Alien Means Food That Talks
An alien language translates the word


(permanent link) added: 2011-07-28 22:33:45 sponsor: Deboss edited by: IamTavEl (last reply: 2012-01-19 07:33:58)

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Indexes: Speculative Fiction Tropes

Actual trope.

When a creator wants to show how aggressive a species/culture is, the language they use will translate things like "alien" or "stranger" as "food" or "enemy". This is to show that the species/culture in question regards all outsiders as subhuman/subalien. If they also have difficulty controlling their appetite, they may be on the more intelligent side of Horde of Alien Locusts. Will likely lead to a Guilt-Free Extermination War if a fight starts.

Trope Namer is the Known Space series.

A subtrope of Language Equals Thought.

Examples:

Live-Action TV
  • Lexx: Giggerota refers to Stanley H. Tweedle as 'skin man' and 'waste of skin' but she was just a cannibal.

Literature

  • Known Space: the Tnuctipun term for alien directly translates as "food that talks".

  • Posleen War Series: the Posleen word for alien is "thresh" meaning food. They use an additive for humans, threshkreen: food with a stinger.

Western Animation

  • Dexter's Laboratory: Dee Dee pushes a button and sends Dexter to a prisonesque planet full of aliens from all over the place. He cobbles together a translator, and the first alien he speaks to says nothing but "GORK." When Dexter gets his translator to work on the word, he realizes it means "food". He hands the alien his lunch tray, but it continues to repeat "GORK" -- at which point Dexter realizes that he is the food the alien is referring to.
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