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Rimmer: "Holly, put a trace on Paranoia."
Holly (ship's computer): "What's a 'trace' "?
Rimmer: "It's space jargon. It means 'find him'."

Holly: "No, it doesn't. You just made it up to sound cool."
Red Dwarf, Confidence and Paranoia

Slang has changed over time, and undoubtedly will change more in the future. Therefore, in the interests of verisimilitude or just to sound interesting, writers who write stories set in The Future will include their idea of Future Slang as an attempt to (mildly) avert Eternal English. Often these will be drop-in replacements for current phrases, unless they are subject to Bilingual Bonus.

On the other hand, in more traditional Science Fiction, We Will Not Use Slang In The Future, with the characters speaking various degrees of Spock Speak.

Can misfire and sound Totally Radical.

See also Pardon My Klingon, Unusual Euphemism, Newspeak, Strange Syntax Speaker, Leet Lingo and Techno Babble.

Examples of Future Slang include:

Anime And Manga

  • Cyber Team in Akihabara: Suzume Sakurajosui thinks this trope is so very super-electric, that it is.
  • Macross toys with it with the word "Deculture", originally a Zentradi swear word. By 2059, as shown in Macross Frontier, it's become a common enough slang word that it's even used in advertising, though the meaning has changed, probably by in-universe Memetic Mutation, to be used in positive contexts as well. The most accurate English phrase to "Deculture" would be "Oh God".
  • Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon uses Judge and Tes, short for Judgement and Testament, as replacements for yes in their homelands, this also doubles as an easy way of knowing who is from where.

Comic Books

  • Alan Moore's The Ballad of Halo Jones does this, so much so that it can be tricky to get into at first.
  • Used in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, where it didn't shiv, but was instead nasty. Balls nasty.
    • Mutants make an appearance in the present day in Batman Incorporated; their vernacular is still impenetrable.
  • Disney Adventures magazine had comics in it... anyway, an article about Twenty Minutes Into the Future technology (heat sensitive walls, VR videogames, etc) featured a boy from the present and a girl from the future. She uses entirely futuristic slang except for "cool", which will always be cool.
  • Fray, a possible future of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer universe, uses this as the logical result of Buffy-Speak plus centuries of linguistic drift. To wit: Fray has an anning hab of abrevving half the words in every sent she speaks. It can be frustring to piece togeth what she's tring to comm. When Buffy gets pulled forward in time in the Season 8 comics, she remarks:

Buffy: A "spin" is a lie. "Toy" is bad, but "spled" is good. Boy, the English language is just losing it. I should have treated it better...

  • Judge Dredd features a lot of Future Slang—mostly swear words, such as "Drokk" and "Grudd", but other terms have been used. Pat Mills is a great fan of futuristic slang in the stories he writes for 2000AD. Unfortunately, he also feels the need to emphasise every new word he invents, (e.g. "Come on, man, we were just "baggin' bilboes"). As a result, the slang looks as novel to the characters as it does to the reader.
  • Legion of Superheroes, when Jim Shooter is writing it. Oh florg, someone zeezee Cos, he'll translate this zizz.
    • Bart Allen (Impulse) and other future denizens of the DC universe throw around the word "grife", usually as a replacement for family-friendly expletives like "crap." "Oh, grife." Possibly an Interlac word, but Bart has great difficulty replacing it with any acceptable English equivalent.
    • Jim Shooter also did this when he wrote Magnus, Robot Fighter and Warriors Of Plasm.
    • "Zeezee" in particular is quite clever, since it's specifically DC Universe future slang (it means to contact via communicator, and is a reference to Jimmy Olsen's signal watch).
    • Lampshade Hanging in Legion of Super-Heroes Secret Files and Origins, where a magazine interview with the Legion's financier, R.J. Brande, commented on his frequent use of "By damn". Brande said he was an old fashioned guy and didn't hold with obscenities like "grife".
    • "Grife" dates back long before Jim Shooter came back to the Legion. The use of future slang varies from writer to writer, with "grife" and "klordney" showing up in the seventies issues.
  • Lobo: Lobo is prone to calling people "Fraggin' Bastiches," though the reference to actual swearing is decidedly obvious.
  • Marvel 2099 tends to use "shock" as its all-purpose swear word.
  • Used frequently in The Metabarons. The prefixes paleo- and bio- are frequently attached to words without any real rhyme or reason, resulting in absurd terms like "Paleo-Christ!", "bio-crap," "paleo-wedding," and even "bio-infant." Robots Tonto and Lothar attach robo- to the beginning of many words when they're referring to each other.
  • Brian Azzarello's Spaceman showcases a near-unreadable shorthand speak inspired by chatrooms and textmessages. "I brain i get it, lol lol lol" indeed.


