radondoran: Perry the Platypus in a musketeer uniform, wielding a saber (Default)
"To Sun-center with the Sirian cobbers!"
Isaac Asimov's Lucky Starr series has all kinds of fun things going on with the dialogue. Probably a good deal of this arises from the fact that it's a kids' series, and so the characters weren't even free to use the mild damn and hell that show up in the Robot stories. That, coupled with the fact that the series takes place in a spacefaring society circa the year 6945, means that the dialogue is absolutely packed with fictional slang.

Most of the fictional slang is classic Asimovian astronomical future slang: "Great Galaxy!", "what in space", "Mars-forsaken". But there's one prominent word that shows up in the series that doesn't arise from outer space, and does not to my knowledge usually show up in real twentieth-century American English either. This word is cobber, the insulting noun used by Lucky Starr's Martian sidekick John Bigman Jones.

This post will go over some observations about possible real-world origins of cobber, and some analysis of Bigman's use of the term in the books.


So what is a cobber, anyway? )


And how does Bigman use the word? )

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Um, yeah, so anyway, that's about everything I've discovered about the word cobber. If anybody's reading this, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the word, or about ridiculously specific linguistic elements from your own fandoms, or whatever!

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radondoran: Perry the Platypus in a musketeer uniform, wielding a saber (Default)
radondoran

June 2014

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