Vocabulary of the Orion Arm: The B’s

Try to think of the Covenant’s Trade language as an alien version of English. It Hoovers up words and phrases from everything that it encounters, no matter how much that contradicts what it already has. Like English, it can be frustrating to learn, but worth it.

  • Baboochka (valka, slang): Derogatory term for Matriarch. From Nadsat, derived from babushka (grandmother).
  • “Back in the world” (Covenant military, slang): Anything back home or outside military life. A term used mostly by Defense Agents in the Covenant Mutual Aid Force, especially on deployment.
  • Bad gullet (chiroptim, slang): Bullet. An example of chiroptim rhyming slang.
  • Balabusta (chiroptim, slang): This originally meant “housewife” in Yiddish. To the chiroptim, it means a woman who holds a family together and takes care of business.
  • Banda (valka, slang): Military squad or raiding party. From Nadsat, derived from banda (gang).
  • Bank Shot (spacer, slang): Spaceship trajectory with one or more gravity-assist maneuvers. A trajectory with one gravity-assist maneuver is a “bank shot,” a trajectory with two is a “two-bank shot,” etc.
  • Barney (aco, slang): Fight or argument. From British Polari.
  • Bethesdac+10 (valka, slang): A curse said whenever something breaks down, especially something prone to breaking down. Pronounced “Bethesdac plus ten”. The origin of this phrase has been lost.
  • Betweth (chiroptim, term): 1. A tailwind that speeds you up during flight. 2. Any unexpected help or relief.
  • Betyefil (chiroptim, term): An often-fatal form of tetyefil, or regurgitating consumed blood to feed a starving or dying chiroptim. If the donor has no more or not enough consumed blood in his stomach, he can choose to hemorrhage internally to supply more blood. This often leads to the donor bleeding to death. Betyefil is a common end to many chiroptim romantic stories, but it is almost nonexistent in real life. See also tetyefil.
  • Bevvy (aco, slang): Drink, toke, snort, shoot up. From British Polari.
  • Bezoomy (valka, slang): Insane. From Nadsat, derived from byezoomiyi (insane).
  • Billig (chiroptim, slang): Anything cheap or shoddy. From Yiddish.
  • Bissel (chiroptim, slang): A small amount or pinch of something. From Yiddish.
  • Bitane (aco, slang): 1. Prostitute. 2. Brown nose, usually for a human owner or a boss. From British Polari.
  • Bitch (aco, slang): Someone flighty, unreliable, or who doesn’t have any stomach.
  • Bitchin’ Betty (military, slang): The (usually female) computer voice on most military vehicles.
  • “Bitch out” (aco, slang): 1. Run away. 2. Avoid confrontation. 3. Refuse to fulfill an obligation.
  • Bitva (valka, slang): Battle. From Nadsat, derived from bitva (battle)
  • Bladow (valka, slang): Any large weapon, like a missile launcher or cannon. See also pew pew.
  • Blag (aco, slang): 1. Flirt, pick someone up. 2. Use flattery or honeyed words to get somethign out of someone. From British Polari.
  • “Blyat!” (valka, slang): Russian for “whore”. An all-purpose swear word like “fuck”, it can be (and sometime is) every single word in a sentence.
  • Bogatik (chiroptim, slang): Derived from bogat, which means “rich” or “wealthy” in several Slavic languages. Innuendo for blood that’s to be consumed.
  • Bold (aco, slang): Not heterosexual or asexual. From British Polari.
  • Bolnoy (valka, slang): Sick. From Nadsat, derived from bolnoy (sick).
  • Bolshy (valka, slang): Big. From Nadsat, derived from bolshy (big).
  • Bomb (spacer, slang): A fuel tank holding antimatter either in a plasma state or an ultracold slurry. So called because, if the tank’s containment fields ever go down, the antimatter inside will instantly interact with the matter in the walls of the tank and explode, destroying everything for hundreds or even thousands of miles.
  • Bona (aco, slang): Good. From British Polari.
  • “Bona nochy” (aco, slang): Good night. From British Polari.
  • “Bona to vida” (aco, slang): Good to see you. From British Polari.
  • Bootlegger (spacer, slang): 1. A gravity-assist trajectory that lets a spaceship approach a target from an unusual or unexpected angle. 2. A gravity-assist maneuver that lets a spaceship change trajectory quickly and in an unexpected direction. Compare to Jolly Roger, which is a similar maneuver but implies a sneak attack.
  • Bougie (Valka, slang): 1. Weak, useless, 2. An unreliable ally, someone who will probably stab you in the back. From bourgeois.
  • “- boy” (Covenant, slang): A sardonic way to describe an object or creature. The word before “boy” is the most important feature of the object or creature. Examples include:
    • “Cold boy”: An air conditioner on a hot day, a bottle of beer, etc.
    • “Spicy boy”: Spicy food, an enemy, someone who’s angry, a stinging insect, etc.
    • “Hot boy”: A star, something radioactive, etc.
    • “Squirty boy”: A leaking container, an open wound, someone with diarrhea, etc.
    • “Proud boy”: Someone who’s arrogant or too big for his britches
  • Bratchny (valka, slang): Exile from a hive or the Matriarchy. From Nadsat, derived from vnyebrachnyi (bastard).
  • Brigading (general, slang): A group of valka, sometimes complete strangers, banding together to harass a target.
  • Britva (valka, slang): Any edged weapon. From Nadsat, derived from britva (razor).
  • Bubbe (chiroptim, slang): Derived from Yiddish for “grandmother”. Chiroptim children often call any woman in their extended family that isn’t their mother “bubbe”.
  • Buggaty (valka, slang): In a good position, has enough supplies to survive. From Nadsat, derived from bogaty (wealthy).
  • Buvare (aco, slang): 1. Drink or drug. 2. Something to soothe a disappointment or kill the pain. From British Polari.

See Also:

Note: Some of these terms are original, but the rest are gathered from numerous sources. This is only a partial list of these sources.

Published by radiofreecovenant

A podcast about the science-fiction roleplaying game "Covenant" and the urban fantasy novel "Crossing the Line", soon to be published by Black Opal Books.

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