  • Children of Men had both "fishes" (La Résistance led by Julian) and "fujis" (refugees).
  • Featured in the 2015 scenes of Back to The Future Part II. For example, a policewoman mentions that Hilldale is "nothing but a breeding ground for tranks, lobos and zipheads". "Tranks" almost certainly refers to people who abuse tranquilizers, and the other two, while never defined, wouldn't have sounded out-of-place in The Eighties or any decade so far since.
    • The future denizens also use "low-rez" as a synonym for "stupid".
    • One of Griff's cronies calls Marty a "bojo", which might be a corruption of bozo.
  • The Fifth Element has the word 'green' and variations of it being used as a generic positive like awesome. Too bad it caught on as an over used buzz word for environmentalism, which is way less cool. In the scene where the authorities are sweeping Corbin's building, one unfortunate chap flips off the cops and yells "Smoke you!". It does not end well for him.
  • Gattaca used this primarily as ways to deride people born through natural conception — "godchild", "faithbirth" and so on.
  • Like its TV counterpart, Serenity uses future slang. (See Firefly below for examples.)
  • Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century: Cetus lapetus, guys! The movie is totally lunar! An entire song whose lyrics include nothing but future slang (i.e. a bunch of unrelated scientific terms all jammed together).
    • Interestingly, the boys on the "space stay" actually don't like Microbe because their lyrics make sense. Apparently, "interplanetary megastellar hydrostatic" makes perfect sense to them.
  • Demolition Man doesn't have much Future Slang, but Lenina's misunderstanding of late 20th century jargon give her plenty of funny lines. "He matched his meat. You really licked his ass." "That's met his match, and kicked his ass."
    • She does get better as they spend more time together - Lenina Huxley: Chief, you can take this job, and you can shovel it. John Spartan: Take this job... and shovel it. Lenina Huxley: Yeah? John Spartan: Close enough.
  • Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey has the word "station", which is both a greeting and a compliment in the vein of "excellent". Later in the film we learn it probably originated from the alien duo named Station, who use Pokémon-Speak.


