Terminology

Dialect

  • 2-Alpha – Voluntary Mission.
  • Back to the barn – Back to base.
  • Boxing or to be boxed – originally a Cylon term. To download a Cylon’s consciousness into a storage device instead of a new body. This can happen either as a punishment or for safety reasons, when said consciousness is deemed corrupted or too unstable to be downloaded into a new body.
  • Code Blue! – internal security alarm call.
  • Felgercarb – profanity. In the original Battlestar Galactica series, used contextually as if it meant “shit”. Near the end of the new series, Felgercarb turns up only once, as the brand name of the last surviving tube of Colonial toothpaste.
  • Frack – profanity. Same meaning as “f word”, used in the original Battlestar Galactica (1978) series. See frak.
  • Frak – new spelling for “frack” used in the new Battlestar Galactica. (Same meaning as “fuck”). Same usage as the original series, but greatly expanded, and it also seems to carry the same “social weight” as fuck, as characters sometimes apologise for their language after using it.
    • Frak-head – from the new Battlestar Galactica miniseries, derived from “frak”, substitution for “asshole” or “fuck-head”: when the miniseries originally aired on SciFi channel the phrase “superior asshole” was used by Starbuck (Kara Thrace) – when later aired on NBC the phrase became “superior frak-head”.
    • Frakwit/Frakwad – Used once by Chief Tyrol when explaining to the Pegasus deck chief why the Galactica deck crew was so angry. He said that Admiral Cain had assigned “some frakwad from the Pegasus” to be Galactica’s new deck chief. As it turns out, the person who he was explaining it to was that frakwad, but he did not seem in any way offended.
    • Motherfrakker – derived from “frak” in parallel to “motherfucker”. Used first by Specialist Cally in Season 2 and later by Lieutenant Kat and Starbuck, but apparently not standard usage, as Chief Tyrolfinds Cally’s usage quite amusing, though this may also be because Cally rarely (if ever) curses.
    • Toasterfrakker – by extension, someone, like Helo, who’s had sexual congress with a human-model Cylon.
  • Galmonging – derogatory term only used in the original series. Roughly the same meaning as “dirty” (in the sense of being underhanded) or “no-good”. First used in “The Magnificent Warriors” by Starbuck as he was getting robbed for an energizer on a trail and later by Commander Cain in Part 1 of “Living Legend”.
  • Krypter! – distress call equivalent to “MayDay”. Usually repeated in quick succession: “Krypter! Krypter! Krypter!”. First heard used by Lee Adama in the miniseries.
  • Oh my Gods!, – derived from real life phrase “Oh My God”, plural usage due to the main faith of the Twelve Colonies.
  • Morpha – pain killer similar to morphine, given to Starbuck on the algae planet by Dualla. The etymology of morphine itself comes from Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams.
  • Projecting – Cylon term. To create a virtual reality in someone’s own mind. Cylon human-models use projecting as a break from reality, a rough equivalent to daydreaming. Another application of projecting is to make traveling around basestars easier for human-model Cylons. Because all the corridors and hallways in a Basestar look very similar, Cylons “project” familiar surroundings in order to find their way more easily. For example, Number Six sees the inside of a basestar as a large forest. When Baltar first hears of projecting in the season three Torn episode, he realises that projecting is strikingly similar to the hallucinations involving Number Six he’s experiencing, thus reinforcing his suspicions that he might be a Cylon himself.
  • Wireless – essentially an alternate term for a radio or a device that transfers and receives radio wave band transmissions. In real life this usage was encountered during (and in some places after) World War II in England.
  • Sitrep – ‘situation report’
  • Sierra Alpha – suspicious activity (derived from NATO phonetic alphabet codewords for S and A)
  • Stims – similar to speed. stimulant pills pilots may take to stay awake.
  • Tylium – mineral that can be refined to a powerful fuel
  • Ambrosia – a type of alcoholic beverage
  • Carom – term used in conjunction with a DRADIS contact read; analogous to the term “mark”.
  • Wilco – ‘will comply’

