Gorram and Other Redneck Chinese

Map of the 'verse
Map of the 'verse

I know some of you (certainly not me. I have better things to do, like macaroni art) have spent time trying to interpret the slang expletives of the one-season sensation, Firefly. Browncoats, frothing fans of the show who refuse to accept that it was canceled, or even fiction (because it’s not), know that the phrases are Chinese. But the common expletive “gorram” remains mysterious to most.

[dropcap2]I[/dropcap2]’m here to set the record straight. As a reputable provocateur and man of high journalistic integrity I use only the most trusted sources in the fabricating gathering of my knowledge before disseminating it to you. But first, a reality check.

This may surprise you, but if you relate more to the “rim folk,” or for those not familiar with the show, someone that shies away from organized centers of civilization (and thus authority), you are philosophically, in part, a redneck. And like Captain Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly, you might say stuff like, “We got no short of ugly ridin’ in on us.” Or “I’m just feeling kind of truthsome right now.”

It was these sorts of redneckisms that endeared a nation to George W. in the not so distant past. Now, for those rednecks out there who been blessed with the stink of travel (otherwise known as “cultured rednecks” or simply “crimsonnecks”) you know that there is no more vast source of rednecks in the world than China. So of course when humankind exodused from the solar system we took a smudge of American Redneck English and a crapper full of Redneck Chinese along for the ride.

So when folk inhabiting the rim worlds say stuff like, “Run! It’s the gorram law!” It should be no surprise that there is no direct translation for the word gorram or gorramit in English or Chinese. After all, some redneck speech simply never reaches the ears of those officials of civilization that would preserve such things. It’s rim speech or redneckese, and as such it defies precise definition.[divider]

So just relax, gorramit. There ain’t no need to gussy up when you got a browncoat. (My gratitude to Browncoat Becca’ for the inspiration for this post. “When you can’t run, you crawl…and when you can’t crawl, when you can’t do that ‘You find someone to carry you.” ~ S01E12 – The Message)

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