  • Golden age Science fiction is full of Unusual Euphemisms, like 'Space!' or 'Unity!' are kid-friendly curses.
  • The book The Bar Code Tattoo takes place in a future where people have barcodes tattooed on their bodies and their dialogue peppered with the phrase "final level!" to describe anything remotely awesome.
  • Lampshaded in Perry Rhodan, most of the main cast being immortal sometime use old terran slang that surprise regular human of said era. The opposite happen also, Crowning Moment of Awesome when a Starship commander use "By Rhodan!" when Rhodan himself is not far.
  • A Clockwork Orange has some famous futuristic slang is Nadsat. Isn't that just horrorshow, my droogs? The book[1] contained a complete glossary; with the movie, you figured it out as you went. The glossary was added over the strenuous objections of the author. He wanted you to be lost for a while until you picked it up on your own. The slang, however, is heavily Russian-influenced and speakers of Slavic languages could understand it easily.
    • As for the Bilingual Bonus, Polish translator of the book, Robert Stiller, prepared two translations—earlier one (titled "Mechaniczna Pomarańcza" - "Mechanical Orange") keeps the Russian words, and the later one (titled "Nakręcana Pomarańcza" - "Clockwork Orange") replaces the Russian loanwords with English ones, kind of reversing Burgess' original concept. And the Russian translation uses English loanwords as slang.
  • In David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas, of which parts take place in the future, all words that begin with ex- (like expert) are written without an e (like xpert), and most objects are referred to by a known brand instead of their actual name; for example, running shoes are called "nikes".
  • Ender's Game: The students at the battle school developed their own slang, though most of it doesn't apparently extend beyond its walls.
    • In the Shadows series, it's remarked upon by one of the characters that battle school slang is slowly moving into common use. Some also appeared in Empire, this being handwaved away by the extensive Arabic education the characters had received.
    • Supposedly OSC pulled an Anthony Burgess for Shadows: he created the Battle School slang via the transliteration of existing, modern-day slang phrases from cultures all over the world. There used to be a page on his website explaining all the etymology.
    • Got it archived here
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
    • That hoopy frood Ford Prefect sure knew where his towel was at!
    • The franchise sometimes used the swear word "zark" as a replacement for "fuck", as in: "Zarking photons! That hoopy frood sure knows where his towel is!" It is likely this is a corruption of "Zarquon", a famous religious figure who appears briefly at the End of the Universe.
    • Of course there's the one word that's the most offensive on every planet in the universe, except one. It's only ever uttered by loose tongued people like Zaphod Beeblebrox in dire situations. The word is Belgium.
  • The In Death series, set Twenty Minutes Into the Future, uses a judicious and mostly unobtrusive amount of Future Slang. Notable examples are "mag" (possibly abbreviated from "magnificent" and roughly synonymous with "great" or "awesome") and various terms such as "iced" which are all clearly derived from "cool." Strangely enough, only the American slang is changed. British and Irish characters still use the same words and phrases.
  • Larry Niven's hero Louis Wu often uses "tanj" (There Ain't No Justice) as a swear. Tanj sees widespread use throughout the Known Space stories, as do a few other unique curses; Belters in particular are fond of swearing by Finagle and Murphy, and tend to see the flatlander habit of swearing by deities as rather odd and quaint.
    • Finagle is a deity, as he is the God of Bad Luck, and his mad prophet Murphy is also part of the pantheon. He's just a joke deity, created just for cursing. "There is no God but Finagle, and Murphy is his Prophet." A logical extension of real world military slang acronyms like "SNAFU" (situation normal; all fucked up) "BOHICA" (bend over, here it comes again) and "FUBAR" (fucked up beyond all recognition.)
    • In one of the Known Space stories, Louis's father Carlos Wu was musing over two people using the word "censored". Saying "Censored" instead of a Bad Word had originally been a way of protesting and joking about censorship. But after a couple of generations, "censored" had become a bad Word all by itself.
  • The Lensman series is chock full of both Unusual Euphemisms and Curse of the Ancients style language, but it is unique in that its Future Slang evolves over the course of the series. Things are described as being as ferocious as Radeligian cateagles or lacking the sense of a Zabriskan fontema—but only after they have been introduced already.
    • Taken to hilarious extremes in Randall Garrett's Affectionate Parody "Backstage Lensmen" to the point where none of the characters actually understand each other. QX, Chief!
  • Spider Robinson's novel Lifehouse includes someone exploiting this trope: a conman, attempting to convince his sci-fi fan marks that he's from The Future, says such things as, "It was a total snowcrash — pardon me, ma'am, a total fuckup." Robinson studs his books with Future Slang and what can only be called Future Swears, such as "kark", or "taken slot" instead of "fucking slut". Perhaps the most hilariously inept instance of Future Slang in his works was in his short story "Serpents' Teeth", which posits that In The Future "a couple of horses" will be the commonly accepted slang for "a Dos Equis beer" (Robinson seems to have been working from the notion that "equis"—the Spanish pronunciation for the letter "X", as anyone knows who's looked at a Dos Equis label—is cognate to the Latin "equus", meaning "horse".)
  • Make Us Happy: The computer-controlled utopia of Arthur Herzog's novel has "fusb" replacing all swear words. At one point the main character is banished from civilization, and he "regresses" to "polyprofanity", i.e. using more swear words than "fusb".
