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Pardon My Klingon

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That was R'lyeh unnecessary.

"Get your krutacking hands off me, you Rigellian nuthole!"
Rocket Raccoon, Guardians of the Galaxy

The Science Fiction cousin of the Unusual Euphemism. Much like the frelling Foreign Cuss Word, even though everything else aliens say is translated perfectly, krutzing profanity will remain in the speaker's native language. Silflay hraka!

If this results from the Translation Convention, it's purely a smegging transparent attempt to appear edgy without bringing down the wrath of the zarking censors. Lalabalele talala!

If Translator Microbes are at work, we're left with the sense that there are gorram Media Watchdogs even in the future. Blitznak! Then again, would you want your Belgium translator-microbes to tell the alien precisely what the zentraidon you've just slipped up and called its flurking mother? D'Arvit! Alternately, the alien swear words might not translate cleanly into the audience's kriffing language, much the same as with actual flarf-narblin' swear words and insults in many languages in Real Life. Kogec mjaaš!

One common literary use of the splitten flitten trope involves common words from Earth languages misheard by aliens as swear words in their own languages — oh, shef'th! — much as the English "foot" resembles a French vulgarity. What in yaolin? Or the French word for "seal" is pronounced exactly the same as the F-Word. Siripat sulat! Or, how the Russian word for "book" sounds like an English racial slur. Go ghuhg yourself!

Curiously, Aliens Speaking English seems to be the least intrusive mechanism for this trope, as we can easily imagine a non-native speaker lapsing back into his native frakking tongue for an expletive. E chu ta! You bosh'tet! Shazbot!

See also: Translation Convention, Translator Microbes, Aliens Speaking English, Informed Obscenity, These Tropes Should Watch Their Language, sæælyulát!.

Contrast with My Hover Craft Is Full Of Eels, which is when someone is trying to speak a language they don’t know, but often accidentally spout out something offensive.

Did you get all that, petaQ'?


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Macross: "Yakh! Deculture!" Even when Zentraedi are speaking Japanese like the rest of the cast, this phrase tends to go untranslated. From context, it is almost always used as a profanity, though the word "deculture" by itself eventually becomes in-universe slang meaning "awesome!" in human-affiliated space by the time of Macross Frontier.

    Card Games 

    Comic Books 
  • For many years, Comic Books and Newspaper Comics would indicate swears with punctuation symbols: #@!$%&* being the most popular choices, in just about any order. It can still occasionally be seen, and has the advantage of being generic enough for any swearword the reader wants to insert.
  • Used as a plot point in Lucky Luke when interrogating natives that attacked them, Luke notices one of them understand the Sir Swears-a-Lot since he blushed.
  • Marvel Comics:
    • Cosmic Marvel characters tend to say "das't" a lot. Guess what it means.
    • In Marvel's 2099 universe (which takes place in the titular year), "shock" is the general all-purpose swear word.
    • Mojoverse natives Longshot and Shatterstar use the word "fekt", which from its usage appears to be the equivalent of "fuck" or "shit".
  • Planet Hulk has "fratz", which is used in the same way as "fuck".
  • Guardians of the Galaxy has Rocket Raccoon's "krutacking". It seems to be only a non-literal, rarely-conjugated form of "fuck", like when he tells a pair of Earth raccoons to "put on some krutacking pants".
    • "Flark", which turns out to refer to a painful face parasite, sees a lot of use.
    • Rocket actually discusses how much more vulgar Earth swears are compared to flark.
    • "Glorp" is used in place of "God", like "Thank Glorp".
  • Supergirl tends to call people who annoys her "snagriff" or "babootch". In Supergirl (Volume 5) issue #34, after Catherine Grant has published a smear piece on her:
    Supergirl: Cat Grant is a total snagriff.
    Superman: Yes, she is.
    • In some versions of the comics, Supergirl routinely uses Kryptonian profanity, which is represented in Kryptonian alphabet, so we have no idea what she's saying. Clark normally avoids this trope due to being a goody-two-shoes. However, he has occasionally said "What in the name of Rao" and similar phrases.
  • 2000 AD is rather fond of this trope:
    • The Mighty Tharg, the magazine's alien editor, regularly drops Betelgeusan terms into his editorials, such as 'grexnix' (idiot) and 'squaxx dek Thargo' (friend of Tharg).
    • ABC Warriors had some slightly bizarre examples in its early days. Two instances that stick in mind are "I started this... and by zrokk I'll finish it!" and "You krogging old ape! Why won't you listen to reason, drang it?"
    • Shakara uses 'frukk' on occasion, in exactly the way it sounds like it should.
    • Kingdom, on the other hand, averts this, with the dogs freely using curses up to shit (though the F-word seems to be off-limits).
    • Judge Dredd has a few. "Drokk" (the f-word), "Grud" (God) and "Stomm" (shit). Note that these are legally sanctioned expletives which suggests the originals are illegal, hence why Judges don't use them and neither do civilians, not wanting to run foul of the harsh laws in Mega City One.
  • PS238:
    • Inverted, with a Restraining Bolt. Zodon curses like a sailor, so the resident engineer implanted a chip that translates curses as innocuous verbs and nouns, with longer tirades replaced by showtunes.
      Herschel: "How do you feel?
      Zodon: Like a Minty bee sank its Croissant into my face. What the Fluoride did I just say? What the Gumball did you do to me, you Windshield?!
    • Before the chip is implanted, he simply uses Symbol Swearing.
    • The official in-universe name for this device is "Barry Ween chip".
  • Skin Horse: Nick the Human Helicopter is subject to a similar sort of profanity filter.
    Nick: Those motorfingers put some kind of shucking censor software in me. Said they were tired of my language. Buncha pineapples.
  • Legion of Super-Heroes: Jim Shooter introduced this during the Silver Age. When he came on as writer to the 2004 version, which didn't use it, he brought it with him; suddenly, everyone was peppering their dialogue with "florg"s and "zork"s and "scrag"s.
  • Green Lantern: Kilowog of Bolivax Vik uses "Poozer" as an all purpose swear word.
  • And still in The DCU, Lobo uses the words and phrases "frag", "Feetal's Gizz" (foetal's gizzard maybe?) and "bastich" - mixture of bastard and (son of a) bitch - as generic swearwords.
  • In Paperinik New Adventures, our protagonist encounters and assists colonel Neopard, an alien Private Military Contractor who keeps repeating the words "Plutz!", "Grabbaga Plutz!" and "Cyssa!", which Paperinik takes for greetings. At the end however he realizes they aren't and asks him what they really mean, and when he does (through a whisper) the shock of the reveal is strong enough to make his cap fly off. And break the fourth wall.
    Paperinik: You can't say that in a Paperinik story!
    Neopard (smugly): No? But I've been saying it all the time!
    • Parodied in the same issue with the robotic assistant of Neopard, sergeant Qwin'kennon, who talks in an alien language... That is actually the dialect of Milan. The translation balloons keep the general meaning of his words, but if you know the dialect you realize he's swearing just as badly as its master.
  • The Greek God and sometime Avenger Hercules has had several limited series and a graphic novel dedicated to recounting his adventures in a potential alternate future, where he travels throughout space. In the course of these tales, he goes to several different worlds where characters use various epithets such as "fropp", "moogies", and "bvadlak", which serve as fairly obvious substitutes for "shit", "balls" and "asshole", or some other unflattering term for an individual, respectively.

