City Speak is a common street language amongst the denizens of the world’s sprawls.

Sixth world examplesEdit

  • chummer – “pal” or “buddy”
  • drek – “shit” (literally dirt, trash, or excrement) from Dutch/German/Yiddish
  • frag – “fuck”, from military jargon
  • geek – “to kill”
  • hoi – “hi” or “hello”, from Dutch
  • slot – “idiot”, “jerk” or “fool” (mild curse)
  • jander – “to strut” (walk in an arrogant yet casual manner)
  • so ka – “I understand”, from Japanese


Cityspeak (sic) originated in the film Blade Runner, where it was most memorably used by Gaff (Edward James Olmos) in the noodle bar scene.

In the voice-over for the scene, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) comments:

That gibberish he talked was Cityspeak, gutter talk, a mishmash of Japanese, Spanish, German, what have you. I didn’t really need a translator. I knew the lingo, every good cop did. But I wasn’t going to make it easier for him.

Much of the Cityspeak used in the film was devised by Olmos, during background research for his character. In addition to Japanese, Spanish, and German; Olmos also used Hungarian, Chinese, and French. Other street dialog in the film uses Korean.

External linksEdit

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