  • Robert A. Heinlein, in The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, where the hero narrates and speaks in a futuristic accent, something like Hollywood Russian. The reasoning is this is a future that ran headlong into The Great Politics Mess-Up and the USSR was one of the main countries colonizing the moon, so the lunar society inherited a lot of Russian words and syntax. Oddly though, they didn't get any Chinese from the third of the moon that was colonized by the Chinese.
    • It's presumed that they mostly live in 'Hong Kong Luna', rather than 'Luna City' where most of the plot takes place. Also, a lot of the people sent up by 'Greater China' aren't in fact Chinese so much as Australians, New Zealanders and the like (although there 'are' Chinese people up there as referenced by the 'Chinee' engineer who works on the handheld LASERs).
    • "Grok" in Stranger in A Strange Land is a word in Martian that means, "to drink", "to live" or "to understand". Colloquially it can be better translated as "To understand something so thoroughly that the observer becomes part of the observed." Just read the book.
    • Heinlein put the invented word "slipstick" into his characters' mouths so frequently, a whole generation of his fans are growing up with the false idea that people who used slide rules actually called them that. (The accepted idiom, btw, was "guessing stick".)
  • William Gibson's Neuromancer invented a lot of new words for its cyberpunk culture, and popularized existing terms such as "cyberspace" and "hacker".
  • Otherland: Tad Williams has invented quite a bit of slang for his SF novel series. He also shows different use of slang in different social classes.
  • Neal Stephenson's novel Snow Crash is written in the third person, but the narrative still uses plenty of his made-up slang... making it nearly incomprehensible for about the first fifty pages, until the reader catches onto the meanings. Likewise The Diamond Age, and very little of the slang transfers.
  • Critic John Clute's SF novel Appleseed (no, nothing to do with that Appleseed) is so dense with unexplained terminology and slang that the book is mostly known for the amount of work it takes to extract meaning from its text.
  • Radix by A. A. Attanasio introduces the slang term "jooch" which means to trick, con or deceive.
  • In Random Acts of Senseless Violence, the central character starts out speaking standard English. As her life (and sanity) declines, her language changes as well.
  • The Star Wars expanded Universe uses a kriff-load of this karking shavit.
    • Technically the Star Wars stuff would be Past Slang as its all a long time ago.... Anyway, X-wing pilots have plenty of slang for all manner of fighters. TIE fighters are Eyeballs, Interceptors are Squints, Bombers are Dupes, and so on and so forth.
    • In addition, Star Wars has actually taken Future Slang from other series: "kark," "frell," and "frak" are all canon.
  • Inverted in Tamora Pierce's Beka Cooper books, where there is all manner of entertaining 'past slang', like 'sarden', 'bardash', 'scummer' and 'gixie'.
    • This becomes excessively awkward when you use these terms in real life accidently and everyone just sort of goes 'huh?'
    • Which at least sometimes slides into a strange version of Bilingual Bonus where the other language is simply the same one, but an older version thereof...
  • The Uglies series has a totally bubbly form of this. It's so happy-making!
    • Or completely brain-missing, depending on who you talk to.
    • The same author, in The Last Days, uses "fawesome." Constantly.
    • The same author also uses a lots of Future-past slang in Leviathan, mostly to cover up swearing by the air force. Words like clart and bum-rag are used often.
  • The Sten series by Alan Cole and Chris Bunch uses "clot" in almost every sense that we would use "fuck"—except for referring to the actual, literal sex act. This is actually modern-day New Orleans slang.
  • Timothy Zahn's Angel Mass uses the verb 'nurk' as the catch-all nurking expletive.
  • Tanith Lee's Biting the Sun has a list of about 12 words of slang for the adolescent 'Jang' caste of the dystopian novel.
  • As mentioned in the entry on Golden Age Science-Fiction, Foundation used curses that were primarily space-based. One character in particular was fond of venting his spleen by shouting "ga-LAX-y!" Later in the series, curses and oaths appeared based on the religion of science created by Salvor Hardin after the first Seldon Crisis.
  • In Bumped by Megan Mc Cafferty, which takes place in 2036, all of the slang relates to pregnancy or reproduction. In this society, everyone over 18 is infertile, so teens are paid top dollar to be surrogate parents for rich older couples.
  • The favorite exclamation in Dark Life is "Glacial!", relating to the fact that the story's set in a post-Global-Warming, risen-sea future.
  • In Storm Thief, the main character says "Frek" or "frekking" to describe something annoying—much like the other word it much resembles.
  • In Time Scout, this is mostly averted, but at one point Margo comes to Shangri La from a semester at college with a little uptime slang that hasn't filtered through Primary. Also, the series has its own jargon regarding the time portals and time travel.
    • Also inverted with the downtime destinations. The language barrier doesn't exist in London or Denver, right? Wrong; after more than a century, the language and slang are wildly different. Or show we're told.
  • The futuristic slang word "kruk" was introduced in the Doctor Who spin-off novels produced by Virgin after the BBC complained of the use of "fuck" in some of the earlier novels. Strangely enough, some people preferred the word, probably due to the presence of another aggressive k.
  • The Dark Side of the Sun has a good mix of this, with dialect of Widdershins influenced by Sadhimist tradition and phnobe idioms (not only they have an enclave there, but Joan speaks phnobe) at the same time, producing phrases like "The stupid geck. Oh Chel, the stupid geck!"