    Fan Works 
  • Bait and Switch:
    • Being a work set in the Star Trek-verse (specifically Star Trek Online), this is naturally used several times. Viewpoint character Eleya is Bajoran and frequently uses "phekk" (equivalent to the F-word, from context) and "sher hahr kosst" (contextually something like using "son of a bitch" as an exclamation rather than a description). Also inverted when she mentions that she learned the word "schmuck" from an Academy classmate.
    • In chapter nine a Benzite C.O. wonders what the shi'tzien they're doing rendezvousing with a task force in the middle of nowhere instead of hunting down the Orion pirates who just shot up the sector block. Later, Agent Grell, a Ferengi, calls the apparent Big Bad a val-eff and a skritz-jeb fanatic. Off Eleya's look he explains a val-eff is someone who won't take bribes (the concept apparently doesn't translate well).
      Eleya: What about "skritz-jeb"?
      Grell: Profanity.
    • From the side story Reality Is Fluid, Eleya gets tremendously pissed off when the referee in a springball match she's watching misses a foul by the guy she's rooting against.
    Eleya: HEY! That's a foul! Y'trel bo tava tu san yc'fel, Dakhur'etil va'yaputal!
    Other spectator: You want to come over here and say that?
    • Another Foreign-Language Tirade in Bajoran in "The Universe Doesn't Cheat", plus Eleya getting into a pissing contest with a (digital) Klingon and cussing him out in tlhIngan Hol. She mentions in her internal monologue that one thing she learned on prior tours of duty was that when a Klingon insults you, you insult him right back.
    • There's also "ye'phekk maktal kosst amojan", which appears to invoke the Pah-wraiths, demonic figures in the Bajoran religion (referred to as "kosst amojan" in Bajoran).
    • In "Last Rights" Dul'krah calls Kobali General Q'Nel a "schro’jdrogkh’dokldirkh".
  • Eleutherophobia:
    • In Ghost in the Shell, Tobias uses the Hork-Bajir swear word "hrthesthr", which literally translates to "one who is so careless in cutting the bark from a tree as to damage the wood underneath, causing the entire tree to become diseased and rot". Tom mainly heard it used to refer to Yeerks.
    • In How I Live Now, Ax says something in the spoken version of the Andalite language that Marco asks him not to translate in front of his mom.
  • Origins, a Mass Effect/Star Wars/Borderlands/Halo Massive Multiplayer Crossover, borrows liberally from Star Wars Expanded Universe curses listed on this very page ("karking", "Sith-[something]", "kriffing", to name a few). It's occasionally noted how un-decorum it is for someone like Admiral Allison Nimitz to drop the In-Universe equivalent of a Precision F-Strike on the bridge of a starship.
  • Red Fire, Red Planet
    • The fic has a lot of Klingonese profanity being bandied about, such as this exchange between Meromi Riyal and Norigom:
      Norigom: And a very good morning to you, Meromi.
      Meromi: yI' meQ, petaQ.translation 
    • Inverted in chapter two and combined with Narrative Profanity Filter, from the perspective of a Vulcan noncom:
      "Kybok heard [Chief Petty Officer] Blackhawk say a word he had been told humans considered very rude."
    • Norigom later calls a Klingon captain he killed during the Klingon-Gorn War a "jinya", which from context probably means roughly the same thing as "petaQ".
  • The Wrong Reflection
    • In chapter four, Lieutenant K'lak, a Klingon in the USS Bajor's security department, tells a mirror universe Cardassian soldier that "if you call my parmaqqay ‘scum’ again, I will have your moQDu’ as a trophy for my quarters."
      Eleya: (narrating) Ew.
    • In chapter five Eleya gets into a shouting match with a mirror Klingon when he breaks formation without permission. She first locks a torpedo on him to get his attention after he calls her a coward.
      Klingon: You would fire on your own side?
      Eleya: Just getting your attention. Your orders are to provide cover for me, not go gallivanting off on a personal glory trip. Got that, yIntagh?note 
      Klingon: QanrIl ghay’cha’ baQa’!
      Eleya: penga’chuq’egh, verengan puqloD tlhIv quvbe’!note 
  • "Aen'rhien Vailiuri": Rihan (Romulan) this time.
    • After the Aen'rhien blindsides the Kazon:
      Sahuel: Imirrhlhhsenen nnea ri’nanovai didn’t even have his shields up!
      Morgan: Language.
    • Upon learning that they're going to have to carry the Kazon prisoners to the Optrican base on the Aen'rhien, Tovan tr'Khev's reaction is "Fvadt."trans. 
    • Morgan's retort to Jaleh's "Kire asbe abi too koonet!" is "Urru Areinnye!"trans. 
  • In the fic Android Academy, someone is disdainfully referred to as "a piece of scrap metal".
  • "Solaere ssiun Hnaifv'daenn" has a couple new Romulan curses. "Imirrhlhhsen mogai!" directly translates as "Go fuck a mogai!", while "faelirh ih'wort nnea mogain" is "bastard son of a mogai". (A mogai is a large predatory bird that was native to Romulus.)
  • Played for Drama in Hivefled; the humans have no idea what the slurs carved on Gamzee's skin mean, and misinterpret them to mean he committed terrible crimes rather than being the victim of them. Later, when the truth comes out, Gamzee screams "Tamisevocaenu!", causing Feferi to run out crying. It means "moirail bastard", which he and Feferi are; it's the rough societal equivalent of finding out their parents were siblings.
  • Used literally and Lampshaded in Strange Times Are Upon Us.
    Ba'wov: Ql'yah!
    Boy: What'd you say?
    Ba'wov: Something I shouldn't have.
    Boy: Yeah, my papa tells me not to swear all the time.
  • It's quite common in Invader Zim fanfics (e.g. The New Adventures of Invader Zim, Zim the Warlord: Irken Reversion, etc.) to have Irkens and other alien characters swear in their native languages, even when they're otherwise speaking English.
  • Lathbora Viran features occasional elvish profanity from Solas. Curiously, the elvhen words are usually translated in the footnotes, but "Fenedhis" is simply given as "Untranslated curse word".
  • In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Supergirl crossover The Vampire of Steel, Kara tells Zol-Am something in Kryptonian during their duel. Given his incredibly pissed reaction, the Scooby Gang deduces it was insulting.
  • Little Fires uses some of the insults seen in Warriors as well as some new ones, such as "snake-spirit".
  • In What Tomorrow Brings, Andalites use "rot" as an expletive, and Tobias considers calling Elfangor "a very nasty Taxxon epithet for shit" at one point.
  • Sagittarius: "Psekisk" is a common Eliksni swear word that gets used throughout the series by various Fallen characters. It is also the go-to curse word for Ikharos Torstil, a human Warlock fluent in the Eliksni language.

    Films — Animation 
  • Lilo & Stitch:
    • In the original film and its sequel works, Gantu is fond of using the oath "Oh, blitznak!" Stitch himself, when brought before the Galactic Council and asked to prove his intelligence, utters a string of words that are left untranslated from "alien" gibberish, although its profane content is clear from the shocked gasps of the hearers. Stitch's statement is so vulgar, a robot vomits. This trope probably was used to leave what Stitch said deliberately to the imagination, as there isn't much in the way of utterances left that would inspire such reactions from contemporary 21st century viewers.
    • We supposedly got the meaning of the Tantalog term "Meega, nala kweesta!" later. However, while "Meega" was firmly established by Lilo & Stitch: The Series to be a personal pronoun (like "I", "me", "my", etc.) thanks to several other spoken uses in that show, the full phrase was believed for years to be literally translated as, "I want to destroy!" which doesn't really sound vulgar. It wasn't until February 2022 that Chris Sanders stated in the comments of a TikTok video he posted about the phrase that it does not mean "I want to destroy", but instead is a phrase so bad that he "could never say it."
  • Monsters vs. Aliens:
    "What the flagnar!?"
  • Rio gives us this line courtesy of Linda:
    Linda: Squawk squawk squawkity squawk squawk! [Beat] I'm sorry, I didn't mean to curse!

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Played for Laughs in the movie of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, every time someone swears, the film puts a black box over the person's mouth (and at one point someone's hand) and the film inserts nonsense sounds. Naturally, Scott himself Lampshades this directly. After one woman swears, he says:
    How do you move your mouth like that?
  • Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland features Underlandish curse words. At one point the White Rabbit expresses his disgust at the actions of "real" animals who do their "shukum" in public.
  • Reversed in the live-action Transformers movie. Frenzy spends the whole movie scurrying and skulking around muttering to himself in Cybertronian, until, as one of his shots fatally ricochets back towards him, his last words are "Oh shi--".
    • The rest of Transformers plays this pretty straight, though. "Oh Slag..." "That bot's got bearings of chrome steel." And so on....
    • The chaps at have a list of these, because of course they do.
  • Star Wars, mainly the Expanded Universe, has "stang", "kriff", "burn", and either "Sithspawn", "Sithspit", or just "Sith-", Depending on the Writer.
    • "schutta."
    • And "Emperor's Black Bones!"
    • And "karking" — really offensive to non-humans.
    • It got rather silly in Death Star, in which milking was used as a curse word.
    • This trope actually used in The Empire Strikes Back, in which a droid says "E chu ta!" and C-3PO merely remarks, "How rude!" rather than translating or replying. This has hilarious implications because the same phrase is said in Knights of the Old Republic all the freaking time.
    • Here's the complete list of Galaxy Far Far Away curses. More than a few are from languages other than Basic, the language that is rendered as the reader or viewer's language.
    • Still misses out Fierfek. Which although used by Mandos a lot one of them tells off a jedi when she uses it.
    • Episode 4 features R2-D2 whistle something to C-3PO in one scene, to which he is told "Watch your language!" Given a Call-Back in The Last Jedi when Luke and Artoo reunite on Achtoo; Artoo beeps something that was evidently pretty profane, causing Luke to gently scold him for swearing on sacred ground.
    • Jabba the Hutt occasionally uses "poodoo" in conversation, which is translated as "fodder" in the subtitles. Apparently the actual meaning has something to do with feces, but other writers have justified it as bantha fodder being utterly repulsive to anything that isn't a bantha. On the other hand, poop is just food after its journey through the stomach.
    • Sebulba in Episode I is also fond of using "poodoo" as a curse word.
    • And that's not even going into Mando'a. That language would probably lend itself to a GREAT Cluster F-Bomb attack.
    • The Devaronian Kardue'sai'malloc (the horned, toothy guy from the cantina in A New Hope) is a fugitive who goes by the pseudonym Labria. As explained in his entry in Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina, "labria" is a very rude word in Devaronian that translates to "cold food", though something of the meaning is Lost in Translation. He thinks humans are weird for using religion, sex, and excrement as curses.
    • In the New Jedi Order, after integrating her Yuuzhan Vong personality, Tahiri will sometimes drop swears in the Vong language. Khapet is the only one written out, and it's left untranslated (though it's used in a situation where "damn" or "shit" might have both been substituted).
  • Subverted in District 9 - the aliens, due to their insect-like physiology, can't even pronounce human syllables, but when one of them swears at Wikus it is baldly subtitled as "Fuck off!"
  • In the original Angels in the Outfield (shown fairly often on Turner Classic Movies), a foul-mouthed baseball manager lets fly several times in the first few minutes of the film. Actor Paul Douglas was told to yell out anything he wanted (no problem there), then his words were cut, mixed, spliced together and run backwards, so that we don't really know what he's saying. The "swearing" sounds like gibberish even on a backwards play!
  • In the 2008 adaptation of the Strugatsky Brothers' Prisoners of Power the protagonist's Translator Microbes fail to translate the expletive "Massaraksh". In the original novel there were no Translator Microbes, so there was a good reason why it took some time for him to find out what it means, but in the movie he should have known from the very beginning that it literally means "the World inside-out''.
  • In the film version of My Favorite Martian, Martin frequently says "Blotz!" which translates pretty literally to "Shit" (including one instance where he asks, "Does a wild bear blotz in the woods?").
  • In Road to Zanzibar, the natives of Darkest Africa have their lines subtitled in English, but one line produces a [CENSORED] stamp instead of a subtitle.
  • Per Word of God, in the Na'vi language, it is quite possible to be rude or insulting, but not profane as such; the Na'vi don't have the concept of words that it's bad to say. The closest we get is "skxawng", which means "moron".
  • In the animated movie Fantastic Mr. Fox all the characters cuss by saying, well, cuss.
  • The Soviet Cult Classic, Kin-Dza-Dza!, features the Universal Swearword Acceptable In Civilized Speech, "Kju" (used to replace any contextually applicable swearword you can think of), as well as the Universal Word "Koo" (yes, there's a reason they sound similar), covering all other things the authors couldn't make up alien words for. It probably helps that all the Human Aliens are partially telepathic (and thus communicate with the protagonists by learning Russian from their minds, and only use the alien words for swearing or naming alien devices.
    "But Fiddler, even you must realize that this is the most elementary kju!"
  • Patrick Winslow in The Smurfs, who doesn't know a lick of how to speak in Smurf, ends up letting out a stream of words in Smurf that make the other Smurfs react as if he had a bad case of potty mouth.
  • Turkey Hollow: One of the monsters says something in the monster language, which makes the narrator say, "That profanity is uncalled for."
  • Subverted in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005) with Zaphod's angry exclamations of "Humma Kavula!", which sounds like an alien swear (and is even mistaken as such by Arthur) but is actually the name of his political opponent when he ran for President.
  • Parodied in Elf, where "cotton-headed ninnymuggins" is such a horribly offensive insult in elf culture that most elves gasp upon hearing it.

