Obvious Disclaimer: 1)This is not an excuse to cuss at other forumites. 2) If you are so easily offended that even the mention of a profanity word offends, don't read further. 3) Swearing is relative. What is offensive in one society may be inoffensive in another. If I compare and contrast two societies I am not making a value judgement or saying one is better than the other. (okay now on to the topic) So I saw a video by Shadiversity. Then I found a better video that he kind of plagerized. "Swear" words and "Profanity" The video links are there if you want to see them, but I can sum up the core of the videos, these come from the root words of "swear words" and "profanity" and "curse words." Oaths were a big deal in medieval society so swearing an oath for something petty was highly offensive (though people still did this often). "Profane" means being worldly and not religious. it's not a crime to be profane. Talking about the potato harvest is technically "profane discussion" but offensive profanity is using holy terms in a flippant and disrespectful way (which medieval people still did). Medieval people too the afterlife very seriously. "Drop dead!" is an insult to a medieval person but "go to Hell" is far worse. "Go to Hell" is both a curse word and profanity. This was not as universal as profanity and flippant oaths but some medieval people took curse words rather literally. There are so holdovers in the modern day. In some circumstances, flippant oaths and profanity is offensive but oaths are a lot less serious in Current Year. Curses are generally taken much less seriously. A growth of secular culture means that religious based profanity is still offensive in many communities but it's not universal. Modern "swear words" and "potty mouth." Modern "swear words" are usually tied to bodily functions, especially pooping, peeing, sex, and body parts that are associated with these things. Sometimes in Current Year the old and new cultural mores mix with talking about poop and sex being extra offensive in religious settings. In the United, "bloody" is not a swear word. In Great Britain it is. I will point out that like poop, urine, and sexual excretions, blood is a bodily substance that is messy and gross but never the less common. In the medieval era, there was less privacy for both sexual acts and defecation acts. Even upper class people were generally not offended by this discussion. Sure, you shouldn't tell the king to "eat a skyte sandwich", but they could joke about a banquet causing them to get the runs in front of the king and he'll probably laugh. Related note. I did some research on Wild West swear words for Westhammer and in hinsight it's about half-way between medieval attitudes and modern attitudes. Flippant oaths are far more offensive in the 1800s than the 2000s but way less offensive than in the middle ages. Likewise, in the 1800s Victorian sensibilities were beginning to creep in making it offensive to talk about sex or defecation in polite settings. Religious based profanity was becoming slightly less offensive. Applying real-world history to Warhammer Fantasy I think Warhammer humans would be very similar to medieval humans. They take their oaths seriously, they take their souls seriously, they take their gods seriously. They are packed together in dirty conditions so they are probably pretty casual about bodily functions. Other than the name of the gods differing I see relatively little differences between the Empire, Brettonians, Araby, Cathay, Albion, Estalia, etc. Dwarves would be pretty similar but replace "gods" with "ancestors." My impression is that while the dwarves have gods they are deist in their outlook with filial piety filling the day-to-day aspects of religious life. Elves have very different gods but they still take their afterlives, oaths, and gods seriously. Dark Elves are very in-your-face about bodily functions so it's possible, though not necessary that High Elves have adopted Victorian attitudes about blood, sex, and other bodily function as a symbolic distancing from their Naggaroth brethren. Apart from the Dark Elves, the Forces of Destruction are so different that they are probably worth a separate topic. I doubt vampires care about how people talk as long as they are obeyed. I don't orcs and goblins have any social niceties. Skaven could have some mores about insulting the Horned Rat but on top of that I don't see them having profanity words really. Humans, elves, dwarves, ogres, skaven, everyone probably takes curses pretty seriously because sometimes curse words are literal curse words. What Really Matters Here? But what really matters, is the Lizardmen of course! If a fluff writer wants to write Lizardmen as robots that live only to obey the Slann, they probably don't have any equivalent to swear words because they would not possess the concept of "offensive." Assuming Lizardmen are not robots, they are certainly an honor bound theocratic society. They would take their oaths very seriously. They take their gods very seriously. I don't know how much thought Lizardmen give to the afterlife. At least for non-Slann. I created this thread a long time ago but I didn't get any giant brainwaves or Epiphanies from it. But most of the stuff about medieval swearing applies to Lizardmen. Unless Slann don't