Live Action TV

  • The Babylon 5 Episode TKO introduced "Stroke Off", in place of the current "Fuck Off".
    • A security officer in another episode mentioned that a bomber who was terrorizing the station had "honked" him off. "Stroke off" at least has some logic to it; as it could be seen as a reference to masturbating.
  • In the new version of Battlestar Galactica, "frak" is used to replace "fuck" in every form. The polytheistic characters (the majority) also pluralize "God" i.e. "Oh My Gods!" etc.
    • The original had frack (which has carried over in both forms to Star Wars), and a billion other ones that didn't take (the original BSG pretty much paved the way for the "let's find an annoying way to make our characters sound different" crowd, all but a few fortunately dropped with the new series).
  • Doctor Who does this from time to time. Paradise Towers is a particularly ice hot example.
    • An example that at least sounds like one: In Carnival of Monsters, Vorg tries talking to the Pertwee Doctor in 'carnival lingo', assuming from his outrageous dress scene that he's a fellow entertainer. This was really Earth carnival slang and not future slang, although it could be argued that the translating Tardis translates future slang into Earth slang.
    • In The Sontaran Experiment, the human spacemen use a 'future English' that sounds vaguely South African, with words like 'yunnerstan?'.
      • If that's supposed to be "Do you understand?" then it also sounds vaguely Australian too, given our habit of mushing together words.
    • Another example that seems to be one at first glance was the slang used by Ace. Ace was not from the future, however, and this was really a combination of made-up slang, actual contemporary Earth slang, and Bowdlerization.
  • Farscape, though it's not the future, is frelling full of this type of dren. Chiana's such a tralk, but everyone thinks with their mivoks around her. Isn't it the draddest? It does get a little fahrbot sometimes, and sometimes you wonder what the yotz people are talking about, but you'll get over it after an arn or two.
    • Actually, that last one isn't slang—an "arn" is a measurement of time, roughly analogous to an hour.
  • Firefly had a mishmash of Mandarin (or the actors' best stab at Mandarin) and cowboy slang for its future-folks. Dong ma? The Chinese swearing resulted in characters calling each other "motherfucker" in perfect safety from the censors. Or sometimes more colourful terms like "explosive diarrhoea of an elephant".
    • It also used "shiny" for "cool". This may be derived from current Hebrew slang, of all places, which does the same.
    • They also used "rut" as a replacement for "fuck" and its derivatives, e.g. "no ruttin' way!"
    • Of course, there's always "Gorram" which is a slurred future version of God damn. And there's "humped" as a way of saying screwed.
      • Interestingly, "gorram" already existed as a dialectal variant of God Damn, and to hump does mean to screw but it's rarely if ever used figuratively.
    • In a blink-and-you-miss-it line in "Heart of Gold," homosexuals are referred to as "sly."
  • The protagonist in Life On Mars has a problem with this, having come from thirty years in the 'future'.

Sam Tyler: "We suspect Ravi of importing scag."
(Everyone stares blankly at him)
Sam Tyler: "Smack?heroin?bloody heroin!"

