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Space marine swear words

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So, as we all know, there are times when using a swear word is the only thing that's going to make you feel better in a bad situation. ie: The rapid combination of toes and coffee tables, explaining to the driver in front of you why he can't drive and shouldn't be on the road, doing something at work that you know is going to get you into trouble.

 

But I really can't see space marines swearing like we do. I just can't picture them using the same words. Even GW swear words like "fraging" and "fugging" don't really fit marines.

 

The guys I play with don't really swear much. (Despite one of them being ex-navy.) So i've been trying to come up with swear words that aren't swear words. And whilst calling someone the "son of a motherless goat" is insulting, it doesn't quite have the same ring to it as "F*** you!" It's not short and sharp enough. And sometimes you need an epic line to say to the bad guy before something cool happens, and that epic line may have a swear word or two in it.

 

So, my question is, what are some swear words that marines would use?

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The only SM 'swear' I can remember reading is "Emperor take me...!"

 

If that doesn't apply, I'd probably go with "Damnation!"

 

And there are no shortage of possible insult terms, like "You thrice-damned spawn of filth!" Stuff like that.

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As the core rule book says.


 


Space Marines generally do not use contractions or slang when they speak—they are angelic warrior knights, and their manner of speech often reflects this.


 


So sexual Anglo Saxon swear words would be a big no no.


 


I think a nice one would be "May the warp take you"


 


find your self a book on insults and work the forty K mindset into it

Baron Throatpunch likes this

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Whilst the general perception of the Adeptus Astartes is that of, as Brother Anselm said, "angelic warrior knights", I find myself questioning if this is not a rather romantic way of looking at the Space Marines, given their background.

 

Unlike, say, the Sisters of Battle with their Schola upbringing, Space Marines hail from a wide variety of cultures and are recruited at an age where they would have already picked up some of its traditions. Indeed, going by GW's fluff, this is how Chapters can become "tainted" by local customs (ref. Sons of Malice, Scelus, feral tribes, cannibalism). A Marine hailing from Fenris is, of course, unlikely to know contractions or "modern" swear words, but what about an Imperial Fists recruit who grew up on Necromunda?

 

In other words, where would those "elegant" curses and swear words come from, exactly? Do the Astartes have a hypno-indoctrination protocol just for this? Or is this meant to be something that develops out of a change in the Marine's mind, slowly displacing their original behaviour? Or is it a sort of enforced tradition where the veterans teach junior Marines how to "swear correctly"?

 

It's not something I thought about before this thread, honestly. The whole "they're space knights, so they will speak knightly" just seems to come naturally from the images and colourful descriptions, and this is how I have always played my Celestial Lion. But still it makes me wonder just how prevalent or justified this way of talking actually is.

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I guarantee you a Space Wolf would/will and does curse. 

 

I think that generalizing all chapters as Angelic Knights is silly and not indicative of the many varieties and cultures that make up the Astartes. My Space Wolf cusses and drinks and he has a great time doing it. An Ultramarine or a Blood Angel probably wouldn't.

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This has always been on my mind honestly; like both Brother Anselm and Lynata mentioned... They're like holy space knights, but at the same time it makes sense they'd pick up traits from their homeworlds before joining the Legions of Space Marines. I mean almost every chapter has a home world they recruit from and most of those worlds are hive cities and gang ran and such. Makes sense to me each world is a little unique to this.

 

Space Wolves as mentioned I could see swearing like a normal modern day people like we do because of their animalistic but tundra culture. I see them more as Norse gods though... Like Norweigan type people and they swear like sailors too...

 

 

Ultramarines and Blood Angels I see as being more up tight about that kind of stuff honestly. ESPECIALLY the Ultramarines. They're pretty stuffy about that kind of stuff being the ideal model of the Space Marine (hince why they were the modeled Legion for the Codex).