  • Watership Down:
    • At one point, Fiver exclaims "O embleer Frith!" in exasperation. Given that "embleer" is not only Lapine for "smelly" but a fairly strong all-purpose insult (the glossary at the end points out that it's used to describe the scents of predators, for example) and Frith is their god (who also happens to be the sun), the phrase might be akin to taking the Lord's name in vain.
    • "Silflay hraka, u embleer rah." Literally, 'eat shit, you lord of stench!' This is an excellent example, because by this point in the novel, we have already seen all of these words (in different, innocent contexts). Shit is a pretty important consideration in your life, if you're a rabbit.note 
  • Star Trek Expanded Universe:
    • The Final Reflection does this with actual Klingon; when the Klingon characters are speaking, most of the dialogue is rendered in English but the curse words are left alone.
    • From the Star Trek Novel 'Verse, we have Vikak (A curse among the Payav), krught (a Tellarite curse), Frinx (the all-purpose Ferengi sexual euphemism), Grozit (the Xenexian all-purpose curseword), kyeshing (among Pacifican Selkies), and many more.
    • One novel even has Riker use an obscene whistle to shock an hysterical visiting Starfleet commander so he'd snap out of his panic. The whistle was a swearword in Bottlenose Dolphin, which was the distressed commander's species.
    • In another, an untranslated insult can be worked out to mean something like "Your father fucked a shit-worm."
  • Mark Anthony's The Last Rune / Blood Of Mystery: After several characters come into possession of a translation spell, one character continues swearing obscure and bizarre oaths in his native language until he realizes they're being translated for his companions. As he puts it, "They work better when nobody else knows what you're saying."
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
    • "Belgium" is the most obscene word in most of the Universe, the only exception being Earth, which is so isolated and oblivious that it innocently named one of its countries after the wordnote . It's actually a little Writer Revolt from Douglas Adams, who when doing the original radio version wanted a bit about the "most gratuitous use of the word 'fuck' in a serious screenplay" but, as they weren't allowed to say "fuck" on the radio, he changed it to "Belgium" and got an even funnier bit out of it. It actually creates a dichotomy between the British and American versions of Life, the Universe and Everything — the British version just has a straight "fuck", while the American version has "Belgium" and the radio show's explanation of its significance. "Belgium" has since migrated to other adaptations as a hard swear (e.g. Ford exclaiming it during the Vogon attack in the film version), and even to other works, like Neighbours.
    • In the first book, Arthur's offhand comment, "I seem to be having tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle" is picked up by a freak wormhole, which transports the comment right in the middle of a diplomatic negotiation — where it sounds exactly like one side's most vulgar insult, accidentally starting an interstellar war. The gag makes it to the text-adventure adaptation, which will pull a certain input from the parser to fill the role of the offending phrase (and gives you extra kudos if you type in the book's original phrase at the right time).
    • There are a few "spacey" swear words used periodically throughout the series, mostly out of Zaphod's mouth, including "What the photon?!", "Starpox!", and "zarking" (as in "What the zarking fardles was that?", which Word of God confirmed to be a reference to the Great Prophet Zarquon). The "Belgium" gag from Life, the Universe, and Everything also gives us "swut", "joojooflop", and "turlingdrome" (the latter also seen in the snippet of Vogon poetry).
  • Played straight and subverted in A Clockwork Orange. On one hand, the Nadsat swearwords Alex and his droogs use are incomprehensible to English speakers (though the context makes them obvious). On the other, Nadsat is made up of Russian that Burgess either anglicised or used for his own purposes, as in "khoroso" to "horrorshow". Thus anyone with an even basic knowledge of Russian would be able to work out Nadsat in a second, though they'd probably be irritated by the spelling and somewhat puzzled by the Cockney rhyming slang.
  • In the Spaceforce (2012) novels, Jez speaks English but swears like a trooper in her own language. Because her partner Andri keeps his translator unit's profanity filter on, we only get the alien words.
  • The locals of the Sector General book series are so big on the galactic peace and harmony thing that their Translator Microbes do this on purpose. The euphemism of choice is "made a sound that did not translate." Alternatively, the untranslatable sounds could simply be non-verbal vocalisations (such as laughter, sighing etc). Considering how literal the translation computer seems to be (in one book, the heroine is worried because an Earth-human has threatened to use her intestines for hosiery supports; her friend, who is used to dealing with Earth-humans, explains that they often make meaningless comments like this and she shouldn't worry), it is more likely that expletives that have a literal meaning would simply be translated literally (for example, Earth-human expletives might be rendered 'Faeces!' or 'Mating!'), and no species other than that of the speaker would understand why they were supposed to be rude.
  • In E. E. "Doc" Smith's The Vortex Blasters (a novel loosely associated with the Lensman series), the ultimate unrepeatable expletive on Tominga (where the language metaphors all revolve around plants) is "srizonified". Sentient telepaths, just like the Lens, leave this untranslated, but we are told that it is loosely rendered as "descended from countless generations of dwellers in stinking and unflowering mud."
  • In the Poul Anderson/Gordon R. Dickson Hoka story "Undiplomatic Immunity", "Garrasht!" is a swear word in Worbenite. This later enables the hero to unmask a surgically-altered Worbenit spy.
  • The fairies in Artemis Fowl use this:
    • The word "D'Arvit". In one of the margins, it is "explained" that if the word were to be translated, it'd just be censored anyways. Given the fact that there is already swearing present in the books (as well as the context in which 'd'Arvit' is used), it's obviously a fairly strong word. It's rather infamously used in fanfiction as 'd'Arviting', despite the fact that the word doesn't conjugate the same way as in English. It's worth noting that 'd'Arvit' was said as the first curse in the series, so at that point it could have meant, in context, 'damn it' (Which even seemed likely, given the word itself, and the færies pointing out that every human language originated with Gnommish). But that seems fairly mild. Bottom line, it's vulgar.
    • And also, 'cowpog', which is apparently a vulgar version of 'moron', from what a slightly-more-than-a-bit-delusional Artemis manages to explain.
  • Discworld:
    • A subversion: Dwarfish words are occasionally used in such a context in a conversation that the non-Dwarfish-speakers present assume they're swearwords. Example from the novel Feet of Clay, when a group of angry dwarves discusses an attempted robbery on a dwarven bakery by human criminals with Captain Carrot of the City Watch: "They kicked Olaf Stronginthearm in the bad'dhakz!", "Let's hang 'em up by the bura'zak-ka!" Footnotes explain that the words in question meant "yeast bowl" and "town hall." The joke is upped when Captain Carrot, dwarf by adoption, patiently explains, "Now, now, Mr Ironcrust. We don't practice that punishment in Ankh-Morpork." with the footnote adding: Because Ankh-Morpork doesn't have a town hall.
    • Interestingly, the dwarf word for Littlebottom's name seems to be "Sh'rt'azs", which sounds rather like "shortarse".
    • There's also the dwarf insult tossed at Cheery when the dwarfs see her dressed in a way that clearly indicates she's female in The Fifth Elephant, "ha'ak". Later uses of "ha'ak" in Thud! establish that it's not gender-specific, apparently meaning something along the lines of "betrayer/sullier of dwarfishness".
    • Occasionally invoked with Troll words also. Men at Arms has two troll recruits sworn into the Watch using a powerful Trollish oath of loyalty and obedience, namely "I will do what I'm told, or get my goohuloog head kicked in." Monstrous Regiment introduces the word 'groophar', which is implied to be Trollish for "fuck".
      Carborundum: If people are groophar stupid, then we'll fight for groophar stupidity, 'cos it's our stupidity. And dat's good, yea?
      Maladict: I realize I ought to know these things, but what does "groophar" mean?
      Carborundum: Ah, well . . . when, right, a daddy troll an' a mummy troll—
      Maladict: Good, right, yes, I think I've got it, thank you.
    • This joke is also commonly pulled with archaic words rather than foreign ones, particularly in Guards! Guards!. The penalties for betraying the secret society involve "having your figgin roasted, having your gaskin plucked out," and so on, when these eye-watering words actually mean things like "mince pie" and "waistcoat worn by makers of spectacles". Similarly, there was mention of an esoteric punishment involving being 'hung up by your figgin', students looking up the word out of morbid curiosity and discovering it meant a kind of pastry. Leading to the conclusion that either the language changed over time or there was some secret horror to being suspended next to a teacake.
    • Captain Carrot is known as the only man who can audibly swear in asterisks. "D*mn!" But he has nothing on Rincewind, who can orate an expletive consisting solely of, "!"
    • The "children's" Discworld book The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents differs from the typical "grown-up" Discworld novels only in that the swearing and sex references are translated into either Cat or Rat. The fully human Stupid-Looking Kid even swears in Rat, something that is instantly lampshaded.
    • Early Discworld books replaced the harsher swear words with dashes. A lampshade was hung on this in The Truth, wherein a character has a verbal tic that causes him to punctuate his sentences with dashes and "-ing." This led to an ultimate Face Palm moment when a reader's mother sent an irate letter to Terry Pratchett, complaining about the amount of swearing present in the books. As he said, some people will complain about anything.
      • Lampshaded even earlier in Mort:
    "Well, —— me," he said. "A ——ing wizard. I hate ——ing wizards!"
    "You shouldn't —— them, then," muttered one of his henchmen, effortlessly pronouncing a row of dashes.
    • Also, throughout the series, the phrase "pardon my Klatchian" is used after a character swears. That sounds a bit familiar...
  • Nation has characters using two languages, English and that of the Nation, both of which are rendered in English for the reader's convenience. The only untranslated word occurs when Mau complains that his new trousers "chafe the sresser".
  • Characters in the Doctor Who Expanded Universe novels say "cruk" a lot, which means... pretty much exactly what you'd imagine, and apparently takes the same conjugation. Played with in Happy Endings (set Next Sunday A.D.) when "totally crukked" apparently comes from a kids TV show and just means "tired". The Doctor warns someone who uses it that this will change by the 25th century.
  • Used once in Redwall with the reportedly foul-mouthed squirrel Grood: "Gorrokah!" As well as "splitten flitten gurgletwip" and the other incoherent swearing he was repeatedly reprimanded for.
  • Inverted in The Enemy Papers: human and alien know enough of cheap insults on each other's tongue (or at least they think so), but fluid use of the foes' language is beyond either. So when slightly more complex profanity is used, Davidge has to stop and explain it — after all, what's the point of swearing at someone if the target can't understand? They switch to this linguistic "problem" until all is clear... and then resume the brawl. In the original story, the exact phrase used by the Drac is "kizlode" = "kiz" + "lode".
  • Known Space:
    • The favorite four-letter word is "tanj" — originally an acronym for "There Ain't No Justice".
    • In the Man-Kzin Wars stories, "k'zeerkt" (plural "k'zeerekti") is a Kzinti epithet for humans; a kzeertk is a Kzinhome animal that looks like a small hairless monkey.
    • A few of Niven's stories have "bleep" and "censor" as swear words in their own right, having picked up the connotations of the words they originally replaced.
  • In Piers Anthony's Xanth series, swear words are 'bleeped out' magically if spoken in the presence of a child, although the characters still object to this. An extreme case is in the book Roc and a Hard Place, where a roc (giant bird) is put on trial for using a swear word in the presence of an egg she was caring for. It turns out that although the roc didn't realize it, the chick inside that egg is actually able to hear and understand words spoken in his presence, even before hatching.
    • The curse words are consistently rendered in Symbol Swearing such that #### and $$$$ always refer to specific four-letter words. It's worth noting that these seven words of power carry enough power to literally scorch shrubbery and hair in their vicinity. The Color of Her Panties involves the protagonists having to use Lethe water to unteach a goblin child who'd learned them too early and was causing trouble.