  • And who could forget Red Dwarf's ubiquitous "smeg", a multi-purpose expletive which appears to be perhaps the only swear word in existence in the future.
    • Only gimboids would think that, goit!
    • Now, now, there's no need to be a gwenlyn about it. The modo might just have not seen the early seasons.
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Way to Eden", a hippy-like cult uses "reach" as a synonym to "understand in a age-of-aquarius way." I reach you, man!
  • An episode of the original The Outer Limits titled "Soldier" had a far-future soldier appear in 1960s time. A language professor is brought in to translate the soldier's gibberish, only for the professor to point out the soldier is speaking English, just faster and with some futuristic slang. When the soldier is decamped to live at the professor's house, we later see the professor's son learning the slang easily (as children pick up on slang usage more quickly than adults).
    • The episode was written by Harlan Ellison, who has a thing about street slang.

Live Comedy


  • In the "Jet-Star and the Kobra Kid/Traffic Report" interlude on My Chemical Romance's 4th album, the Radio DJ talks about how two members of the Killjoys got in a "clap" with an exterminator and it went "all Costa-Rico" and they found themselves "ghosted".

New Media

  • I Love Bees: "Flash" is used to mean "instant", "refu" means "refugee", and "ghosting" is almost entirely used in place of "spying".

Tabletop Games

  • BattleTech has quite a bit of in-universe slang. "Indigs" for the natives of a planet, used by planet-hopping mercenaries, for example. But the biggest example is probably the clans with unique curses: "Freebirth"; Aff and neg for yes and no, and rhetorical interrogatives quiaff and quineg, among others.
  • When Deadlands left behind the "Weird Western" motif for more futuristic incarnations, the slang changed, as well. "Brainer," short for "no-brainer" is either "dumbass" or "dumbass without Psychic Powers", depending on who you ask. "Grape" is a derisive word for the natives of Lost Colony, the anouks who have been at war with the invading humans off and on for a few decades. "Wine" is, well, the red stuff you get when you squish a grape...
  • Planescape (and the Planescape: Torment PC game) in an interesting past-slang example had Planar Cant, largely derived from old English thieves' jargon and Cockney rhyming slang. There's a whole sodding dictionary of it here.
  • GURPS Transhuman Space occasionally dabbles in this, sometimes to the extent that some people in the 22nd century aren't entirely certain what the slang words mean. From Teralogos News:

'"I'm burnt and cored, and I want to tox the downlift or elf who dooped our song," said Lords of the Belt lead singer, Parallax Verge, apparently expressing anger over the theft of the piece.'

  • In the 3rd edition of White Wolf game Mage: The Ascension, there is a section of commonly used slang terms that mages use - such as "Pulling a Houdini," which means convincing a Muggle that your magic was nothing more than sleight of hand.
    • All the main White Wolf sourcebooks included this, including the New WoD ones.
  • Hoi, chummer, that fraggin' Shadowrun game employs a drek-load of this. Also employed in other languages, where various regional slangs are implied to exist: "Ruhrdeutsch" (Ruhr valley German) is a bizarre mix of current Westphalian German, Future Slang English and Japanese.
    • Amusingly, the Fourth Edition uses real swearwords alongside the invented ones—guess they decided grownups can be gamers too. Despite common belief (showing the complainers haven't actually read Fourth Edition), the future slang is still there and still proud.
    • Also amusingly, the game's Future Slang vocabulary has actually evolved from edition to edition, much like real-world slang does.
  • Warhammer 40,000 features future slang that varies from world to world. One Guardsman might yell "FETH!" when something goes wrong, another prefers "Kec!", another might prefer "Emperor's blood!", and so on.
    • And of course Ciaphas Cain, HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!, regularly snaps "Frak this!" when things go wrong.
      • In Duty Calls, Zemelda, a vendor Amberly adds to her retinue, speaks in frequently-grating slang... which is lampshaded in that neither Cain nor Amberly understand half of it.

Zemelda: (on her new job) "It beats flogging gristle pies or fly-posting for slash gigs."
Amberley, via footnote: No, I don't know either.

