In my novel, Terminus, the main character (Sii Terminus) hails from the planet Skyfire. When the first part was read by one Mr Ian Watson (yes, he who wrote A.I.) in a meeting of our writers’ group (the Northampton Science Fiction Writers’ Group) Mr Watson commented that kids could read this and they’d love it because it’s packed full of swear words. No, I hear you cry, swearing in your fiction? I’m certainly not letting my Billy near such filth. Ha, that’s where you are wrong, concerned parent. The swearing is all constructed. You will have never heard curses such as this before because I made them up. Drent, vulley, digest are all words your kids will be saying after they’ve read Terminus. No, concerned parent. Don’t worry about the language. It’s the gory murders and the sex planet you’ll not want your kids reading about.
Now, to the origins of the language. It comes from the planet Skyfire. The planet Skyfire can be found roughly twenty thousand pulses from our native planet Earth. Skyfire was colonised by Earth travellers a few hundred years ago. The occupants display all the hedonism of the 1990s but have the political incorrectness of the 1970s This can be seen in their terminology. Here are a few examples.
Drent - a general curse to express dissatisfaction when something’s gone wrong. For example: ‘Drent, the pulse drive’s on the blink. Now we’ll be stuck in space drifting forever.
Vulley - another curse meaning screwed up and also slang for sex. for example: ‘The pulse drive’s vullied and now were going to drift in space forever. So we’re totally vullied.’ or ‘Lets go down to Babel and get ourselves some vulley!’ (see what I mean about the politically incorrect business. Tut tut.)
Gemmel – house or home
Snakki - booze. Any kind of booze from low-grade chemical fizz to strong lubricant. Skyfireans drink a lot of snakki.
Skangat - yet more cursing. Very bad insult implying the person is a cat interferer or worse. ‘For example: ‘You’ve vullied the pulse drive. Now we’re going to drift in space for ever, you total Skangat!’
Strentner - horrible. This is nicked from a Polish word my second generation polish geema (woman) taught me.
Pizzdeen (for men) Pizzdeena (for women) – basically this is slang for virgin. My missis went mental when she’d seen that I’d used this word in the novel. In Polish a pizzda isn’t an Italian dough with tomato puree, onions and cheese but a very bad word indeed (the C word…ummm) so apologies to any Polish readers. I hope this doesn’t cause an international diplomatic incident.
So there you have it. some examples of Skyfirean. The novel has no glossary because I’m confident that readers will pick up the meaning of the words as they read. If you’ve ever read Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange he winds the words into standard language and they attain their own meaning. So then you ganntas and geemas, I’ll scan you next stretch where I razzle you’ll be beaky enough to take a scan at my next post.