Dragonfly: We Do Crime
How to talk like a Browncoat!
Human beings have happily fouled the gift of language with whatever inventive, vindictive, and insulting expressions they can imagine. While the traditional English swear words have survived intact, a few additional crude cuss words have been added to the common man’s vocabulary.
The basics include Gorram (“Run! It’s the gorram law!”), Ruttin’ (“It’s gettin’ too ruttin’ hot in here.”), and Humped (“He’s got a gun on us. We’re humped!”). Cursing in Chinese is considered more imaginative and expressive, and most everyone does it—at least when his mother has left the room.
Some speech isn’t cursing by traditional definition, but it will cause fists and bullets to fly just the same. Religion, politics, social class, and wealth are touchy subjects—as is mention of the Unification War.
Browncoat: Member of the Independent Factions, Independent veteran. Adopted early in the war by the Independent Factions, a brown coat has become indelibly linked to supporters of the Independents’ cause. After the war’s end, clothiers made good money dying brown coats blue or gray as folks wanted to forget the past and let the past forget them. Those that still “wear the brown’ do it on purpose.
In English, there are two predominant speech patterns. “Core Speech” is carefully used and grammatically correct. “Frontier Slang” sounds sloppy and quaint to core speakers, who judge the speaker as poorly educated and low class. Those born outside the Core are more likely to have at least a little of the Frontier in their speech.
BASIC RIM WORLD SPEECH
Truncate the “g” for “ing” words (“Schoolin’”)
Pepper with slang adjectives.
Double negatives. (“It don’t mean nothin’ out here.”)
Using odd words and word forms in phrases.
Use “don’t” instead of “doesn’t.”
Odd Words: druther, yonder, dang, plumb, right smart.
Prefixing on “-ing” (“a-runnin’”).
No –ly on adverbs. (“She described the plan real simple. That job’s awful hard to do.”)
Subject and Verb don’t match. (“We was goin’ there. He got none of that.”)
Malformed verbs. (“He growed up real good. He come by here last night. I seen it with my own eyes. He done run off again.”)
A FEW EXAMPLES
—“Looks like we got us some imminent violence.”
—“We got no short of ugly ridin’ in on us.”
—“I’m just feeling kind of truthsome right now.”
—“We’re in some peril here.”
—“We just need a small crew, them as feel the need to be free.”
—“This here’s a recipe for unpleasantness.”
—“I’m shocked my own self.”
—“We’ll be there directly.”
—“But she does have an oddness to her.”
SLANG: FRONTIER LIFE
All-fired — completely. (“Where’d she go gettin’ all-fired jealous ‘bout this?”)
Awful, Dreadful, Mighty, Plumb, Powerful – adjectives for emphasis. (“Gettin’ awful crowded in my sky.”)
Bang-up – great. (“They did a bang-up job.”)
Bughouse – mental hospital.
Git – go away.
Ornery – Stubborn, not passive.
Peck – a large amount.
Preacher – anyone religious.
Shindig – A party, usually with dancing.
Shiny – good or valuable.
Size someone up – judge how tough they are or what their intentions might be.
Tetchy – sensitive or complaining.
Run afoul – to get into trouble with.
Atmo – atmosphere, as in to “leave atmo.”
The black – space.
Clean your housing – to give a thorough beating (as in a spaceship’s engine housing).
Feds, Federals – Members of the Alliance, its military, law enforcement, or functionaries.
Go to blackout – shut down power on the ship to avoid detection.
On the drift – in space without fuel unable to travel.
Reavers – madmen who live on the edges of civilized space, flying dangerous ships and preying on other space vessels.
The Rim – frontier planets, not the core.
The ‘Verse – inhabited space or the universe.
Being buzzed – Sensors from another ship are actively sweeping you.
Doxy – prostitute.
Drops – illegal, addictive, narcotic drugs.
Second story job – breaking and entering robbery.
Scratch – valuables.
The goods – loot.
Went south – problems appeared, the plan fell apart.
Tonic – amateur or illegal alcoholic drink.
Bushwhack – ambush.
Footpad – pickpocket thief in a town.
Hornswoggle – to trick someone.
On the dodge – wanted by the police.
Advocate – a lawyer.
Cortex – wide-spread information network
Genseed – Genetically engineered crop seeds used on freshly terraformed worlds.
Skyplex – orbital city or space station.
Wave – a communication: text, audio, video, or holographic.