Talk Like an Air Pirate 2: All the Swears

Heyya, mates, Sam Draper here. Adam asked me to teach you shiners how to curse like a skyler, so here we go, aye? (And if you're thinking, "Oy! Who's this swabber, and what's he flailing about?" You oughtta read this first. It might keep you from getting scatty.)

First off: bleeding. I'll be bled if I know where this came from -- maybe some monk story -- but it's bleeding everywhere. I don't give a drop if you're a skyler or a groundhog: you can't bleeding swear without bleeding 'bleeding.'

'Piking' is another good one, but it's usually reserved for when you get thrown over by a pack of sodding dog-lickers. As in, "You gave me half what this junk's worth, you piking bastard!" If you ain't being cheated, I reck 'sodding dog-lickers' is good too, aye?

You'll be needing oaths too. 'Flack' and 'flot' are okay, being words for human muck. Though like as not you'll be wanting a pronoun in there: bleed it, pike it, soddit (or 'suit it,' if you're aiming at respectable -- not likely in the skies), and tullit (for when you just don't drink the wash some loony is pouring).

Now that's all good and well for your general swearing, but if you're gonna mix words with an air pirate, you'll need something a bit more direct. Lucky for you, skylers' got no end of offensory insults.

Someone too smart for their own good is a nummer. The opposite (with less smarts than a tumor on Tuesday) is a nimbus. A piker what stabs you in the back is a bleeding merc. And for govvies what leech off their constituents, we call them a willyguv. Then you got your maggot, blighter, dog-licker, bullock, swabber, rat orphan, coal monkey, or feckless lump, for when it don't matter what you call the gunner. And feel free to make up your own, aye? All the best pirates do.

I reck that's good for now. I'll be back later, see if you got any questions for me, breezy?


Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Ok, that's making my one word look kinda puny. :)

Love, love the air pirate! I just finished Paranormalcy and I loved how she used *bleep*! I need to do some more word-work here in the future. *madly taking notes*

Also: what's the difference between an oath, a swear word, and a curse? And why do I feel silly just asking that question?

Myrna Foster said...

Thanks for this post, Adam. :o)

How old is Sam the skyler?

Adam Heine said...

It's an awesome question, Susan. The way I use them, oaths are sort of "standalone swears." Often, but not always, blasphemous. Whereas the rest of them are used for insults or general description.

Not sure what the difference between a curse and a swear is though. I tend to use the words interchangeably :-)

Myrna, Sam is somewhere between 18 and 27 (still in the middle of revisions). In a month or two, I hope to have him be a believable 18 :-)

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Along these lines ... I went to a signing with Scott Westerfeld tonight. He was an amazing speaker, as well as simply rocking as an author. He uses a lot of future slang in Uglies and alt-history-slang in Leviathan, so I asked him what his "method" was. He said a lot of his future slang is based off Austrailian words (his wife is Austrailian), and his alt-history-slang was actually real slang (or much of it) from the time/location (1914 Britain/Europe). I was shocked to find that clart was an actual swear word in the 1914 Britain! And here I was thinking the man was ingenious - well he IS, partly for knowing that (and a million other) amazing facts.

Adam Heine said...

That's pretty cool, Susan. I admit to stealing slang (especially swears) from Australian and old British too.