Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Fictional expletives

After I posted those office euphemisms the other day a friend sent me a Wikipedia page full of fictional expletives, that is: "expletives invented by writers of fiction ... to add nuance to the fictional cultures in their work, and sometimes as a [way of getting around] censorship."

Sample:
  • Barbra Streisand - from South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut where Cartman unleashes a string of profanities to activate his V-chip and attack Saddam Hussein. This is also commonly used by conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh as a euphemism for a different sort of B. S.
  • Belgium - from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: "The concept it embodies is so revolting that the publication or broadcast of the word is utterly forbidden in all parts of the galaxy except one, where they don't know what it means."
  • Dingo Kidneys - also from Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy [there's a pattern here, isn't there], as in "Most leading theologians claim that this argument is a load of dingo's kidneys, but that didn't stop Oolon Colluphid making a small fortune when he used it as the central theme of his best- selling book Well That About Wraps It Up For God."
  • feed the tree - From Larry Niven's novels The Integral Trees and The Smoke Ring, meaning to defecate, vomit or speak nonsense. "Feed it to the tree!" means "that's a load of crap."
  • frick - from Austin Powers; also similarly used by Elliot (Sarah Chalke) in Scrubs (TV series)'; censor-bypassing version of "fuck"; Elliot is extremely uncomfortable with cursing, but uses extended variations on the word for emphasis. ("Holy Frick on a Stick!")
  • horse hockey - from M*A*S*H, a Colonel Potter-ism, substitute for "bullshit."
  • kark - from Robert A. Heinlein's I Will Fear No Evil; same meaning as "shit"; the protagonist is "so rich he karks on a gold pot."
  • melon farmer(s) - Director Alex Cox used this to provide a TV-friendly alternative to motherfucker(s) when asked to provide an alternative dub for mainstream broadcasting. The term has been adopted by a British censorship-watch website.
  • Nixon - used in books by Kinky Friedman, meaning a bowel movement. "The cat had taken a Nixon in my shoe."
  • Potter Stewart - from Robert Anton Wilson's Schrödinger's Cat trilogy; same meaning as "fuck". Is a derogatory reference to the Supreme Court justice of the same name.
  • taxation - from L. Neil Smith's Probability Broach books in which a Libertarian alternate history follows the American revolution.
  • yarbles or yarblockos - from Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange;Nadsat slang for testicles.
Now isn't this exactly the sort of reason blogs were invented? To communicate this sort of trot? Well, maybe one of them -- sedition might be the other.

LINKS: List of fictional expletives - Wikipedia
The new office lexicon - Not PC
Nadsat - Wikipedia

TAGS: Humour, Books

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