Today’s blog is about slang, insults and colourful metaphors!
My name is Mark from Amazing Gaming Productions. I am the developer of Tales from Trinity City, a dark sci-fi tabletop TRP.
Muggle is the most widely recognized slang out of a story. Anyone who has watched or read the Harry Potter movies and books know what it means. It is the name magical folk give to non-magical folk.
Of course, everyone has heard the insult, Mudblood!
Or maybe you prefer Kaldi, what superpowered individuals in Trinity City call people without abilities. It is short for Kalidite – the people who descended from the first man mentioned in the scrolls of Shaperism – Kalidore.
Unique curse words, expressions and terms of endearment create a more fleshed out world. If you want to emphasize this world is not our world. You need some unique vocabulary to remind your audience your world isn’t in Kansas anymore!
The definition of slang is, “A kind of language occurring chiefly in casual and playful speech, made up typically of coinages and figures of speech that in place of standard terms for added raciness, humour, irreverence, or another effect.”
Waitresses call you love or dear is slang. The waitress uses friendly terms like that for a good tip – you may not be their dear or love, but they call you that to brighten your day to earn some money.
For most wizards and witches, Muggle is a term of endearment. Only the vilest wizard, like Voldemort or Lucius, would use the expression in disgust.
Think about frequent uses of words in your world that convey different messages. Think about the expressions “dude”, “that’s lit”, “that’s sic” – we have used these expressions and thrown them out later.
The term “The Red Pill”, “Follow the White Rabbit” or “Follow the Rabbit Hole”, and “Come Hell or High Water” have many meanings to different people. Create some popular slang phrases and words and what they mean for your world!
If you watched Farscape, you know how frelling great it is. It kicked the crank out of me!
If you disagree, then you are a piece of dren, fekface!
If you want to learn what that means, go to here!
Just like slang, using innuendos things that convey different meanings will entertain your audience. Sapients will have all kinds of curse words to emote their frustration and anger. If your world has a cleaner language than a convent of nuns, you might want to change that.
So many words can have insulting meanings when we use them in slang. While some people may be offended, saying something is gay conveys a different meaning than saying someone/something is homosexual. You use that expression to say you don’t like something!
If you say PlayStation PSN network rules for Hong Kong and Mainland China is gay would prove that point!
Mudblood is the perfect example of an insult. Mud and Blood have two different meanings, but racists use the combined word to say someone is impure!
You need to create a list of insulting curse words that people use to demean people. People love fighting, insulting and cussing people out. Look at Twitter, Facebook, YouTube. Insulting things we dislike is the natural state of things. Most sapients will be similar – to go to town.
In Trinity City, many people who hate the Gifted called them cursed. They are a corruption of humanity they want to destroy!
When you use unique expressions, slang, insults and cursing, you add a new level of realism to your stories.
For Instance, The Cyborg Tinkerer had no slang or insult for cyborgs. It was one of many oversights that took away from the story. Meg Latorre needed to add insulting words to describe them – like tools, drones, borgs, bucket heads – who knows what.
Drones would have been the best because “Anyone could command them to commit violent acts!”
Slang comes from cultures growing and changing as our world has grown and changed. Why would another world with different societal impacts and evolution not have unique slang, insults, and curse words mirroring our world?
Make sure you sit down and create different expressions in your world-building work.
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Have a great day, guys!