Frak (expletive)

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A vanity plate displaying the revised spelling

Frak is a fictional version of "fuck" first used (with the spelling "frack" in the 1978 TV series, but "frak" in the 2004 reboot) in the Battlestar Galactica TV series. It continues to be used throughout different versions of the franchise as an expletive.

There are other uses, however: companies have adopted it as the name for commercial products, notably a computer game. It has also appeared in other television shows, including Eureka, The Big Bang Theory, Veronica Mars, 21 Jump Street, Better Off Ted, Warehouse 13, Chuck, 30 Rock, Babylon 5, Buffy Comics, Transformers: Prime, and Castle, Helix, and Dollhouse. It has also been used in the 2012 video game Transformers: Fall of Cybertron. Robot Chicken had a sketch on its "Rabbits on a Roller Coaster" episode parodying the reimagined Battlestar Galactica and its use of frak.

Etymology[edit]

"Frak" is a fictional censored version of "fuck" first used in the 1978 Battlestar Galactica series (with the spelling "frack"). In the "re-imagined" version, and subsequently in Caprica, it appears with greater frequency and with the revised spelling "frak", as the producers wanted to make it a four-letter word.[1] In that framework it seems to function as a substitute for "fuck" in several different forms.

Other uses[edit]

"Frak!" was the title of a popular game released on the BBC Micro B and Acorn Electron in 1984, and later the Commodore 64. The game saw the user controlling a caveman called Trogg, who had to navigate various maze-like scenarios and dispose of various deadly obstacles with his yo-yo. When coming into contact with such an obstacle or falling a substantial distance, Trogg would cry "Frak!" (via a speech balloon that appeared over his head) before the user restarting the level.

"Frak" is used in the same sense as in Battlestar by characters in the early 21st century "Ciaphas Cain" series of Games Workshop Warhammer 40,000 novels by Sandy Mitchell, probably an expression from the character's unknown birth world.[2]

Fräck (spelled with the umlaut 'ä') is also the product name of a shaving mirror produced by IKEA, a multinational home products retailer.[3] Most IKEA product names are in Swedish, and fräck is the Swedish word for audacious, shameless or bold (while frack, without ä, would translate to tailcoat). In the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica series, a mirror of this type is installed in the cabin of William Adama.[4]

The word is also a direct Battlestar Galactica reference in the Periphery song "Frak the Gods".

A campaign in the United Kingdom aimed to prevent the commencing of a controversial method of shale gas extraction known as fracking have organised themselves under the name Frack Off.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Talbott, Chris (October 1, 2012). "What the `frak'? Faux curse seeping into language". Associated Press. 
  2. ^ Mitchell, Sandy (2003). For the Emperor (extract) (PDF). Black Library. p. 13. ISBN 978-1-84416-050-1. OCLC 52946642. Archived from the original on unknown.  Check date values in: |archivedate= (help)
  3. ^ "FRÄCK Mirror". Ikea.com. Retrieved 2009-07-14. 
  4. ^ DeLeo, Jennifer L. (May 2, 2008). "Battlestar Galactica's Cylon Dream Kit". PC Magazine.  (cited to IMDb)
  • Frak at the Battlestar Wiki
  • "Frakking Toasters" and Jurisprudences of Technology, by Kieran Tranter, Law and Literature, Spring 2007, Vol. 19, No. 1, Pages 45–7d (hosted at JSTOR)