poop at all, Lizardmen probably are not especially offended by poop or talking about poop. I'm sure they recognize it is as a health hazard if not cleaned up, but I don't think they have any unique taboos about it. Certainly not more than Old World humans. One thing I see in historical fiction that I don't see in modern fiction is references to God's body parts. "By Christ's blood, this is awful" or even "Gods balls! You are annoying." I have also seen this applied to non-Christian deities. References to "By Neptune's Beard!" "Thor's nuts!" I can certainly see Old World humans swearing by "Sigmar's balls" or "Sigmar's beard," but I think this could be especially appropriate for Lizardmen. Relatively inoffensive swear words "By Chotek's fire!" "By Sotek's Fangs!" "By Tepok's Crest!" Relatively offensive swear words "By Tzunki's Bladder!" "By Tepok's Teeth!" "Sotek's molting!" I'm not sure where tails fall on the spectrum but I'm sure it's a very popular body part to invoke. Unlike the 5th edition Warhammer fluff writers, I think Lizardmen would be aware of the basics of how sexual reproduction works if only because Skink and Saurus hunters would need to understand mating cycles. I do think Lizardmen would be grossed out by sexual reproduction and milk drinking but I don't think most Lizardmen think about it much, so it probably wouldn't form the basis for any swear words because it's uncommonly talked about. It might make up the banter and jargon of those Lizardmen who spend more time in the jungle than the Temple cities though. Is modern swearing really a bad thing? In fiction of course. Shadiversity's had more waffling and meandering than the other guy, but he did raise a good point near the end. If you are writing fantasy, you are writing fantasy for a modern day reader. It might be appropriate to give fantasy characters modern sensibilities in terms of swearing. If you want to immediately demonstrate a character is being crass and offensive it might be better to have the knight tell the other knight "go f--_ yourself" as oppose to say "Chaos take your eyes!" Sometimes visceral impact is more valuable to the reader than historical accuracy or world building. I'm not sure where to draw the line myself but I do believe swear words in fiction can be used in good taste when the stakes are. In fact if I was watching a war movie and the character said "Oh shucky darn, my best friend was just vaporized!" I would be more offended by this cop-out than a real swear word. I remember a casual friend I had in high school who had a lot of teen angst but very religiously conservative parents. He would regularly use G-rated swear words with the savage vitriol of a real swear word and every time he did I wanted to laugh out loud. I don't want my fictional characters to be laughing stocks (unless it's a comic relief character of course). Mahrlect, my favorite fake word Mahrlect was intended to be a modern swear word, not a medieval one. I never defined what it means, viewing it better to let the reader use his or her imagination to fill in the blank. @spawning of Bob came up with the fluff that "mahrlect" was the last word Lord Kroak uttered before the Chaos portals opened. The Skinks and Saurus still don't know what it means but it means something bad. When I say mahrlect in real life (usually part of road rage) I use it in place o the "f" word. I did not randomly pull mahrlect out of my nether regions. I set out to make a fantasy swear word with great care and deliberation. Both "mahr" and "lect" are four letter words. The c-word that ends in and "t" is extremely offensive in the United States. I get the impressive it is less offensive in Great Britain in Australia. "Cuck" is not technically a swear word, but I bet in twenty years it will be. It kind of combines the f-word and the c-word and it involves sex indirectly. Marhlect is (probably) not sexual because it originated from Saurian but I knew my fake swear word had to have have a hard "c" in it. Even G-rated swear words like "crap" and "cooties" have a hard "c." "licking" is not in and of itself a swear word but it is tied to many uses of profanity in directly. I think hard "t"s are almost as integral to modern swear words and also prevailent in G-rated swear words. I really like the Orbitz commercial with "Who are you calling a cootie queen you lint licker!" I made it lect instead of lict to make it less obvious. "Mahr" is a little bit more out of left field but it embodies Lizardmen otherworldness. Mahr can be said from the deep throat to give it a gutteral animalistic feeling or it could be pronounced lighter for a more mystical otherworldly take. So in ways, "Mahr" is to "Lizard" as "lect" is to "Man" At least for me. Mahrlect conveys exasperation if the "Mahr" is emphasized, "maaahr-lect this is taking a long time" and anger if the if the "l" is emphasized. "Shut your mahrlect face!" If I emphasize the "t" and hiss or sucking of the teeth I actually feel as guilty as if I used a real swear word, and I cannot rationally explain it. I also like to use "skyte" in place of the traditional modern "s" word, but that is more for human characters than Lizardmen and there are some limited historical sources suggesting this was once a common word for it. What are your thoughts on Lizardmen and naughty words?