 

 

I would look at swearing for Space Marines by both personality and origins of their chapters/homeworld. I have a couple custom chapters I designed for DW and my main chapter is from an old semi-deserted hive world. Gangs aren't really a problem... BUT its semi-aggro as well. When my chapter took over the world they tried restoring it so half the population is farmer based and the other half is aristocat-like stiffs. So they're not inherantly rough and tough like other chapters recruit, but they also don't have much of a choice... So in my first chapter that I'm mentioning they'd be more like the Ultramarines but also... They're perfectionists like the old Emperor's Children. So they speak proper and they attempt to speak in perfect english with proper pronounciations and such. Grammer nazi's... We all hate them... This chapter's vocal patterns... no swearing. No supplements... Just proper english.

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The two most common "muttered swearwords" in Black Library books to date have been '****!' and 'Throne!'. Much more profanity than that doesn't really seem to fit astartes.

 

In terms of insults/challenges/etc, as far as a marine is concerned, "Traitor" or "Heretic" are pretty strong swearwords by themselves...

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Well, lets not forget that social roles and such affects people GREATLY and thus I don't find it odd that a hive scum transformed into the Emperor's Angel of Death wouldn't use his old manner of speech for long but adjust it to the way that his brothers talk. They can absolutely get local traditions and manner of speech from their recruitment worlds but I would think that they would be closer to the linguistic top rather than the bottom of that dialect(s) of Low Gothic.

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I understand the whole ´Knightly´ image thing but let´s be real here. Real life knights were murderous bastards. The knightly stories were desperate attempts by church and society to mould these warriors in a more acceptable and controllable version, not a true depiction of knights.

 

Then there is the fluff about space marine recruiting: violent, bloodsoaked juvenile survivors of death challenges or desperate battle and psychotic hab juves captured in hab sweeps....(not counting ultramarine sissies). Hardly the stuff gallant knights are made of.

 

Their natural surroundings (typically monastic cells or segregated barracks) and typical peer group might instill a certain amount of gravitas but as they spend much of their time in (stressfull) battle, the swear words of their violent past can't be far away.

 

 

I also feel an entire category of likely swear words has been overlooked by the other posters. Namely rival chapters.

Damnation etc. is fine, Emperor's golden balls maybe a bit too casual but warp related swear words don't really work IMO. Calling someone a warp fiend while there are actual warp fiends (who are probably proud of being a warp fiend) just doesn't fly.

 

So why not insult rival chapters by using their names as swear words and insults? The fluff often states that chapters have complicated relationships with each other. For a civilized ultramarine, being compared to a barbarous space wolf would be an insult. Telling a space wolf he fights like a dark angel should be a telling blow. Or "suck my blood"  (equivalant of kiss my ass) when faced with a renegade Blood Angel should all be possible  :P . And with over 1,000 chapters, there should be enough choice in swear words....

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Use some from the old web comic Turn Signals on a Land Raider: tsoalr.com

 

Then we get classic exclamations of surprise from marines such as:

"By the Emperor's Holy Cheezits" or "Emperor's Small Intestine" :)

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I would imagine that space marines would swear upon the names of their primarchs. In a similar way to medieval cursing where in order to avoid taking god's name in vain people would swear upon something associated with god - "God's blood!" (which became the swear word 'bloody' ).

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I'm not so sure to be honest. A Initiate spends about one and a half decade within his home culture. He can spend centuries among his battle brothers in the Chapter.The Space Marines may be the Emperor's Angels of Death and not his Angels of Mercy, but remember that they are and remain Angels nonetheless. 

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I'm not so sure to be honest. A Initiate spends about one and a half decade within his home culture. He can spend centuries among his battle brothers in the Chapter.The Space Marines may be the Emperor's Angels of Death and not his Angels of Mercy, but remember that they are and remain Angels nonetheless. 

 

Angels?

 

Some of the published chapter fluff suggests psychopathic killers with only a tenous grasp of...control. Especially those chapters that favour close assault because of a psychotic need to bath in blood.

 

I don't mean to rag on space marines but the way some chapters go about battling the enemies of the Emperor is more akin to barbaric beserkers than angelic knights fighting with a honour code.

 

So if you combine their recruiting stock (e.g. ultra violent youths) and what they do in battle, you'd expect a certain thuggism...