      • This is further compound by Amberley's habit of explaining military and Valhallan slang throughout the whole series.
    • "Feth!" is a favored expletive of the Tanith First and Only. According to the books, Feth was a forest spirit/goddess that the men of Tanith prayed to. Feth appears to have the versatility of our own "fuck". In one particularly humorous example, most of the members of the unit, command staff included, refer to missile launchers as "Tred-fethers." Later, some of the displaced militia of Verunhive join up with the Tanith, favoring their own future slang work "Gak". It seems to have the same connotation as "shit".
    • Don't forget "cogboys," the Guard's semi-derisive name for their resident Techpriest. If they're a liked cogboy, they'll also get a nickname (i.e. "Sparky.")
    • Mechanicus-oriented things are full of this. Average citizens refering to Mechanicus, Mechanicus refering to average citizens, and inter-Mechanicus slang are rife within the universe.
      • "Cog Head" and "Gear Head" are common slang terms for a modified Mechanicus citizen (i.e. all of them).
      • "Meat-Bags" and "Fleshies" are common slang terms for an unmodified Imperial citizen among the Mechanicus.
      • In Titanicus, one of the Magos tells off a young adept for using "pissed-off". The Magos then says the term "error-shunt-abort" is more fitting (i.e.: "to be error-shunt-abort with someone").
  • Traveller gives several examples of this, sometimes including whole lists. Groundhog, flatlander, and if this troper remembers, dirtsider are terms for non-spacers.


  • Bionicle: The Le-Matoran from have "Treespeak", a dialect similar to Newspeak, that involves merging two words together, such as "bald-land" to refer to land with no obstructions, or "tree-high", to indicate that something is as high up as the treetops.

Video Games

  • Deus Ex had a bit of it. I believe "scrip" was one such word, meaning "to acquire". Also "chits", derived from "credits", the global currency in the game. It is used in the same was as one would use "quid" (pounds) or "bucks" (dollars) nowadays.
  • Gothic Fantasy example: D&D: Planescape (and the game Planescape: Torment) uses a lot of baroque slang, like "knight of the post" for "thief", "rattle yer bone-box" for "talk" and so on. This is, mostly, based on early 19th-century British slang (some of it more or less context-uprooted Cockney rhyming slang), making it historical rather than futuristic.
    • There's a whole dictionary of it here.
    • A few of the slang terms are still used in Australia (unsurprising, since Aussies get their slang from the same source).
  • Eternal Daughter: "roundface", used by military officials from Dungaga as a derogatory term to refer to humans.
  • One Must Fall has bits and pieces of this, most notably "slice" as slang for "very cool".
  • The final dungeon of Raidou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Army consists of the main character traveling through time, and along the way there are "time tourists", astral projections of people who just want to vid the sights. Voxing with the sightseeing teeps is a totally turvy experience. (Explanation just in case (spoilered in case anyone wants to figure it out for themselves): "Vid", to see, from "video"; "Vox", to speak, directly from Latin; "Teep", person, unknown origin (anyone know this one?); "Turvy", strange or wild, from phrase "topsy-turvy". There are others I didn't use - "Wayback" (noun), a point in time prior to one's current position or "Wayback" (verb), to move backwards in time. "Drek" and "Scrug", expletives; and so on...) Yes, I realize I probably sounded like a total idiot with that example. And I probably got some of them wrong...
  • Infinite Space has "Grus", as in, "Oh, Grus! It smells like Grus in here! Hey, you worthless sack of Grus, did someone Grus you in the Grus or did you Grus yourself again?" Curiously, for a game taking place in outer space, Grus is a constellation visible from the southern hemisphere, named by those woefully unimaginative European explorers for the crane. Just imagine everyone in the universe swearin' by this guy.
  • Morrowind has this a bit. Example: 'You N'wah!'. Fetcher, or S'wit. It's actually very clever on Bethesda's part, as only the natives to Morrowind swear like that. Outlanders generally don't. Even in Oblivion, it's possible to tell which Dark Elf NPC's are originally from there, as they're the only ones to swear at people like that.
  • Aquanox: "Light" is a commonly-used greeting in the series, probably due to the fact that it's really dark at the bottom of the ocean.
  • Parodied in the The Adventures of Sam & Max: Freelance Police episode "Chariots of the Dogs". When done talking to Future Max, he waves broadly and says "So long! That's how we say good-bye in the future."
  • Actually an Alternate History slang, Zofia in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 once drops "Sweet Stalin!"
  • The Praetorian Resistance in the now-defunct City of Heroes had a trademark argot that was just barely comprehensible. Lampshaded by a Resistance contact whose communications were so impenetrable that you had to get help to understand what he was asking you to do — and even then you were going into some his missions absolutely clueless about your goals.

