Learn the Lingo o' the Locals

Rim World Speech
  • Truncate the “g” for “ing” words in spelling (final velar nasals become alveolar in speech) (“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.”
  • Ain’t.
  • Odd Words: druther, yonder, dang, plumb, right smart.
  • Prefixing “a” on gerunds (“a-runnin’”).
  • No -ly on adverbs from adjectives. (“She described the plan real simple. That job’s awful hard to do.”)
  • Irregular verbs default to third person singular. (“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.”)
Frontier life
  • A-grade: Top notch; quality
  • Aim: To want, try, or intend to do something.
  • 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.”)
  • Back-berth: Stupid, naive, inexperienced, unimportant or “slow”. Derived from the nautical term for a ship’s position in a harbor. As a naval metaphor, a “back berth” would be the last ship out of port, i.e. one trailing at the rear of a fleet, therefore meaning slowest and/or of least importance.
  • Bang-up: Great. (“They did a bang-up job.”)
  • Brainpan: Refers to the skull which encases the brain. Another way of saying ‘head’.
  • Bughouse: Mental hospital.
  • Chinese Checkers:A game still played in the ’verse. Placed on booths and tables in bars and some such.
  • Corpsified: Dead. Now resembling a corpse.
  • Docket: Schedule, calender, itinerary. Example: Wash (ep 1): “Nah, she [Inara] had a pretty full docket.”
  • Fancible: Fancy/fanciful
  • Fancy Rock: Another way of saying a well-to-do planet run entirely by the Alliance.
  • Foodstuffs: Food
  • Foxhole: A makeshift shelter in a war zone.
  • Fuzzie-wuzzies: Folk who are easily swayed and comforted.
  • Git: Go away.
  • Gorram: A version of “God damn.”
  • High ground: A spot not underneath foxholes in battle. Instead, literally on the war front.
  • Latrine: Fancy word for toilet.
  • “Let’s hoof it”: Let’s get going.
  • “Let’s moon ‘em”: Slang for Serenity’s rear engine flaring up for a getaway.
  • Local color: Locals and their ideology. Ex: Mal: “Wash, we got some local color happening down here; a grand entrance would not go amiss.”
  • Mite: A bit/amount. Could be used to mean a small amount, or an intential under-exaggeration of a large amount.
  • Moonbrained: Crazy, or unintelligent, used to describe a person or idea.
  • Neg: Negative
  • Ornery: Stubborn, not passive.
  • Peck: A large amount.
  • Preacher: Anyone religious.
  • Pinched: To be held up or in a sticky situation; Plan went south; To be in a bind.
  • Pretty: An adjective that has been adapted to also use as a noun. Kaylee uses it a lot. “Every piece of pretty is tagged for the scanners.”
  • Prod: A crony for someone of the expensive/diplomatic variety.
  • Purple-belly: A derogatory term used to refer to a member of the Alliance.
  • Rabbiting: Hightailing; running; fleeing.
  • Religiosity: Religion
  • Ruttin’/Rutting: f***ing
  • Run afoul: To get into trouble with.
  • Shindig: A party, usually with dancing.
  • Shiny: Good or valuable; “cool.”
  • Size someone up: Judge how tough they are or what their intentions might be.
  • Sly: Frontier Slang for men who prefer other men sexually.
  • Sully: To taint
  • Suss (out): To figure out; determine
  • Tetchy: Sensitive or complaining.
Spacefaring
  • Atmo: Atmosphere, as in to “leave atmo.”
  • Being buzzed: Sensors from another ship are actively sweeping you.
  • Blowback: A vacuum effect created in the barrel of a firearm when it is discharged. Works in the same case for a ship going on full burn breaking atmo.
  • Clean your housing: To give a thorough beating (as in a spaceship’s engine housing).
  • Crazy Ivan: Originally a submariner stunt/maneuver that was used to pull an pursuing vessel into attack range, usually used by the Soviet Navy. In this case it can be pulled on a ship with two side propelling engines in order to create a spinning motion. The engines are flipped so as to orient them in opposing directions long enough to pull a 180 degree turn. Once hydraulics are cut, it takes the lowering of a lever and the push of a button in the engine room, and it’s good for going.
  • Dead in the Water: Floating, drifting; not going anywhere.
  • ETA: Estimated Time of Arrival. Pilot lingo.
  • Feds, Federals: Members of the Alliance, its military, law enforcement, or functionaries.
  • Fire it up: Start the ship.
  • Get this bird in the air: Launch the ship for take-off.
  • Go to blackout: Shut down power on the ship to avoid detection.
  • Green for: Referring to the light on a console that signals all systems are standing by for whatever purpose the light correlates to. (landing, docking, taking off, etc.)
  • 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.
  • Scow: A ship modeled after a large, flat-bottomed boat with squared ends. Used to haul bulky cargo (soil, sand, ore, etc). Can be retro-fitted to serve as transport vessels. They can hold between 15-20 families. Travelers pick them up cheap at government auctions. A few modifications and they serve well enough for a one-way push to the outer planets.
  • Skiff: A small ship (like a rowboat equivalent, but sky/space oriented) used in war.
  • Take the helm: Man the bridge. An old phrase that has transcended from the sailing days of Earth-that-was into the 2500s.
  • The Black: Space.
  • The Rim: Frontier planets, not the core.
  • The ’Verse: Inhabited space or the universe.
  • Trans-U: A commercial vessel. Old model; hardly ever in use anymore. One too many of them got hit by Reavers, likely.
Underworld
  • 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.
Technical
  • Advocate: A lawyer.
  • Cortex: Widespread information network.
  • Genseed: Genetically engineered crop seeds used on freshly terra-formed worlds.
  • Skyplex: Orbital city or space station.
  • Wave: A communication: text, audio, video, or holographic.

Learn the Lingo o' the Locals

Out in the Black elisabeth