The DW book suggest SM's don't use slang etc. but throughout history, soldiers have used slang and derogatory terms for their own equipment, their own officers and their fellow soldiers. And that's before they even start naming the enemy....

 

WWII soldiers still used fairly decent terms (tommies, jerries, ivans, fritz etc.), Vietnam era US soldiers were pretty racist (gooks, chinks etc.) and Gulf war era soldiers aren't any better (ragheads, towelheads etc...)

 

So I don't think a certain "earthiness" would be beyond the realms of possibility. Not in every chapter, certainly not in the more high brow chapters, but certainly in those chapters that truly only live for close order battle. 

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There are many types of Angels which can be pretty fearsome and not the "sweet passive little guy"-type, and so I don't see it as a contradiction to be Angels and ultra-violent.

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It's probably a matter of propaganda and euphemisms - remember, this is a rather big part of the setting, and this twist on descriptions is applied to a lot of writing in the fluff. It also really depends on where you look; the Space Marine Codex makes them sound very heroic and knightly and beloved by everyone, whilst the SoB Codex mentions the Ecclesiarchy being shocked at cannibalistic practices and brutish behaviour. This kind of contradictory description is almost a tradition in GW's writing.  ;)

 

In fact, I think the only piece of writing I'd consider somewhat "objective" would be the Index Astartes articles from White Dwarf, which also happened to call out certain "facts" in the Codex as contradictory myth and hearsay.

 

The 6E rulebook is also fairly "neutral", though, and it describes the common people being afraid of the Marines.

 

They are Angels ... but they are Angels of Death.

Edited by Lynata
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Here are some swears and colorfull langue from a variety of GW sources:

 

"Last one to die is an eldar!" - blood claws pack member (of course!)

"you flee-bitten son of an eldar!" -imperial guard basilisk crewmember

"zoggin 'eck!" - Ork seeing deathwing terminators

"moon-eyed malcontents!" - imperial guard sergeant

"you workshy sons of acid grubs!"- Iron Hand straken

"feth!" and "gak me!" tanith/vergast troopers

 

I can definatly picture space wolves swearing in a thik scotish accent, or shouting words like  father Jack Hackett:

"fek! Kill! blood! Orks!"

Edited by Robin Graves

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If Space Marines are Angels, they're more of the Old Testament kind of Angels - massacring firstborn of Egypt, the devastation/punishment of Sodom and Gomorrah, etc. Those Angels, not the harp-bearing and singing joyously Angels most people think of when they think of Angels theses days.

 

 

As for curses ... remember, they're shaped by their Chapter cultures, which, go back far enough, were shaped by their Legion, which were born out of two worlds - pre-Emperor's-reunification Terra, and the world their Primarchs were found upon.

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Personally I think when Space Marines swear I think they would use the normal F*** s*** c*** etc or the GW approved versions.

 

At the end of the day they are super human warrior knights but they are still human.

 

However I think it would be very rare for a marine to swear at all.  If you think about the main reasons you swear it's generally because of shock (pain anger fear etc) for emphasis or for humour because swearing is by definition taboo.  Most of these generally don't apply to a marine in the same way. 

 

If an ork jumps round a corner a marine doesn't waste time going 'f*** me!' He shoots it.

 

Equally most marines will only really converse about military matters, they will be almost literally programmed to be precise.  They wouldn't say a building was 'f***ing big' they would probably give dimensions and a functional description.

 

Other than that most of their anger is expressed in terms of classic GW fundamentalist indignation (Heretic scum etc).

 

Just a view point.  But as mentioned there are numerous Chapters each with different cultures.  I think Ultramarines and Dark Angels probably wouldn't swear much but I could see the Fleshtearers and for some reason the Novamarines swearing quite a lot.

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With this subject, all I can imagine is every Space Wolf just being the 40k equivalent of Malcolm Tucker...

 

LOL.  Though I think Space Wolves are too 'nice' (If that's the right word for a 7 foot fanged killer).  I reckon the Flesh Tearers would be more like Tucker.

 

EDIT: Literally couldn't find a single Malcom Tucker link that wouldn't be hugely inappropriate given forum rules.

Edited by Visitor Q

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