  • Subverted in Piers Anthony's Prostho Plus, wherein all dialogue is translated by the characters' earpieces. A clam-like alien shouts something that comes through as "Boiling oceans!" and the students surrounding him mutter, "Did he say 'poisoned anthills'?" "Yeah! 'Melted ice cream'!"
  • One of H. Beam Piper's Paratime stories had an offhand reference to a Paratime agent being unable to use a straight rearrangement of his real name to fit in because his first name, "zortan", is a particularly unpleasant swear word. The phrase "son of a zortan" pops up approximately 75 times over the rest of the story.
  • Dragonback has "frunge".
  • In Brave New World, John the Savage swears in Zuñi, the language of the area where he was raised.
  • Ciaphas Cain makes liberal use of the term "frak" and its many meanings.
  • In Daughter of the Drow, Forgotten Realms novel by Elaine Cunningham, happens most likely because a drow just have no reason to learn upper-Common words not related to things like commerce or magic:
    Liriel: I've pulled your tzarreth out of the fire four times, you've saved mine three—that sort of thing.
  • Mortal Engines In Fever Crumb's far future London the term blog has become a general purpose profanity.
  • In Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts the Tanith use "feth". The word obviously sounds a lot like fuck and the main protagonist thinks that it does mean that. Supposedly, it refers to the tree spirits back on Tanith. It is actually somewhat ambiguous in the passage where that claim is made as to whether Gaunt is telling the truth and it doesn't mean what people assume, or he's bullshitting an Inquisitor (and he's definitely got the attitude for it), or he's telling the truth and the word DOES still mean exactly what people assume. After all, there are some pretty, well, lascivious tree-spirits in the folklore of our own world.
    • The Verghast members of the unit, who join after Necropolis, have their own curse, "gak". Its noted by one of the commanding officers that the two separate parts of the unit starting to use each others' swear words was a good sign, that the unit was finally starting to gel.
  • William Gibson's "All Tomorrow's Parties" had a bit of twist on this concept in that the reader can hear the profanity, but the characters involved can't. "People are fascinated by the pointlessness of it. That's what they like about it. Yes, it's crazy, but it's fun. You want to send your nephew in Houston a toy, and you're in Paris, you buy it, take it to a Lucky Dragon, and have it re-created, from the molecules up, in a Lucky Dragon in Houston. . . What? What happens to the toy you bought in Paris? You keep it. Give it away. Eviscerate it with your teeth, you tedious, literal-minded bitch. What? No, I didn't. No, I'm sorry Noriko, that must be an artifact of your translation program. How could you imagine I'd say that?"
  • In Bruce Coville's My Teacher Is an Alien series, the main characters have a device installed in their brains that translates all alien languages, even aphorisms and gestures. However, it is stumped by Kreeblim's use of the word "Plevit", save that it seems to be rather obscene.
  • Bill the Galactic Hero often uses "bowb" as his expletive of choice.
  • Happens with the Hork-Bajir in Animorphs, though justified since they speak a mixture of their own language, Galard, and English.
  • The Automatic Detective does this once with a nonverbal communication: in response to Mack's quip, Mack narrates, an alien "executed a maneuver with his tentacles that I could only assume was derogatory in nature."
  • The exclamation Khadasa! appears in Deryni Rising, although the characters otherwise use English, including other swearing in English on occasion (Archbishop Cardiel actually shouts "Goddamnit" once).
  • In the Confederation of Valor series, the races in the Marines learned to get along by learning to swear at one another in their native languages.
  • In Brimstone Angels, heroine Farideh and her twin sister Havilar are the adopted daughters of a dragonborn warrior, and all three of them have a tendency to spout obscenities in Draconic when upset. The author has compiled a short lexicon of these (and Draconic terms that aren't profanities) on her website.
  • Illuminatus! combines this trope elegantly with a thermonuclear Take That: "shit" gets censored with "burger", "penis" with "Rehnquist" and so on. (Wilson evidently lifted the idea here: Gore Vidal)
  • Would you believe that J. R. R. Tolkien did this? The Two Towers has an untranslated line in some Mordor dialect of Orkish, cursing about Saruman. According to Word of God, "I have tried to play fair linguistically, and it is meant to have a meaning and not to be a mere casual group of nasty noises, though an accurate translation would even nowadays [in the 60s] only be printable in the higher and artistically more advanced forms of literature". However, over the course of his life, Tolkien gave three different and contradictory translations for that line, and none really lives up to that statement.note 
    • Orcs are also prone of throwing snarling nonsense words like "garn" or "nar" in their speech, in places where you'd be likely to hear soldiers throw in expletives.
  • In Ella Enchanted, Ella is learning Ayorthaian, the language of the kingdom next to the one in which she lives, from her roommate at boarding school. She calls a bully an "ibwi unju" for mocking her roommate's accent.
    It only meant "tall girl" - I didn't know any Ayorthaian insults. But the way Areida immediately bent double, convulsing with laughter, made it seem like the most vulgur of epithets.
  • In Void Stalker from the Night Lords series, after learning that Septimus got Octavia, the navigator, pregnant, Talos uses a bout of corporal punishment on his slave Septimus.Note  When Talos tells Septimus "Give me one reason not to kill you. And make it incredibly good," in a moment of defiance (also a first), Septimus simply tells him "Tshiva keln." The phrase was Nostroman for "Eat shit." Talos only paused and laughed before continuing, and gave Septimus a stern warning before leaving.
  • Keith Laumer's "Retief" SF series has "Pratzel!" note , it's a mild expletive.
  • Wasp (1957): The alien Sirian insult "soko", which apparently means something analogous to "bastard".
    • While we're at Eric Frank Russell, "faplap" and "enk" in "Next to Kin" (AKA "The Space Willies" AKA "Plus X"), some all-purpose insult for (alien) people.
  • In Warrior Cats, cats have a variety of phrases that are synonymous with human curses, such as "fox dung" (and similar terms) for "shit".
  • In The Sharing Knife series, "blight" is an all-purpose swear for Lakewalkers.
  • The multipurpose swearword of choice in the The Ship Who... series is "fardle" and its variants: fardles, fardling, fardled, etc. There's also "nardy" which is a surprisingly effective insult of unknown meaning, and "shellcrack" which is an expletive that only seems to be used by shellpeople, who probably invented it on the first place. Some books, including The City Who Fought, use more real-world profanity, but also has Joat's creative invective of unknown origin, baffling the older characters.
  • In Tailchaser's Song "me'mre" literally translates to "food-soil" in cat Conlang and is the equivalent of "droppings". Despite this, it's only ever used as the equivalent of "shit". The Clawguard is especially fond of using it as an insult towards their slaves.
    Tailchaser: This promise-keeping seems like a me'mre of a way to go about things.
  • In Ozma of Oz by L. Frank Baum, in a fit of anger at losing the Nome King exclaims "Hippikaloric!", which, the narrator notes, "must be a dreadful word because we don't know what it means".
  • In Shadow of the Conqueror, we have things like "blackened," "son of a Shade," and then the word "Light" being used in all the same ways we use the word "God." ex: "Daylen Namaran, you blackened son of a Shade! Light, you're such a Light-blinding bastard!"note 
  • Yahtzee Croshaw's Jacques McKeown Saga, currently consisting of Will Save the Galaxy for Food and Will Destroy the Galaxy for Cash has 'pilot math', in which abbreviated mathematical terms are used as substitutes for common swear words. "Plying, trac-eating divs, doints and brackets."
  • Star Wars: The High Republic the phrase “Surik’s Blade” is uttered on more than one occasion. Of course, this is a Mythology Gag, referencing the Jedi Exile Meetra Surik, the Player Character from Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords.
  • In Jo Walton's Tooth and Claw, the V-noun and G-verb (implied to be a gendered slur and the draconic equivalent of "fuck," respectively) are never actually spelled out, and the very dirty anatomical colloquialism used by Kest in reference to Sebeth is cut off altogether. Based on the context, the implication is that they are very bad words that are jarring from a middle-class dragon like Kest and completely shocking from a noble matron like Berend, even considering that she's painfully bleeding to death at the time.
  • Goblins in the Castle: Early on in Goblins on the Prowl, Fauna watches a group of goblins searching her cottage for something. When a goblin who's otherwise been speaking English suddenly yells "Urxnagle!" in frustration after they fail to find what they're looking for, she guesses that it's a goblin cuss word.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Aliens in the Family: In one episode, Spit calls Bobut a garch.
  • Mira Furlan, the actress playing Delenn in Babylon 5 occasionally cursed in Minbari after fumbling a line.
    • There are few curse words in Babylon 5, most of which are human in nature. However, Minbari is probably the language where Translation Convention is averted most often. One case provides an instance of "Pardon My Minbari": Lennier is complaining that Sheridan ruined a ritualistic dinner and grumbles some words in Minbari with a tone of frustration, to which Delenn replies, also in Minbari, in a tone that seems to convey a need to be more understanding and patient.
    • Early seasons had the words 'stroke' or 'stroking' used by humans as swear words (presumably a euphemism for masturbation).
  • Battlestar Galactica:
    • The original 1978 series made extensive use of "frack" and "felgercarb".
    • The 2003 relaunch changed the spelling to "frak", and has been particularly fluent in conjugating it in ways that match English constructions: frakking, frakker, frakked...
      • Frak has been slowly making its way into regular English euphemisms, simply because it has aural satisfaction when spoken. Over the past few years, it's also been used with some regularity by Ascended Fanboys in other sci-fi series who might presumably have watched Battlestar Galactica (e.g., Topher in Dollhouse and Fargo in Eureka).
      • While felgercarb has been changed to a brand of toothpaste.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In "A New Man" Giles is turned into a Fyarl demon by the villainous Ethan Rayne. Translation Convention is used so that Giles is heard speaking English by the viewer most of the time, but, when it switches to the POV of any other character, he's grunting and snarling in the Fyarl language. A gag scripted — but unfortunately not used — involved Giles bursting in on Rayne shouting, "I'm going to rip off your arms and shove them up your—(sudden shift to Giles shouting in Fyarl).
  • Lampshaded in an episode of CSI: the episode is actually titled "Fracked" (a natural gas drilling term), and when Ray Langston is asked if he knows what fracking is, he says that it sounds like some kind of sci-fi curse word. Notable since Katee Sackhoff guest stars in this episode.
  • Defiance has "shtako", an Irathient word used in the same contexts as "shit", although other races, including humans, adopt it. Occasionally, though, it's used in contexts where the f-word would be more appropriate, such as "you shtako coward!"
  • In one episode of Dinosaurs one character accidentally shouts "Smoo!" on television after accidentally hurting himself. This titillates the public enough that the network creates "The Smoo Show", which then prompts imitators such as "The Flark Show" and "Kiss my Glip".
  • Doctor Who:
    • A line when the Doctor is holding Davros hostage in "Destiny of the Daleks" strongly implies that "spack" is a Gallifreyan obscene verb. It is often claimed that this was an accidental line-garbling by Tom Baker, but the delivery seems too strong and deliberate for that.
      • While the above explanation is possible, the line is more likely to be a garbled "just back off!"
      • The line as scripted was "Now back off". Baker says "Now" (NOT "Just"), then holds an "s" sound, most likely because he was about say "stay back" or something similar, realises as he's saying it that it's wrong, and turns it into "back off" without pausing. The end result is "Now ssssback off". He most likely expected a retake that never happened.
    • Tom Baker's Doctor uses a Gallifreyan swear word (said in the footnote to be so unspeakably rude that its translation was deleted from the TARDIS's matrix) in the novelisation of "Shada", in reference to this. Of course, being a novelisation, we just see some handwritten squiggles (apparently Old High Gallifreyan writing), one of which looks a bit like the joined-up Venus and Mars symbol sometimes used to represent sex.
      • Also spoofed in the book version of Shada with "The V of Rassilon", an ancient and incredibly rude Gallifreyan symbol, which is actually just the British V-sign.
