Things can be a piece dren, you can be fed dren or have the dren kicked out of you. Like most swear words it is very versatile.
Frell – This is the universal replacement for the f-bomb; I assume it is a derogatory reference to procreation. Like the word it was meant to replace it is used as a catch-all expletive by adding suffixes: frelled, frelling, frells. It rolls off the tongue very nicely, however it lacks a hard K sound that really seems to be the measuring stick for popular swear words. This is definitely one at the top of my list.
Mivonks – This is the Farscape word for testes. It is fun to say but lacks that great punch that that you get with that start with “b” – balls, bollocks, bastard. Good to use in a pinch but I have an issue with two-syllable cuss words; they generally don’t work for me. I much prefer a single-syllable word when I am swearing. It’s still good but I would rather use the word it was meant to replace (which rarely gets you thrown out of polite parties, anyway).
Fahrbot – Loony. This is one of the exception to the two-syllable rule. It is just fun to say. This is a much faster way to say you are out of your mind, and for some reason it is clear. Don’t know why.

Battlestar Galactica

BSG really only brought one word into the geek lexicon (Geexicon?) but what a word. It made up for its lack of variety in its social penetration.

Frack – Surrogate F-bomb. I regularly hear geeks pulling this little ditty out of nowhere. I get it – it is close to its origin – however I find it a little lacking. As an explicative it’s great, but I find it loses potency when you start tagging it with suffixes: “fracking, ” “fracked, ” “I don’t give a frack,” all sound very hollow to me. The word just doesn’t seem to flow like other swear words.


This show was filled with great swear words, but unfortunately I don’t speak Mandarin. Also swearing in a foreign language is kind of cheating, but they did come up with one word that was relatively unused until Browncoats the world over started to use it.

Gorram – A contraction for God Damn. There is along history of God Damn being twisted into semi-recognisable form so it can be said in proper company. This occurs a lot in western slang: “Cal dern it,” “Con Sarn it”, “gosh darn it,” and many others originated from the blasphemy. None really has the same force as this variation, though.

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Star Wars

For a movie that is almost entirely populated by males there was a remarkable lack of cuss words. And the ones that did make it in are kinda lame compound words.

Nerfherder – Poor and Stupid. I don’t know what a nerf is, though I am sure it has been fleshed out by now. They gave Boba Fett a history, so drawing out what a Nerf looks like doesn’t seem like a far stretch.

Poodoo – Faeces or the act of making faeces, I am not entirely sure of which. This word tells you what it means – Poo Do, it’s almost an onomatopoeia. Like Lake Titicaca… well, not really, I just like saying the word. Regardless, this is a word that gets a fair amount of use even in non-geek circles. Testament to the power of Star Wars (pre 1999 of course).

Mork And Mindy

What happens when you have Robin Williams playing an alien? Wait a sec, how is that different from every other character he plays. I am pretty sure this man is a pod person. It’s the only rational explanation.

Shazbot – Remember the 70’s? I do kinda, mostly I remember Robin Williams using this word as an exclamation. I actually got away with saying it for a while until may Dad figured out what it was. I would like to know how, as I still have no idea what it means now.


The show that lived. Yes that is a Harry Potter reference, sorry.

Skin tube – This is one of my favorite descriptions of humans I have ever heard. Futurama has some great writing, but does not really take advantage of making new curse words very often and usually it is words we already know used in a clearly derogatory manner: “sith,” “What the hoth?” Sure I like it, but it does not really keep to the spirit of this article. However it had to go in because “skin tube” still makes me laugh.

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Red Dwarf

Smeg – A great universal swear that seems to imply some body function. It covers all of them. It is a very effective surrogate that can be used at any time just by adding suffixes, much like the word smurf, which I am pretty sure is its own curse word as well. Those smurfs – foul-mouthed creatures.

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Star Trek

Unless you are Klingon, the universe seems to have moved past the need for swearing. Like humans have moved past the need for money, yet still have a thriving black market industry…. Huh? The most insulting thing in Star Trek is the mind frell it does to logic.

Ugly bags of mostly water – Another good description for people and yet way to long.

Klingon curses – Forget it, swearing in a foreign language is really cheating, even if the language has been manufactured for geek culture. As interesting (or lame, depending on your point of view) is, I still say it has more appeal than Esperanto. (Most Klingon curses sound like you’re clearing your throat, anyway – 0nline ed.)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy

One of the great audio dramas/ literary trilogies (in five parts, six if you include ”Young Zaphod plays it safe”)/ Television shows/ movies (though I reserve judgement on that last one) to exist. There are several made up curses and though none of them really re-occur with any great regularity, there are some notables.

Belgium – The most foul swear word in the universe, it’s the C word on steroids. Uttering this any where but Earth is an offense from which there can be no return. While saying this on Earth as a curse merely results in confused looks.
Zark – Comes up a few times, the most notable is zarking fardwarks. Good construction for a word, but its meaning is kind of unclear. Not that understanding is necessary.

So there you have it, a whole litany of words that can safely be used in tense negotiations, the dinner table in front of the grand parents, or church. Unless you go to a geek church, but as far as I know the church of the flying spaghetti monster has no established holy ground to speak of.

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