2008.09.09

Frak in Popular Culture

There’s no denying, if you’ve bothered to watch, that Battlestar Galactica is a pretty amazing show. What is more amazing is the current incarnation, along with the original version, introduced a new word into popular culture that may enter the official annals of the English language much like Homer Simpson’s, “Doh!”

Frak.

It was [Glen A.] Larson who first used the faux curse word “frak” in the original “Battlestar Galactica.” The word was mostly overlooked back in the ’70s series but is working its way into popular vocabulary as SciFi’s modern update winds down production. … “It may have been the great George Carlin who talked about these things so cleverly,” Larson said. “He’d say, ‘Mother would say shoot, but she meant … when she reached in and burned her fingers on the crocker.’ And the child says, ‘I know what you meant, Mom.’ “

I know I use “frak” all the time (often at work…!) and it’s an excellent example of word substitution that breaks the subjective associations of the substitution source. I also love that the article mentions feldergarb (usually spelled “felgercarb”) which I used to use a lot but actually forgot came from the original series. They should bring back felgercarb!

3 Comments Categorized: geek  tv

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3 Responses to “Frak in Popular Culture”

  1. Zapski says  (September 10th, 2008 at 13:23:01 )

    I’ve always been a fan of ‘smeg’ from Red Dwarf. It sounds nasty, you’re fairly certain it’s not polite, and it isn’t as obvious as frak.

    I do catch myself saying ‘gods damn’ pretty often, and I think they did say feldercarb once, early on in season one.

    Smeggy smegging smeg-head. Smeg off!

    See? It’s a good ‘un!

  2. Adeliza says  (September 10th, 2008 at 15:56:45 )

    Farscape used a similar adjective “Frell”. Not quite as satisfying as Frak,(you need those hard consonants when swearing) but still no doubt about what it meant!

  3. Jenner says  (September 10th, 2008 at 19:44:39 )

    The word “frak” can be seen on a commemorative t-shirt from a failed sci-fi convention (Fedcon USA) which ended up being canceled when the con’s check bounced at the hotel.

    My friend (who was there) scored one:

    http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a293/VictoriaMars/IGotFrakked.jpg

    It also reads “We came…., the fans came….the hotel threw us out”