    • A script from one of the many early-90s attempts to bring the show back — either as a motion picture or a new series — contained the memorable phrase "Sons of Sabiches!"
    • In "The Christmas Invasion", just after making a big deal out of the translation mechanism, the Doctor lapses into Sycorax when insulting the alien leader. Since the Translator Microbes are linked to the Doctor's mind, it's not quite clear whether he's doing this for effect, or it's a suspiciously timed failure of his still-unstable mind. An Expanded Universe story claimed previously that the Translator Microbes have a "swear filter".
    • Chan– In "Utopia", Chantho has a Verbal Tic of beginning all her sentences with "Chan" and ending them with "Tho". According to her, not doing so is the equivalent of swearing to her species. –Tho
    • The Doctor speaks Judoon in "The Stolen Earth". The Doctor is talking to Judoon. So why wasn't it in English in the episode? Similarly, Martha is able to understand the Hath in "The Doctor's Daughter", but it isn't translated for the viewer.
    • Neil Gaiman's Word of God says that while the Corsair has never been recorded to have fought the Daleks, there was an incident where she may have removed the gunsticks and manipulator arms from a whole squad of them and welded them into "something incredibly rude in Skarosian".
  • Largely averted in Earth: Final Conflict, as the Taelons try to appear sensitive and evolved. However, right before being blown up, Zo'or (who was turned into an Atavus) screams "Shabra!", being, presumably, a Taelon curse word.
  • A CBBC advert for Ed & Oucho has the pair having a conversation. Oucho speaking in his tongue of "dee baa shor baa dee" says something, to which Ed replies he cannot say on television. Oucho continues and Ed starts shouting louder at him to stop.
  • A fairly extensive vocabulary of Belter creole profanity was created for The Expanse, most of it based on existing words from various languages used in new ways. Examples include pasheng (the f word), sabakawala (asshole), dzhemang (dickwad), and kaka felota (which pretty much translates as what it sounds like and is a curse that only people who spend a lot of time in zero G would come up with).
  • Farscape: The Translator Microbes only translate profanity sporadically. "Bitch" and "ass" come through loud and clear, but the show had an entire vocabulary to replace FCC-unfriendly words, and occasionally just for humor:
    • Frell. As in, this "frelling" ship, or "I want this miracle of life the frell out of me." While "frelling" was usually used to replace the usual F-word in the more metaphorical sense, there was at least one notable instance where Aeryn Sun used it to refer literally to sexual intercourse, just in case anyone was still slightly fuzzy on which exact curse word it was meant to substitute for.
    • Mivonks: testicles/knickers/junk.
      Chiana: Don't get your mivonks in a twist!
    • Trelk: whore/slut.
    • Dren: crap/the S-word.
      Aeryn: ... and this whole end of the galaxy's in some serious frelling dren.
      • Also, in at least one episode, drug dealers offer to sell the crew "some really great dren."
      • And when Rygel gets hold of some sucrose (in the form of candy he stole from Trick-or-Treaters when first visiting Earth in the past) and gets completely wasted, he tells John that he'll pay anything for more of that dren, no matter how illegal it is.
    • During the later parts of the series some alien characters (Aeryn in particular) try to learn English; since everything is perceived in English due to the microbesnote , the only way to notice this is mangled English idioms and Aeryn's strange foreign accent: Once Aeryn walked off after saying something totally incongruous to the conversation she and John just had; John's response was to mutter to himself that "she's trying to speak English again." Presumably, the microbes translate unknown languages in correct English (for English users), but leave even very bad English as is.
    • There's also "Hezmana" for Hell, in both the figurative "What the Hezmana" or directly "the underworld of Hezmana". The best was "like a barkan out of Hezmana" (Bat out of Hell).
    • Farbot: Insane/crazy. Rygel is fond of this one, usually regarding Stark.
    • Feckik: Ass(hole). Another of Rygel's favorites. Then Chiana threatened to shove something up Rygel's own if he didn't do what she wanted.
    • The DVDs come with Farscape vocabulary as a special feature, which makes fun times for anyone wanting to confuse the Hezmana out of their friends.
    • Humor ensued when some of the crew would attempt to use human idioms they'd heard Chricton say, but they invariably got them wrong.
      • D'Argo saying that if they were going to die, he'd "rather go down on a swing" comes to mind.
      • In an early episode, Aeryn remarks that an alien woman "gives me a woody." John corrects her: "the willies, Aeryn, she gives you the willies".
    • And at least once Klingon was used by John and it failed to translate.
      • He was deliberately trying to confuse an alien chick who claimed to be good at languages (her species is allergic to Translator Microbes).
    • In one episode, after Rygel ran off to sell the others out to the Peacekeepers D'Argo hails him over the comm and throws a string of unintelligible but very menacing Luxan words after Rygel. According to Chiana he said "Something about [Rygel's] corpse, and a...body function."
      • D'Argo tends to do this whenever his Hyper Rage starts to take over. It usually sounds like Angrish, though it apparently isn't.
    • The language Pilots use is extremely complex and nuanced; one word can convey the meaning of an entire conversation. When speaking to others, they have to simplify their language significantly so the Translator Microbes can handle it. When scared, angry, etc. they tend to revert to the untranslatable version. Diagnosans have a similarly-complex language (due to their meticulous medical knowledge) which is why they can't be translated by the microbes either.
  • Firefly had lots of swearing in Mandarin Chinese, though curiously most of the curses when literally translated are actually rather mild or downright funny. Wash's spiel to Zoe in "War Stories" translates as "All the planets in space flushed into my butt". They also use archaic English words that have largely fallen out of use such as "rutting" note , "humped", or "gorram" (which seems more like a linguistic drift from "goddamn").
  • In The Mandalorian, the go-to expletive is "Dank ferrik". Djarin uses it from time to time, and so does one of Bo-Katan's Nite Owls.
  • Mork, from Mork & Mindy, used "Shazbot" most noticeably; despite it being an alien language, it bears enough resemblance to an English expletive that the audience recognizes it.
  • Lampshaded in an episode of NCIS where a suspect insults Gibbs in Klingon, but McGee is able to translate it as "your mother has a smooth forehead", which to a Klingon is a very dirty thing to say indeed. To Gibbs... not so much.
  • Porridge, of all things, has "Naff". Fletcher has also referred to Warden Mackay as a "charmless Celtic nerk" at least once.
  • Red Dwarf has "smeg" (and variants thereof, such as "smegger", "smeghead", etc.). As in:
    • Additional hilarity ensues when Kryten tries to swear. Due to either a malfunction or censorship, when he says "Smeghead" (usually to Rimmer) all that comes out is "That smeeeeeeeee... Smeeeeeeeee..."
    • The show's usage of "Smeg" became so prolific that when Craig Charles visited a PBS station in California for a pledge drive, an astonishing number of people pledged on the contingency that he would either call them a smeghead on air, or tell them what "Smeg" meant. His answer to the latter? "Ask your mother."
      • Your mother would probably tell you that it is an Italian brand of large kitchen (and other home) appliances (cookers, fridges, etc)...
      • That, or it's short for "smegma" (look it up if you really want to know). The show's creators say they'd never heard of smegma, but thought it worked perfectly for the long form of "smeg", both in meaning and in name.
    • "Goit" and "Gimboid" were also used, but with far less frequency.
    • In one episode, Lister calls Rimmer a "gwenlan," which was a Take That! against a producer who had turned the series down.
    • A few episodes used "Gordon Bennett" as a exclamation of annoyance.
      • Truth in Television. "Gordon Bennett" is often used in Britain as a substitute for swearing or blasphemy (possibly because the first syllable sounds like the Cockney pronunciation of "God"). The real Gordon Bennett was a newspaper baron famous for, among other things, being both eccentric and extravagant.
  • In one episode of Shake it Up, Tinka flies off the handle when she learns that CeCe will be dancing with her brother Gunther instead of her and rattles off a very colorful string of words in the language of whatever country it is that she comes from. When asked for a translation, Gunther remarks that he doesn't feel comfortable repeating what she said in mixed company.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • "Deadman Switch":
      Aris Boch: And you, O'Neill, you're considered — Well, you're a pain in the mikta.
      Jack O'Neill: Neck?
      Teal'c: No.
    • "Gonach, ha'shak!" (screw you, fool/weakling!) and "Mai'tac!" (damn!).
    • Also, until the defeat of the Goa'uld, Teal'c was ubiquitously known as "shol'va" (traitor). The word was always spat out as a curse, although it made Teal'c and O'Neill smile.
    • The episode "200" had a scene that was a Shout-Out to Farscape above, parodying its tendency toward this trope by consisting almost entirely of the characters swearing in alien languages. The best one had to be Christopher Judge's character's "Hezmana!", or perhaps Ben Browder's "Son of a hazmot!"
  • Star Trek
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
      • Worf occasionally uses Klingon curse words. Also, in Fanon, Picard frequently swears in French (something he actually did onscreen, if only rarely).
      • In "The Mind's Eye", the Klingon governor, Vagh, has confiscated Federation weapons used by separatists (they turn out to be Romulan replicas), leading to a tense on-screen moment:
        Picard: Governor, you speak as if we were enemies, not allies.
        Vagh: And you speak the lies of a taHqeq!translation 
        Picard: (pauses, walks straight to Vagh's face) Qu'vatlh ghuy'cha' baQa'!
        Ambassador Kell: Gentlemen!
        Vagh: You swear well, Picard. You must have Klingon blood in your veins.
      • A perfect example is an exchange involving Worf, Riker, and the eponymous Romulan admiral in the episode "The Defector":
        Jarok (posing as "Setal"): How do you allow Klingon petaQ to walk around in a Starfleet uniform?
        Worf: You are lucky this is not a Klingon ship. We know how to deal with spies.
        Jarok: Remove this tohzah from my sight.
        Riker: Your knowledge of Klingon curses is impressive. But, as a Romulan might say, only a veruul would use such language in public.
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
      • Subverted and also inverted in the episode "The Way of the Warrior." In the middle of a battle between a Klingon fleet and Deep Space Nine that was going decidedly worse than the Kingons had expected, Gowron and Martok have a brief, un-subtitled exchange in Klingon that really sounds like it's laced with frustrated profanity. Turns out Martok was actually paying the crew of DS9 a compliment:
        General Martok: They fight like Klingons!
        Chancellor Gowron: Then they can die like Klingons. Destroy their shields! Prepare boarding parties!
      • From earlier in the episode:
        Odo: Can I help you?
        Drex: Lohd Zoss-lee chaw-KU sohk jaTAL?
        Garak: Actually, I'm not sure Constable Odo has a mother.
      • Because their ears are erogenous zones and they are a heavily patriarchal society, Ferengi have idioms that equate their "lobes" to testicles if used in a human context. A common insult is to call someone "lobe-less" (like calling a human "ball-less", with similar gendered implications since female Ferengi have much smaller ears than male Ferengi), while one compliment or boast is to say someone "has the lobes" (like how a human "has the balls").
    • Star Trek: Voyager: Another example of Klingon swear vs. swear comes in the finale "Endgame." Admiral Janeway is escorted into a Klingon cave by the ¼ Klingon-¾ Human Miral Paris and snarks about the décor, prompting one of the Klingons to unload a Foreign-Language Tirade on her—and Miral returns fire with a profane blast that has the Klingon backing down.
    • Star Trek: Enterprise:
      • Hoshi cusses T'Pol out in Vulcan in the pilot. T'Pol's response is something along the lines of "Very impressive, but I thought we were speaking English on this journey."
      • From the episode "Terra Prime" (a basic form of a Universal Translator had just been invented by Hoshi):
        "There are protesters chanting outside the Andorian embassy. And they're using words that aren't in the universal translator!"
    • Star Trek: Picard:
      • In "The End Is the Beginning", the Romulan assassin whom Picard interrogates insults his captor by calling him a "qezhtihn."
      • In "Nepenthe", when Narek loses the tracking signal on La Sirena, he shouts "Qazh!", which is apparently the Romulan equivalent of "Shit!"
      • In "Broken Pieces", Narissa utters a panicked "Qezh" just before she's mauled by a group of xBs. It's the root word of qezhtihn.

