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Alpha Centauri Idioms

How much for the meal, are you serious? Six Stars, Freddie, when will you finally stop being such a cred.
— Fatma Asker, annoyed cook
  The settlements of Alpha Centauri have been somewhat separated from the rest of humanity for almost a century. There is communication with Sol, of course, but the 8.74 year round trip for a signal makes it extremely difficult. This has led the languages of the systems to diverge somewhat. Mutual intelligibility still exist, not least because of the steady stream of immigrants settling down in Alpha Centauri, but a large number of idioms have developed, that are not shared between the systems. This is true not only for the dominant English and Russian, but for most other languages as well. In the following, some English idioms are explained.  

Six Stars!

This versatile expression is ubiquitous throughout Alpha Centauri. It is comparable to such exclamations as "Oh my god!". It goes back to the six stars of Cassiopeia , which are a unifying symbol among the citizens of Alpha Centauri and can also be found in the flag of the Sharov's World Confederation and as popular tattoos.  


Not to be confused with the term for someone in charge of a naval vessel, "skipper" is a term of endearment for new arrivals to the system. It refers to them having travelled on an interstellar vessel. Due to relativistic effects, passengers experience the journey to take a little over four years, while for stationary observers six years pass, thus it is as if the passengers "skipped" two years.  


Another term most often referring to a recent immigrant, though not an endearing one. It is used when someone repeatedly fails to understand the Kentian economic system, for example by trying to pay for a service. It is derived from "credit", a concept seen as typical for the old world way of life.  


This phrase simply means "taking a short nap". It is derived from the unusual time system of Sharov's World, which places its 23 minute time slip at midday instead of midnight like other planets. It became customary to take a break from work and often also a nap. After getting adopted by the other planets of the system, the term also refers to naps taken at any other time.

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Cover image: by nearlyoctagonal


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