Web Comics

  • Gnoph has "keck" and its derivative, "kecking", which appear to be basically equivalent to "fuck". Odd in that the latter term is used just as frequently.
  • The Nemesites, a race of giant insects in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob, use frass as an expletive. If you check a dictionary, frass means bug poop.
  • Space-parodied in Starslip Crisis, where Future Slang is, for the most space-part, regular words with "space" added in front. "Good space heavens!" "Space-cool your space-jets!" and, space-awesomely, "I'm like a space-ninja. I can be anywhere at space-once." Also, "Forget it with walnuts." Even worse is Zillion's dialect, which would be incomprehensible enough if it didn't leave out the last words of every.[2]
  • Terror Island uses a "tensed logic", meaning that whenever something happening in the future is discussed, the characters talk in slang based almost entirely off of disjointed computer terms. They also alliterate in flashbacks—which is supposed to be a kind of Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe.
  • In Cwynhild's Loom, Mars has its own unique words, often relating to its differences from Earth, i.e. "this sol" for "today" and "good sol" instead of "good day."

Web Original

  • Associated Space uses made-up future slang all the shebing time.
  • Krek, steaming krek! Orion's Arm, of course, uses lots of future slang.

Western Animation


"Mathematical! Rhombus!"

  • Batman Beyond used this trope, and it was schway. (Or schwarbage, depending on the viewer.) "Schway" may be derived from the Mandarin word shuài, meaning "handsome", "graceful", "smart" and generally cool; it's used this way in Firefly. Alternatively, it may come from chouette (pronounced "schwett"), a French word of similar meaning.
    • Also, "Twip". Its use is kind of broad (Terry's little brother, superheroes said brother doesn't like, the class nerd, etc.) so it's probably synonymous with "wimp" (weak/pathetic person) or something of the like, rather than "twerp" (small, annoying person) as one might first assume.
  • Beast Wars: has the word slag.
  • Magic: The Gathering used slag (and other metal related terms) in their Mirrodin expansion, which was based on an artificial plane. "Slag" and other terms (often relating to Oil, Maker, etc.) are often used in robot-related media.
      • Slag is also a real British slang word for loose woman (synonymous with slut).
      • Slag was originally used to refer to the "partially vitreous by-product of smelting ore to purify metals."
    • Also of note is "dreg", used as Nineteen Eighty-Four's "prole".
  • Bionic Six had bits of this, and it was "So-lar".
  • The 2d-animated spinoff Buzz Lightyear of Star Command (spun from Toy Story and Toy Story 2) seemed to include futuristic swearing. Swearing in a Disney title? Aw, craters.
  • Parodied in Futurama. Old slang words (such as "axe" for ask and "X-Mas" for Christmas) have become mainstream.
    • Amy plays the trope straight though, spluh.
  • Used by Judy Jetson in The Jetsons—where all the future slang was made up of space terminology.
    • If you mean "Jumping Jupiter", that's almost a universal phrase for almost every future themed HB cartoon.
  • In Kim Possible Rufus' descendants started using The Tweebs' Catch Phrase "Hicka-bicka-boo" and "Hoo-sha" as a way of communicating.
  • Phineas and Ferb's Quantum Boogaloo: "Hey, mom. What's the fizz?"
  • In one of the many futures shown on The Simpsons, "Smell you later" has replaced "Goodbye" in common usage—to the extent that "Smell you later forever" makes sense.
  • Parodied on South Park in the "Go God Go" two-parter; in the future, religion has been phased out of human society, leading to turns-of-phrase like "Sciencedammit!" and "Science H Logic!".
  • It's a plot point in Young Justice. Time-traveler Impulse explains that "crash" is good and "mode" is the absolute worst—it's always better to "crash the mode." He also uses "meat" to refer to people he isn't impressed by. Earlier episodes featured the "Partner" of the bad guys' group using "meat" in the same way. Meanwhile, the Villain of the Week is being monitored by a pair of shadowy aliens, who comment that the exercise is "on-mode" and abort the mission when the mode begins to crash. The Stinger reveals that Impulse is from a Bad Future, and the entire point of his trip was to crash the mode.
  1. Or rather, the American edition of the book
  2. sentence