Sometimes, when you are writing, you want an oath or swear but without any actual swearing. In preparation for the time when I would need such a fictional word, I created a fictional dictionary with these words in it.
For the last three or so years I have been collecting conjugated words, phrases and simply made up swears in a document. That document is my Fictional Dictionary of Bad Language. This collection is not called a “dictionary of fictional bad language” because that would suggest I researched other mediums and wrote down all the great swears other people had invented. That is a cool idea, and I would read it, but this is not that.
What the Fictional Dictionary of Bad Language is, though, is 15 pages of funny, useful, and inventive insults, oaths, swears, and generally made up colloquialisms and folk sayings. These come along with some notes on how they work as swears and any linguistic background.
What sort of words are in the Fictional Dictionary of Bad Language?
I mentioned in the post about my last updates to “Legend” and “That story with the cat in it” that I had used a very obscure word. The phase, “oversized cabooched monkey” comes from the Fictional Dictionary of Bad Language.
Some of the words like Fugging I pretty much made up. Fug is a real word it turns out. Other words I derived from existing words and applied common or cultural usage to for a combination of my own amusement and consistency in any fiction that swear might get used in.
For example, did you know that a Bibblist is a person who continues to drink their beverage as loudly as possible even after you have threatened to beat them to death with it?
Working with German and other languages
It turns out that German is just outright amazing for coming up with satisfying words to shout angrily. By total chance, a lot of german words sound sort of rude if you give them the right context.
Thus we get words like Haslick, which is a person who is supremely unattractive. Hässlich is German for ugly.
Make that a “doing word” and you have Haslicker which sounds very rude and deeply insulting. A Haslicker is someone who only dates unattractive people or is using sex to sleep their way to the top (probably via a few unattractive managers).
Go forth and make that a thing. Tell them Matt sent you.
In other news, Yiddish, and Zulu have some great sounding unfortunate translations.
Use of the Fictional Dictionary of Bad Language
Mostly I imagine that you will use this collection for fun and light reading. Feel free to use one or two words in your own work (for a credit back to me) and definitely try and get me into the history books as the bloke who invented strange new rude words.
I’d like to retain as much intellectual property rights as I can here but on the other hand, I’d love it if people used my words. If you manage to get any of my made up rudeness into the common parlance I accept payment in beer, coffee, and blog subscriptions.
In short, these are my toys but you may play with them.
Read the latest version of the Fictional Dictionary of Bad Language and let me know what you think.