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POINT OF VIEW: Spicing Your Story Up With Slang

bunny boots

Hey all,

Today’s column will be short but sweet, as I am in the throes of preparing to go to the Dreamspinner retreat in Orlando Thursday (*waves at all my author friends*).

So I thought I’d talk a little more about my new holiday story “Melt.” It’s set in Antarctica, and I found a cool site that includes some Antartcic slang. Whether you’re writing a future world or something in the next city over, including some local idioms and slang can add additional layers to your storytelling.

Here are a few from

Antarctic 10 – A person of the opposite sex who might be considered a “5” elsewhere.

Bolo – Burnt-out-left-over an expeditioner who has been in the Antarctic for too long.

Bunny Boots – Boots for extremely cold weather, large, white and plain, but effective, the name comes from a layer of rabbit fur that’s supposed to be part of the insulation (actually wool felt).

Country Mice – Scientists and their assistants who get to travel to camps around Antarctica.

Fingy – The pronunciation of F.N.G.. A derogatory term of uncertain origin for the F… New Guy (or Girl). Originally used in Vietnam to describe a solider on their first tour of duty.

Hollywood ShowerA naval term, derisively used to describe showers of longer than the allotted two minutes (fresh water in liquid form is relatively rare in Antarctica)

Manhaul – A sledging trip where the sledge is pulled by men rather than vehicles.

Nutty (alt) – The general term for any type of chocolate or sweets / candy, whether it contains nuts or not. A personal note here, when I first arrived in Antarctica I was most unimpressed with the unhealthiness of the food that people took out with them when leaving base for a day trip – one to three bars of chocolate and nothing else. Being of sterner stuff I promptly made myself some healthy sandwiches (tuna and mayonnaise if I remember rightly) – I was observed with interest but without comment by other (wiser) people around. Come lunch break, while others tucked into their hard but edible “nutty” I sat and sucked on a frozen sandwich.

There are many more at the link, but you can see how much flavor they can add to the story. Plus some of them are just really fun to say. *goes to get his bunny boots*

To my author friends, how have you used slang and/or idioms to brighten up a story?

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