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Sci-Fi Languages & Phrases

Smeg! - Futuristic insult (equivalent to our four letter curse words) often used by space castaway Dave Lister (Craig Charles) on the sci-fi comedy RED DWARF/BBC/1988+.

Smeg Off!- Craig Charles as Dave Lister - RED DWARF

Lister:

Oh smeg! What the smeggin' smeg's he smeggin' done? He's smeggin' killed me!" ("Bodyswap" episode)  


 Lister: You see I try sir. I'm not an insubordinate man by nature. I try and respect and everything, but it's not easy because he's such a smeghead.  
Rimmer: Did you hear that sir? Lister, do you have any conception  of the penalty for describing a superior technician as a smeghead?  
  Captain: Oh Rimmer, you are a smeghead.
("The End" episode)  

The show's creator Grant Naylor [a collective name for writers Rob Grant and Doug Naylor] explained their reason for choosing "Smeg" saying, "We wanted to invent a futuristic curse word which had the right sort of consonant and vowel arrangement to make it sound like a genuine . . . curse word."

Doug Naylor later mentioned during an online chat session that "I think it's Latin for clean, also there's an Italian washing machine company called Smeg. Also each of the letters S-M-E-G stand for smelting metal and something to do with the washing machine process."

Some fans of the series have claimed that "Smeg" is a derivation of the word "Smegma" but reportedly, the authors have denied that interpretation.

The Random House Dictionary 2nd Edition Unabridged describes "Smegma " as "a thick, cheese-like sebaceous secretion that collects beneath the foreskin or around the clitoris." Smeg! See also - SPACECRAFT: "Red Dwarf"


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