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Old August 25th, 2019, 04:43 PM
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Default Traveller slang

A few ideas for slang or sayings form the traveller universe that you or your players could use as flavour or for immersion. suggestions and additions are of course welcome:

Mods, if you feel this isn't the right forum, then please feel free to move it.

Starless: someone who is starless is a person who was born in jumpspace. the term originated with the church of Stellar Divinity (who consider the sacred link between a person and "their" star to be the core tenant of the faith), but has since spread beyond the church into general usage. given the ability of Stellar tech level medicine to predict and control pregnancy and childbirth, starless children are very rare, but the sheer numbers of people moving around the Imperium still mean that their are millions of "starless" people born in the imperium.

GROPOS: "Ground Pounder". originally a Terran term for ground forces, it has since changed meaning to refer to anyone who has never left their home planet and been to space or travelled the stars. Implies a level of naivety and/or ignorance to the reality of interstellar life, and is thus mildly insulting.

Scarred Hands: A person with scarred hands is a boastful but cowardly being, quick to make threats but just as quick to fold them in the face of actual opposition. the expression originates from the Sword Worlds, and is attested to at least the 1st Frontier war. At that time, their was a tradition on some of the Sword Worlds of "blood knives", combat knives that, once drawn, must taste blood before they can honourably be sheathed. If a man drew his blood knife for a fight, but then backed down, he would have to cut his own hand in order to satisfy honour. Thus, a man with many scars on his hands was a man who often threatened with his knife, but just as often had to feed his knife his own blood.


Ka’tai: trokh expression, meaning "It is fitting", and ritual response to many formal requests. Gained traction as loan word in the Spinward marches and the Trojan Reach, where it is as a general affirmative expression (similar to "yes" or "OK").

Alkhalikoi-ko: Trokh word, literally translating to "Alkhalikoi himself", and meaning "the head of clan Alkhalikoi". Used by some more traditional Aslan to refer to the Emperor, normally those with the least experience of the imperium itself, who are projecting Aslan cultural norms onto the Imperium, and seeing it as just another clan, albeit a extremely large one. The use of the -ko suffix to indicate the head of the family is carried on down to the rest of the nobility (with at least one aslan diplomat reffering to Duke Norris as Aledon-ko)

Father: the Security services and law enforcement in general, but specifically the Port Authority Police Arm (PAPA). The term has historically been associated with the Solomani, and it use is often seen as an affection by those not of solomani descent.


As sincere as a Aslan vegetarian: completely untrustworthy. While the Aslan are biologically capable of deriving substance from some forms of fruit, nuts and such, the strong cultural concept that the only proper food for a Aslan is meat, the fresher the better, and still alive if possible, mean that the idea of a Aslan willingly choosing to forgoe meat is almost comically unbelievable.

Vargr freindship: a Vargr friendship is one that lasts only as long as it is beneficial for both parties. As soon as it become apparent that one of the friends is about to face significant hardship with no sign of payoff, the friendship is doomed. However, those in a vargr friendship generally recognise that it is purely an alliance of convenience, and are not surprised or particularly upset when it ends.

Lies like a Zhodani: a extremely bad liar, so bad the only explanation is they grew up inside the Consultate (or at least the pop culture version of the Consulate), where the prevalence of telepaths makes lying an impossible and therefore unknown skill.

Dropping the Hammer: Marine nickname for orbital fire support, especially kinetic railgun strikes. Marine fire support vessel often have radio callsigns that envoke hammers.

Dressed: Marine term for wearing Battle Dress. Several urban legends tell tales of recently graduated officers waking a marine up on exercise or deployment, ordering the marine to "go get dressed", only to find said marine had taken this as a command to don Battle Dress.

Suited and Booted: Imperial Army term of wearing Battle Dress. Less well known than the IMC nickname, but used almost to the exclusion of the marine "Dressed", and is seen as a type of shibboleth to distinguish the Army from the Marines.
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Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` Tommy, 'ow's yer soul? "
But it's " Thin red line of 'eroes " when the drums begin to roll
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's " Thin red line of 'eroes, " when the drums begin to roll.

"Tommy", Rudyard Kipling

Last edited by Xerxeskingofking; August 26th, 2019 at 04:07 AM..
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military slang and sayings (Some may be mildly offensive) Xerxeskingofking The Lone Star 164 March 27th, 2019 01:41 AM

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