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October 8, 2015

Frak and other fictional curse words

by Brad Trechak, posted Sep 2nd 2008 7:02PM
Battlestar GalacticaThere is a marvelous article on CNN about the origins of the word "Frak", the replacement curse word used heavily in the series Battlestar Galactica. It seems that the word was invented in the original 70's version of the show by creator Glen A. Larson but it was seldom used.

It got me thinking about other replacement profanities used by scripted television to replace the normal curse words that the FCC bans from televised broadcasts. We have previously posted about made-up words on television (including the profanities "Smeg" from Red Dwarf and "Frell" from Farscape), but I have a few to add to that list:
  • "Frak" from Battlestar Galactica. This expletive is the hot one at the moment. It was even referenced in the comments of the previous posts. It currently appears so many t-shirts and BSG paraphernalia that Larson should demand an extra cut.
  • "Shazbot" - Mork and Mindy. I admit I was young and naive. I didn't actually realize until much later the four-letter expletive that "Shazbot" was supposed to replace.
  • "Assmaster" - South Park. Trying to name a single or favorite profanity in South Park is like trying to draw a picture of your favorite snowflake. They make up so many of their own profane variations that the show could have a dictionary all its own. I just picked one at random.
There are other examples in comic books that I can't think of, such as "Frag" and "Drok". At one point a list of fictional expletives was on Wikipedia, but that has been removed (I found it reprinted here). Do you recall any other fictional expletives used on television?

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hello everyone, has anyone saved this article about the origine of 'Frak' from the CNN website. It's unfortunately not available on the website anymore and I am giving a presentation about the word.
If someone does, but I don't wanna write down my e-mail here, would it be possible to upload it as a .doc somewhere and post the DL-link here? Thanks!

January 10 2012 at 7:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Feck! Arse! Girls! Drink!


September 03 2008 at 9:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"dillweed" from Beavis (cornholio) and Butthead

and "frell" wasn't the only great swear word from Farscape:

what the yotz was that? ;-)

September 03 2008 at 1:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

'Smeg' is also a European brand of refrigerator.

September 03 2008 at 11:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brent McKee

I'm not totally sure, but I think it's possible that "Frak" goes back to the original Battlestar Galactica. Another word from that show that didn't come forward to the current version was "Felgercarb" which was most readily understood as a synonym for "crap" (which itself is a synonym or course).

September 03 2008 at 6:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


...How was that not included?

September 03 2008 at 6:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm going to jump in the wayback machine here...for some reason the sitcom The Charmings always stuck out in my memory. I remember the son shouting "Fiddlesticks!" and Mrs. Charming (aka Snow White) gasping in horror, "You said the F word!"

September 03 2008 at 6:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I know on Friends Ross & Monica had that weird hand gesture that meant the same as giving someone the finger that they used as kids. Didn't they also have a word that they used that meant the same thing? I can't remember what that word was.

September 03 2008 at 3:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to MERVE-THE-PERVE's comment

Wasn't it "va fa napoli"?

September 03 2008 at 5:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Elliot on Scrubs is always yelling "Frick" as her fictional curse word. She uses it to replace just about any curse word depending on the situation. Sometimes it even fits too well question whether it was a real curse or not.

September 03 2008 at 12:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Basketcase456's comment
Avi Forstein

Yes Basketcase....that's the first thing I thought of as well. How dare they forget my favorite frickin' word.

Smeg head.....haven't heard that in ages. Thanks folks.

September 03 2008 at 2:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

More Hitchhiker's: "hoopy" and "frood" are both words I find myself saying in real life probably too much.

September 03 2008 at 12:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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