Slang and nicknames

  • Beast, the – nickname of battlestar Pegasus, given by the crew of Galactica. See Bucket.
  • Big G, the – nickname given by the crew to the Galactica.
  • Bird farm – a battlestar, in colonial military jargon. Borrowed from contemporary American slang for aircraft carriers.
  • Blackshirt – profane term for Council Security. Only used in the original series.
  • Bucket, the – nickname of battlestar Galactica, given by the crew of Pegasus. See Beast.
  • Chrome job – pejorative term used by Humans to describe Cylon centurions. Also used in this context is the pejorative term bullethead. See skin job.
  • Download City – slang term used by Humans to describe a place where Cylons are resurrected. Usually refers to a Resurrection ship. First used in the season 3 episode “Exodus”.
  • Jock smock – flight suit.
  • Knuckle-dragger – slang term for enlisted personnel. Roughly equivalent to the Earth military slang “grunt”, it can be taken as a somewhat snobbish pejorative when used by an officer, but many NCOs use the term with a touch of pride (particularly Galen Tyrol). Also used by personnel within the U.S. Navy to refer to an enlisted person that has the engineering rating Machinist’s Mate.
  • Nugget – nickname given to trainee pilots.
  • Rain – The sound of the metal scrap hitting fighter in space after combat.
  • Skin job – pejorative term used by Humans to describe human-model Cylons. Originally a Blade Runnerterm, it was first used in Season 2. See chrome job.
  • Toaster – pejorative term used by Humans to describe Cylons

Acronyms

  • AAAAnti-aircraft artillery (pronounced “Triple-A”), such as a battlestar’s point defense batteries (TRS: “He That Believeth In Me”).
  • AAUAnti-Aircraft Unit. Weapons emplacement used to destroy aerial targets (TRS: “Fragged”).
  • ACMAir Combat Maneuver. The positioning of a plane to acquire a firing solution on an adversary; a required skill taught to Viper pilots during flight training (TRS: “He That Believeth In Me”).
  • AIArtificial Intelligence, research into such technology was deemed illegal by the Colonies after the First Cylon War (TRS: Miniseries).
  • ASAPASoon APossible. Usually pronounced “a-sap.”
  • BSG: A Battlestar Group (TRS: “Water”). It also doubles as an acronym for the television series itself.
  • CAGCommander Air Group: the senior pilot on a battlestar.
  • CAPCombat Air Patrol.
  • CBDRConstant Bearing, Decreasing Range. Indicates object on a collision course (“Final Cut”, “Pegasus”).
  • CFColonial Fleet (TRS: “Final Cut”).
  • CFRColonial Fleet Reserve (TRS: “Final Cut”).
  • CICCombat Information Center, the nerve center or “bridge” of a battlestar.
  • CMCColonial Marine Corps (TRS: “Final Cut”).
  • CMCRColonial Marine Corps Reserve (TRS: “Final Cut”).
  • CMOChief Medical Officer.
  • CNPCommand Navigation Program: Computer operating system on military and civilian ships exploited by the Cylons (TRS: Miniseries, Night 1).
  • COCommanding Officer.
  • DCDamage Control, generally related to the CIC station and related locations.
  • DCTDamage Control Team; typically consisting of deckhands and other NCOs (TRS: Miniseries, Night 1).
  • DRADIS: “Direction, Range, and Distance”. Colonial equivalent of radar.
  • ECOElectronic Countermeasures Officer.
  • EMIElectromagnetic Interference. High-energy electromagnetic radiation from binary stars is known to interfere with DRADIS (TRS: “The Captain’s Hand”).
  • EMPElectromagnetic Pulse. A powerful electrically-disruptive surge that typically accompanies a nuclear detonation.
  • EODExplosive Ordnance Disposal. (TRS: “Litmus”).
  • FTLFaster Than Light. A descriptive term referring to technologies that enable travel across distances faster than the speed of light would permit.[1]
  • GDDGlobal Defense Department (CAP: Pilot, et al).
  • IFFIdentification Friend or Foe. A system using transponders to positively identify friendly spacecraft (TRS: “Kobol’s Last Gleaming, Part II”).
  • KIAKilled iAction (TRS: “Sacrifice”).
  • LSOLanding Signal Officer.
  • MCPMeta-Cognitive Processor, used by Dr. Daniel Graystone in the integration of the sentient AI that Zoe Graystone created into the U-87 (CAP: Pilot).
  • NCPNew Caprica Police (TRS: “Occupation”).
  • ODOverdose (TRS: “Faith”).
  • OODOfficer of the Deck (TRS: “Scattered”).
  • POWPrisoner oWar. (TRS: “Hero”).
  • PTFPlaying the Field, an advice column on dating in the Twelve Colonies (The Caprican: “Playing the Field: A Guide to Love in the Colonies”, et al).
  • RFNRight Frakking Now (TRS: “Scattered”, “Valley of Darkness”).
  • SARSearch and Rescue (TRS: “Fragged”).
  • STOSoldiers of the One, a monotheistic terrorist organization in existence for more than a decade prior to 58 BCH (CAP: Pilot, et al).
  • SU: Distance measurement similar to “astronomical unit”. Speculated to stand for “solar unit” (TRS: “The Captain’s Hand”).
  • XO: Executive Officer.

Measurements

  • Cubit – denomination of Colonial currency (used in original and reimagined series)
  • Solar Unit – this is abbreviated to “SU”. Has a similar meaning to that of our use of “AU” which is the measurement of distance between the Sun and Earth.