  • Juck is the standard curse word in the galazy of Mission to Zyxx, and you can probably guess what it means. One planet actually does use fuck; this is explained as being one of the ways that planet's dialect differs from the galactic standard. Meanwhile, in the Coalition of United Planets, toop is the standard curse; the heroes quickly figure out that toop translates directly as juck, but for some reason it's the one word the COUP's universal translators don't translate.

  • In The Space Gypsy Adventures Gemma launches a tirade of Mogavis insults at Constable Bones after he shoots Fluff down. Bones is part space gypsy and understands what she's saying but no one else in the area does, especially not the audience (it is a kid's show after all).

  • Made into a running joke in Dino Attack RPG. Given that it was based on a LEGO line on a family friendly board, actual curses were out of the question. At fist players just got around it by using mundane variants (i.e. "darn") but later made a running joke out of creating curse words that would seem "foul" to LEGO people, many of which were inside jokes. For instance:
    • MegaBloks: Since a large portion of LEGO fans view MegaBloks as a Shoddy Knockoff Product of LEGO. As a sort of Take That!, "megablok" became one of the most often-used curse words in the RPG, used in many different contexts such as "son of a megablok", "megabloking", "what the megablok", and "oh, megabloks".
    • 4+ figure (or simply "4+" in some cases): Used as a derogatory term, derived from a line aimed at young children which became particularly infamous for its oversized and uncustomizable minifigures. A number of variations also exist, such as "4+ Pirates" and "Jack Stone", which refer to specific themes from the line.
    • "Znap": Often used when the other two are not fitting. Based on a short-lived line of sets made to compete with K'nex.

  • Older Than Television: In Gilbert and Sullivan's Utopia, Limited (1893), Tarara, the Public Exploder of the Kingdom of Utopia, enters raving in his native language ("Lalabalele talala! Callabale lalabalica falahle!"); the Utopian maidens all cover their ears when they hear this shocking language, all the more shocking since a royal decree has abolished the Utopian language in favor of English. Tarara nevertheless insists he has no choice but to the Utopian language for venting certain feelings of his, having learned from British education that the English language has no such strong expressions.

  • Being Merchandise-Driven, BIONICLE has the challenge of bringing in new villains every year and having to establish their bad guy cred. One time they did this in part by having the team name be a dirty word in-universe: "Piraka" means thief, murderer, sadist, and so on; Even Evil Has Standards but Piraka don't (and the villains in question wear this label with pride). And being Merchandise-Driven, the "offensive" word got plastered all over posters, websites, toy packaging, you name it.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Doubly subverted in Warhammer 40,000, with the term Eldars use to talk about the humans: "mon'keigh" (pronounced mon-k-aye), a racial slur for species deemed inferior. Its literal translation is those who must be killed.
    • Orks, on the other hand, famously have their all-purpose curse "zog," which seems to have no specific meaning other than as profanity.
    • Tau refer to humans, generally derogatorily, as "Gue'la", a term clearly derived from the Chinese "gweilo". Humans who serve the Tau, on the other hand, are called gue'vesa.
    • And in the classic fantasy Warhammer, Dwarfs had a colourful Conlang named Khazalid that contained a lot of insults: "Skruff", a thin or unkempt beard, never ever use this to insult a Dwarf unless you really want to fight him; Umgak, literally "Like a human", also used interchangeably for describing shoddy craftsmanship; and "Wazzock", meaning "sucker" (literally "A dwarf who has exchanged gold or some other valuable item for something of little to no worth at all") but also used as a catch-all term to insult someone's intelligence.
    • Averted with Wulfrik the Wanderer, a Chaos character who was given the gift of tongues to be able to insult any opponent in their own language so they couldn't not want to fight him, so his taunts come out in translated English without any foreign words.
  • One of the sourcebooks for the FASA Star Trek game had an aside about terms different species use for things that don't work and what their literal translation into English is. The Tellarite word translates to "inedible" or "tastes bad". The Andorian word literally means "pink". The Orion word translates as "trade goods". It also mentions that there's no equivalent word in Vulcan. "Apparently, on Vulcan everything always works."
  • Shadowrun has quite a few family-friendly swears as part of its future slang. "Drek" is the common equivalent of "shit," whereas "frag" is the common equivalent of "fuck" - though, given the tendencies of most shadowrunners, it's used more to refer to death than sex ("he got fragged"). By the time 4th Edition was released, the use of future slang was greatly diminished in favor of more real-world profanity, but 5th Edition brought it back in full force, probably because of the grognards who produced that edition.

