Haven Idiom and Slang
The official language of Haven is English, largely due to the large proportion of surviving Immunes being from English speaking countries. Other languages are maintained, however, and in some communities on the islands where a specific ethnic group may have gathered, it is not uncommon to hear the language of the local majority spoken more frequently in the streets.
The English spoken in the republic has developed an idiom of its own over the years, some of which is merely the melding of different slang terms from various countries. American, Canadian, and Australian figures of speech are most prominent, as well as many British terms common to these countries. There are also figures of speech and such from other countries that have entered the local vernacular. In some cases Havenites use different terms interchangeably, thus you will hear the storage area at the rear of an electric (car) referred to variously as a "boot," a "trunk," or a "bin." Terms like "electric" most commonly refer to any means of transport powered by electricity, and so both electrically powered automobiles and electrically powered trains are locally referred to as simply "electrics."
A list of Haven slang would cover many pages, but some of the more common terms are below.
bingle – this term is sometimes used to refer to an accident, as in: "When the car slid out of control and hit the truck it was the worst bingle I'd ever seen."
boot – refers to the rear storage compartment of an automobile. On the islands it is used interchangeably with "trunk" and "bin."
bonnet – refers to the metal panel (usually at the front of a car) that can be opened to access the engine. It is used interchangeably with "hood" and "lid."
bin – see Boot
central, the – depending on context, it can mean either Central Island or more commonly the Central Island Train Line. Examples: "I'm leaving Central for South tomorrow." "I'm catching the Central for Coral Beach this afternoon."
EAC – Electric Allotment Coupon. EACs are issued on a monthly basis to all citizens of Haven as part of their RBs (Ration Books) and are required for the purchase of goods and services that utilize electricity.
electric – an "electric" is any vehicle that employs electricity to power its primary means of motive activity. Both cars and trains are referred to simply as "electrics" in Haven.
EAQ or ERQ – Electric Allotment Quota or Electric Ration Quota. The EAQ or ERQ is set for each individual, based on need. Medical doctors, for example, are given a greater quota than students. When an individual exhausts his/her monthly quota, he/she has no option but to wait until the next issue of EACs. Regardless of willingness to pay, the government will not issue any individual more quota than has been set for him/her.
facilities – often used to refer to a washroom (with toilet). Less common than "loo".
Fall, the – refers to the period following the initial outbreak of the plague caused by the spread of the engineered virus BSD1897 (more commonly known as Gomorrah). The Fall is generally considered to have lasted from 1943 to 1948, although some historians argue that the end date should be earlier since most humans had either died or been transformed sometime before 1948. Others suggest the Fall has not yet ended.
Immune – any human being with a natural immunity to Gomorrah.
legal or street legal – refers to reaching the age of majority in Haven. At seventeen a boy or girl becomes what is locally termed "legal" or "street legal," meaning that they are now considered adults. The curfew no longer applies to them and they are accorded all the rights and liberties of an adult, as well as all the responsibilities. These include (among other things) the right to marry, to have consensual sex, to drink alcohol, to drive a motor vehicle, and to vote.
lid – see Bonnet
loo – a toilet (washroom). A British term freely adopted by most younger Havenites. Older citizens of the island tend to use "toilet," "washroom," “restroom,” and "facilities" – depending upon their place of origin (i.e. Canada, US, Australia, etc.)
hydro – electricity that is consumed by Havenites in their daily life and for which they are required to pay is often referred to simply as "hydro." This term stems from the fact that the original power source of Caelo was water-turbines in the Skelty River. Thus when a Havenite says, "The hydro is out again," he means that the electricity is out.
M2S – this refers to the two year Mandatory Military Service required of all able-bodied citizens of the republic. M2=Mandatory Military and also references the fact that two years of service must be completed to fulfill the obligation to the state.
MLS – is short for Mandatory Labor Service. Each citizen of the republic is expected to engage in some sort of service each year, though the bulk of these responsibilities fall to students in grades one to twelve and those engaged in acquiring their first university degree. MLS is required of other citizens depending upon the nature of their employment. It is considered crucial to the economic well-being of the republic and is enshrined in the constitution.
nick – can refer to jail or incarceration of some form. More common among younger Havenites.
PSS – the Presidential Security Service. Ostensibly organized to protect the president of the republic, the duties of the PSS also entail matters that are not localized but have a broader, national concern. Their jurisdictional power surpasses that of all other civilian police forces, and in matters of national security can exceed that of the military. PSS officers always accompany the president, regardless of where he travels.
RB – Havenites generally refer to the government-issued Ration Book as an "RB." Every citizen in Haven is issued a Ration Book, and there are very few goods or service of a legal nature that can be bought without use of the coupons within the book.
rotter – a cad; an individual who is morally reprehensible.
scavy – a scavy is an individual who deals in scavenged/salvaged (and often illicit) items. While the term is sometimes applied to the men and women who actually engage in the salvage firsthand, more often than not it refers to the individuals who sell the items in the market. In some cases trawler crews who engage in fishing outside the legal boundaries are referred to as scavies.
vamp – is simply short for vampire. The true physiological nature of vamps differs from the traditional fictional characters, of which Dracula is perhaps the best known. Vamps are humans who have been infected with the virus BSD1897 (Gomorrah) and transformed into individuals whose characteristics commonly mimic many of the traits of fictional vampires – hence the reference to them in the early days of the Fall as being vampires.
zebra – refers to a taxicab in Caelo. The name stems from the fact that most taxis are painted in black and white stripes.