Thursday, August 18, 2016

Slang in Scarabae

Is bespoke slang for a setting annoying? I've definitely seen people complain about it in Planescape, and a bit in Shadowrun as well. Nevertheless, I'd like to think that a little slang could go a long way toward establishing aesthetics and tone--if you don't let it become overbearing, it doesn't obscure meaning, and doesn't become a barrier to entry. 

Or I could be entirely wrong. But I'm willing to see where this takes me; here's a slice of what you might hear on the streets of Scarabae, most of which has been adapted from real-world Victorian slang:

Adam/Eve – a naive person, a rube
Bite o' Pie – an attractive person
Bobbin – money, especially ill-gotten lucre
Buttoner – a thief-taker or bounty hunter
Crossed-Off – dead, deceased
Crypt Kicker – an adventurer
Don't Sell Me a Sausage – don't lie to me
Get the Stitch – to be patched up by an illicit doctor or healer
Give Them the Brick – to approach fearlessly
Gone Grave Digging – to be melancholic
It's Enough to Make the Taxidermy Laugh – something preposterous
Mammoth – an important person
Name Level – when a crypt kicker's fame is great enough that they are infamous in the city and their name is well known
Pigeon Chaser – an easily-fleeced idiot
A Real Rumchug – a bad situation
The Slosh – rumors, circulating gossip
Squeal Stick/Squealer – a weapon
Tiddlywags – dandies, wealthy wastrels
Tattletrap – mouth
They've Had Their Afternoon Tea – a well- informed person
Tossed to the Rats – drunk or intoxicated
Wormwood Licker – a crazy person