    Video Games 
  • In the computer RPG Neverwinter Nights, the elven cleric Linu La'neral will exclaim "Takasi! Oh, excuse my Elven" when she fails to break or unlock a chest that your character can't unlock.
  • A Tale of Two Kingdoms has "gronk" as a generic Goblin swearword, cuss and interjection, plus assorted bits of "slang". They also use 'Pinkskins' and 'Pinkies' as a slang for humans.
  • Even The Sims seem to have their Simlish swear word equivalents. In the first game, angry or frustrated Sims would sometimes yell something that sounds like "Googlesnot!"
  • In StarCraft, Zeratul and the other Dark Templars will say "Khas nerada!" when annoyed. The inflection clearly marks it as a curse. Presumably it's referencing the ancient Protoss hero Khas, which would make sense as a Dark Templar curse (being something along the lines of Khas be damned) since the whole Dark Templar society is based around the rejection of the Khala, which was Khas's invention.
  • Drone and Grenadier class Locust in the Gears of War series sometimes scream "Suck my blithe!" in the campaigns and Horde mode. Of course, they don't pardon their Locust, as those few seconds could be better spent shooting you in the face.
  • Mass Effect:
    • "Bosh'tet", meaning "faulty tech", is a quarian swear word that Tali will say whenever frustrated (quarians live most of their lives on star ships, so their culture is much more tech oriented than other races). She also calls Shepard this (albeit affectionately) if Shepard chooses to tease Tali about how flustered she gets confessing how much she's come to trust and appreciate Shepard.
    • She also exclaims "Keelah" from time to time. It translates as "By the homeworld" so it might have connotations along the lines of a more secular "For Heaven's sake."
    • Mordin once refers to one of his fellow Salarians as "bit of a cloaca, though." The cloaca is the bird/amphibian equivalent to the anus/genitals and Salarians are confirmed to be amphibians that reproduce via eggs, so It Makes Sense in Context. He was basically calling him an asshole AND a dick.
    • Krogans also have the refer to a "quad", which correlates pretty directly to a "pair" of balls or cojones (Krogan have four testicles). "You've got a quad" is used in the same context as "You've got a pair" would be.
    • If you decide to kick Conrad Vernor in ME2, the Asari bartender will yell, "Kick him in the quad!" then apologizes, "Sorry. My father was a Krogan.''
    • If you kill the thresher maw in Grunt's loyalty mission, Wrex remarks, "Next you'll tell me he's a quint and craps dark matter." "Quint" presumably meaning having five testicles.
    • Mass Effect: Andromeda: Jaal will at one point refer to Aksuul as a "vehshaanan". Ryder asks what that is, and Jaal replies "Someone pleased with his own shit." The angara also have the general-purpose "skutt", which is essentially their equivalent of "fuck" and used as such just like humans use the latter.
  • In Infinite Space, the word "Grus" is a context-sensitive swear. It can mean anything from "Shit" to "hell".
  • The Thief series has the word "Taffer". Its also used as "What the taff?"
  • In The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, enemy Dunmer are fond of call you their race's Fantastic Slurs: s'wit, fetcher, and N'wah. The first two are used similarly to "shit/idiot" and the "f" word while also being an offensive term for a slave, respectively. The last is a highly offensive word for "outlander" with similar negative connotations as the Japanese "gaijin".
  • One of the voice chat options in Tribes is "Shazbot!", a reference to Mork & Mindy.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, when removed from the party at the party selection screen, Sten reacts with a disgusted "Vashedan." Saemus in Dragon Age II uses the same phrase towards one of his "rescuers." It translates, more or less, as "refuse" or "rubbish". Since Qunari seem to abhor waste, this may be worse than it sounds.
    • Fenris tends to lapse into Tevene (his native language) if he's upset. Which can be often.
    • Dorian in Dragon Age: Inquisition also swears in Tevene, most often using the phrase "vishante kaffas," which translates roughly to "you shit on my tongue." Solas in the same game occasionally swears in Elvhen.
  • Half-Life 2, during the chapter "Sand Traps" had a vortigaunt camp after you got the bugbait, you'll come across two vorts who'll pardon themselves for there "flux shifting" speech and tell you they will speak English unless they want to get away with saying "unflattering things about you."
    • After which, they immediately go back to their flux shifting speech.
  • In The Reconstruction, Yacatec does this twice. Early in chapter 4, he calls Tehgonan a "Zin d'an"note , at which point Dehl snaps, "Yacatec, please do not call him that." Later, after the camp is threatened to be washed away by magical rain, he snaps at Ques, flinging what is presumably a heinous insult at him in his native language.
  • In Guild Wars, the only Asuran word heard so far has been "bookah," which is stated to mean a non-Asura. Given its general usage (and its derivation from a clumsy, stupid creature in Asuran folklore), however, it's really something of a racial slur.
  • Sacred Odyssey: Rise of Ayden: The kingdom of Lasgalen worships the goddess, Uryah, so every cuss word with "god" is substituted with Uryah.
  • Wings of Dawn: During a Q&A session with the fans, Crystal (a Cyrvan) responded to a certain request with "Ariyu ze yyura." No one's sure what this means, but everyone's sure it isn't... polite.
    • In the game itself, a Cyrvan named Sylphia launches into a brief Foreign-Language Tirade when she and the heroes jump into a massive blockade unexpectedly. Silver responds that she's glad she doesn't know what it meant.
  • In the original Unreal, a Kraal minion leaves behind journal pages about a human prisoner the player is tracking. In the first entry you find, he says the prisoner "kicked me in the hrangos!" Soon after, just to make sure there's no doubt what those are, another entry says the prisoner escaped, and when the Kraal's superior officer finds out, "I'll be de-hrangoed for sure!"
  • From the Baldur's Gate series:
    • The drow elf Viconia has a pretty sharp tongue. Sometimes she uses Drow curses: from relatively mild "Oloth plynn dos!"note  up to—when she's really angry—"Iblith!"note .
    • Lae'zel in Baldur's Gate III has an impressive array of githyanki insults and derogatory terms, such as "Kainyank". She doesn't translate, but from context the general impression is of implying weakness and inferiority to the Proud Warrior Race githyanki. "Shka'keth" seems to be an all-purpose obscenity.
  • Baraka in Mortal Kombat 11, Kano tells Baraka that he should join Kronika. Baraka's response? "NOKT you and Kronika!"
    Kano: Now that's a bonzer attitude.
  • Ghost of a Tale features the word "scrunt", which the lore describes as "a word too rude to define."
  • Republic Commando has all the classic Star Wars curse words, as well as some more obscure ones. There’s even a loading screen dedicated to the word “Fierfek”, which is universally accepted as Huttese for “poison”, but the Clone Commandos adopted it as a battlefield curse.
    Boss: Come on you fat, ugly fierfeks, come get me!
  • In Heaven's Vault, the slave trader uses words towards Aliya such as farwet and sallehua. The exact meaning is not explained, but from the context they must be swear words in Elborethian patois.
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles 3, the soldiers of the Keves and Agnus nations use the terms 'spark' and 'snuff' as expletive terms (i.e., "What the spark are you on about?" "Ah, snuff it!", etc.), and a replacement for the "fuck" swear. This is justified in the context that they both serve under the Flame Clocks of their respective colonies, and so evoke fire-based symbolism for this kind of emphasis. Their status as Child Soldiers with no notion of sexuality or religion means that they lack the vocabulary to reference such concepts, though real-world expletives that refer to body parts (such as 'bollocks' and 'arsehole') and other exceptions like "bitch" are evidently still fair game.

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner features The Cheat, who only speaks in his self-titled language (which sounds like cute grunts), and Pom Pom, whose "voice" is a bubbling sound; both have had instances where they were told to watch their language.
  • Lobo (Webseries): Like in the comics, Lobo swears with "frag", "Feetal's Gizz" and "bastich".
  • Starship Regulars: The characters swear some alien phrases. "Flaht" is used in place of "shit".

    Web Comics 
  • Tim in Bobbins used to say "tupping", particularly in his supposed hard-man catchphrase "Tuppin' liberty!". (He has used it sometimes in Scary Go Round, too.) In this case, the replacement is just an archaic word meaning... exactly the same thing. Shakespeare used it in Othello.
  • The orcs in Dominic Deegan say "Ilka tuk tak" whenever they feel like they need to let out some foul language, and it is infrequently commented as being very inappropriate.
  • Save Hiatus: When Ven finds out his favorite show, Hiatus has been cancelled, he's not very happy. The creators even had a contest to name all the sources of his epithets.
  • The utterance of real swear-words in Erfworld is impossible, due to instantaneous forced self-censorship by the Powers That Be ("Oh, boop!"). In a variant of this trope, Erfworlders have come up with some pretty graphic uses of words they can say (e.g. clinical terms like "testes" are permitted) to sidestep this limitation.
    • And Parsons does manage to overcome the censorship quite spectacularly in the last strip of the first book, whether due to extreme frustration or him having recently "broken the game" through his exploits.
  • Robot swearing is discussed at one point in Questionable Content.
    Pintsize: Human cusswords focus on mating, excretion, and genitalia. Robot cusswords focus on mashing on homerow. ASDF is a four-letter word.
    Hannelore: Hee hee! So what is "qwerty" slang for then? *Pintsize and Winslow assume squicked-out expressions* What? What did I say?
  • Darths & Droids:
    • Artoo lets out a lengthy string of untranslated bleeping in this strip. (With the inevitable link back here.) In the annotations, it is stated that making up your own curse words is "as fun as praff."
      Annie: Wow. I almost regret leaving the translator off for that.
    • In strip #1019, Pete (R2-D2) rolls a die with the numbers written in Quenya. (He has a lot of custom dice.)
      Dungeon Master: Okay, I can't read Quenya. What does it say?
      Pete: (sigh) It says "your periscope is (Quenya)note ."
  • Schlock Mercenary:
    • The comic has some good ones from robots as well: "Divide me by zero!" "Mother of chrome!".
    • Prabstdi have a couple with some elaborate history, emphasizing how big they are on having control. "Doublethrice" is a mild one, which refers to all the "mechanisms" through which they can exert control and can be more or less translated to "despite everything I have, something happened, I hated it and I couldn't stop it". They also have their own version of Flipping the Bird, by lifting one of their hooves and waggling their vestigial finger at the one to be insulted; this essentially compares them to that same finger, which they consider entirely useless and thus turns the whole gesture into the rudest one available for the race.
    • Fobott'r have another with a good history. A "tlumnph" is a metal plate engraved to the micron with the genealogy of its bearer, making them extremely important relics to each individual fobott'r. Tlumnphrot is, therefore, the possibility of a low-quality tlumnph corroding and thus losing its important contents. While it's not something that happens, the very idea is so offensive tlumnphrot makes for a fairly strong swear.
  • Cthulhu in Chainsawsuit had a good reason for Precision Fhtagn Strike.
  • Liska in Tails From The Mynarski Forest once shouted "O EMBLEER FRITH!" — a reference to Watership Down. After a reader commented that a fox seemed unlikely to use "embleer" as a swear (see above), the writer responded that it might be akin to saying "Sweet Jesus".
  • Some of the trolls' names for genitals in Homestuck are obviously supposed to be obscene, although troll words are really just strange compounded English words, and they use excessive amounts of ordinary profanity, too. Some constructions like this are things like 'bone bulge', 'nook', 'bulgereek nookstain', 'shame globe', 'phlegm lobe', 'seed flaps', and so on. For instance, Vriska at one point talks idiomatically of someone having their head stuck up their nook, much as we'd talk about someone with their head stuck up their ass.
  • Commander Kitty: Characters use the multipurpose swear "numph." It's been used as a mild expy for "noob" ("Quit acting like a numph.") or a less-mild expy for "screwed" - or more profane, depending on the speaker. ("I really numphed this up, didn't I?")
  • In Recursion, "flux" is used as a replacement for a certain other "f-word".

    Web Original 
  • In the Hamster's Paradise post "Talk to the Trees", a talbot named Riverstone says "pwi-yipp" to some scaly-creepers who mimic sounds, which is described as a word the elders have forbade him to say.
  • Inverted in A Hero's War; whatever strange power summoned Cato to Inath has also altered his mind to use the local language, but since Inath has no religion, his friend Landar doesn't know what "hell" means.
  • Happens in the Whateley Universe too. Fey, who is merged with an ancient Faerie queen, sometimes curses in languages that haven't been spoken in millennia. Carmilla, who is the descendant of Cosmic Horror creatures, has been heard to swear to.. well, you don't want to know what she was swearing to.
  • The Neverending Quest:
    "What the heck?" Astra exclaimed most unroyally. "Pardon my French." Actually she didn't say heck, and it wasn't exactly French either.
  • Literally Klingon in Dragon Ball Z Abridged when Dende calls Frieza a petaQ.
  • Some grizzfarb says Mr. Welch is no longer allowed to make up gnomish profanities.
  • In this Protectors of the Plot Continuum mission, an agent native to an NPC empire in Spore speaks a Starfish Language, and the Universal Translator renders his swearing (untranslated) into human phonemes as "Kogec mjaaš." ("KAW-getch MYAAHSH", with pitch accent)
  • Draggian Universe's WHATverse lorebase has its characters in the Constructed World of Dragga speaking in English via Translation Convention in its written stories, but the in-universe report on the malevolent mythical god Likoa mentions two major swear words in the Draggan language, which is based on combinations of roots. The two roots that are used in swear words are "plun-", which literally refers to someone who leaves excrement in an unsafe or public place, but is figuratively translated as "filth" or "defilement" and described as an all-purpose swear word. The other one, koa, from which Likoa's name originates, roughly means "serial killer" but is also used for fictional villains with destructive powers and as a swear word, implies that someone not only has the destructive power of a walking natural disaster, but goes out of their way to cause harm. It's described as the strongest insult in modern Draggan and a word that regularly starts physical fights.

    Web Videos 
  • At the end of the pilot video for Button's Adventures, Button, who has just been grounded for staying up all night playing video games, shouts "Zeikamif," ("ZAY-ka-miff") a word in the video game's Conlang which is subtitled with Symbol Swearing.
  • Spoony plays this one for laughs in his review of the Demolition Man video game. He has a sponsorship deal with Taco Bell and thus has to keep the show all-ages, but when the game gets particularly frustrating he starts resorting to such classics as frell, frack, and smeg in order to get around the restriction on swearing.

    Western Animation 
  • Subverted in Adventure Time, in which "Glob" is used frequently as a euphemism for "God" in exclamations. After a while, it is revealed that there is an actual deity in their universe called Grob Gob Glob Grod, and he really does exist.
  • The Amazing Adrenalini Brothers: Xan in particular has a fondness for spouting "botsna ratta", which is clearly a curse, though the Fictionary on the website insists it translates as being a "very strong drat".
  • In season three of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Aang uses "monkey feathers" in a context that implies it's the equivalent of "motherfucker".
  • Batman Beyond did this to make the future seem more real, by having slang terms being slightly different. Terry would often utter 'slag it' when he was agitated. It's not a new slang term (being used in both real life British and in ''Beast Wars').
  • There's also "twip" which was used often by Terry as an insult for his younger brother. Though it could just be a corruption of "twerp", a contemporary insult commonly delivered to someone smaller than the insulter.
  • The word k'vark is quite an obvious four-letter-word replacement in Ewoks.
  • On The Fairly Oddparents, both Norm and HP have used the term "smoof" in place of any expletive. Oddly, smoof was established in its first use as a magical substance rather than anything that could be dirty.
    • It makes sense, since it seems to be more an anti magic material. To them, it could be a literal way to refer to some version of hell.
  • Justice League: Hawkgirl occasionally says "Yom Shigureth" when she's frustrated.
  • The Legend of Korra: Lin uses "flameo" at one point, a term heavily implied to be an F-bomb alternative.
  • Lloyd in Space used the interjection "durf" a lot, although given that he's a kid, its meaning is probably more along the lines of "darn".
  • Megas XLR: I'll have your jhorbloks for not putting Warmaster Gorrath on here!
  • Cathy from Monster Buster Club does this. A lot.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode It Ain't Easy Being Breezies, Seabreeze explodes at his fellow Breezies with a rant that leaves Fluttershy in horrified, open-mouthed shock. When her friends ask her to translate, she declines, blushing.
  • In an episode of The Owl House, a member of the Wizarding School's Girl Posse calls the other members "you witches", which is what they all literally are, but the way she says it makes it seem like a stand-in for "you bitches".
  • Phineas and Ferb: In "Nerds of a Feather", Phineas and Ferb attempt to have the Fandom Rivalries between those of Space Adventure and Stumbelberry Finkbat make peace, but they fail. At the end of the first act, Phineas says, "To quote Lump Sharkboard from Space Adventure 16... 'glorf'."
    Heavenly choir: Glooooooooorrrrrrrf!
  • Pirates of Dark Water did this to let their fantasy pirates swear, which for cartoons was a bold move.
    • Common examples are chonga and chongo-longo, but special mention goes to noy jitat! (implied to mean "damn!" or "God damn!") which actually got conjugated — and fairly often — into jitatin ("damned" as in "that jitatin monkey-bird") and jitata ("damned one", "damn kid", or occasionally "dumbass").
  • The Simpsons: Kang and Kodos occasionally use expletives such as "Holy flurking schnidt!" In another episode, Bart says "Oh, shazbot!" when threatened. Both examples parody Mork & Mindy.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Since the show is rated Y7, there obviously isn’t any swearing, although the characters will frequently say “barnacles,” which is implied to be at least a mildly bad word in Bikini Bottom. However, there are some underwater words that are treated as profane.
    • In “Sailor Mouth,” SpongeBob and Patrick learn a new word that’s literally a dolphin sound effect, which is treated like a substitute for the f-word. It is one of the 13 bad “words,” you should never use.
    • In “Krusty Love,” SpongeBob gives Mr. Krabs a long rant that is in complete jibberish, although those words are said to be quite foul.
  • Star Wars Rebels:
    • Garazeb Orrelios has his ever-frequent "Karabast!", a seemingly quite versatile expletive in his native Lasat tongue. Agent Kallus even brings this up once.
      "Karabast, karabast! What does that even mean?"
    • There's also Chopper, who is heavily implied to be a Sir Swears-a-Lot in Binary. Unlike R2, he almost never gets direct translation of what he's saying, and another droid says that the language he uses would get him disintegrated in some systems. The viewer can usually work it out (the beeps are in the same cadance as what his dialog would be in English) and he definitely sounds like he's swearing like a sailor.
  • Super Robot Monkey Team Hyper Force Go has an episode where Sparx says "Monkey doodle!" in shock and is promptly told "Watch your language!" by Gibson.
  • Happens in an episode of Team Galaxy in which Josh and Brett are supposed to be translating a text from an alien language into English. Josh, who has been goofing off playing a video game on his computer, connects his up to Brett's and steals his copy. Josh ends up taking all the credit. Annoyed, Brett tells Josh he has a word for him and speaks some strange word. The whole class suddenly gains an expression of shock on their faces.
  • Teen Titans:
    • Starfire is prone to using Tamaranian profanity and/or insults when agitated. For a character portrayed as sweet and innocent, she has a foul mouth. She knows many of the Curses of the Tamaranian Ancients.
    • This becomes a plot device in the episode Troq. The word in question is an ethnic slur against Tamaranians, unbeknownst to the rest of the titans. The word literally means "nothing", which causes a misunderstanding at first when Cyborg asks Starfire what the word means. So Cyborg casually calls Starfire a Troq later, which makes her furious...because it's not that Troq doesn't mean anything, it's that it literally means "nothing—i.e., "zero or worthless".
    • Starfire did it again in a DC Nation Short.
  • Transformers:
    • Justified in Beast Wars. The transformers — Rhinox in particular — use "slag" as an epithet roughly equivalent to the s-word, which makes some kind of sense for robots, as it's the unwanted by-product of smelting. One time, Rattrap even goes as far as to yell, "Holy slag!" in a completely appropriate situation.
    • Transformers: Animated uses "slag" as a swear word, this time with Bumblebee as the worst offender. Note that the Dinobot Slag was renamed "Snarl" in Animated (with a bit of Lampshade Hanging from Scrapper). As it's also a sexist insult in some places, later series have pretty much replaced it with "scrap" or "frag" (which were already being used anyway).
  • The Trap Door had some wanderfully evocative examples - 'Globbits' and 'Great Grumfuttucks Tusks'.
  • In Voltron: Legendary Defender, "quiznak" seems to be (at least somewhat) offensive in Altean. The characters tend to use it in Oh, Crap! moments, and Coran and Allura freak out in the background in Episode 1 when Lance tells Keith to "shut your quiznak!" (though in that case, the fans debate on whether or not the specific context Lance was using it in made it more offensive than it normally would be given that the contexts they use it in indicate it's closer to the f-word or s-word in meaning and attempting to use it as an a-word substitute as Lance was is beyond inappropriate.)
    • Captain Olia says "ruggle" in a Oh, Crap! moment during the fourth season finale.
  • Wander over Yonder has an impressive collection of outer-space swears, many of them used by Sylvia. The episode "The Family Reunion" has her visiting home where her mother reprimands her for swearing, making it clear that terms like "grop" and "narfin' froods" are indeed curse words in this universe.
  • In Young Justice, Lobo repeatedly shouts “keezy fem!” during a fight with Wonder Girl, which appears to be a stand in for “crazy bitch!” Word of God says it literally translates to "little female", with "keezy" being a very vulgar form of the word "little".


Video Example(s):



When Tulio tries to comfort Linda about the fact her bird Blu (along with Jewel) was stolen by smugglers' by saying that it's not her fault she agrees then blames Tulio for the incident by going on a short rant directed towards him and finishes it off by cursing at him in bird noises though she apologizes almost immediately for it.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / PardonMyKlingon

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