Saturday, September 16, 2006

List of exclamations used by Captain Haddock - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

The comic book series The Adventures of Tintin, by the Belgian artist Hergé, is one of the most popular cartoon creations of the 20th Century, with as many as 100 million Tintin books in print. One of the secrets of its appeal is the cast of eccentric and charming personalities who surround the rather bland Tintin, providing much-needed comic relief. Chief among these colorful figures is Tintin's sidekick, the lovable curmudgeon Captain Haddock. The fearless captain is game for every adventure, but is frequently nearly undone by his temper, or his drinking.

A particular trademark of Captain Haddock is his colourful exclamations that he hurls out every time he gets in a rage.

At the time Captain Haddock was first introduced, just before the Second World War, his manners presented a moral problem to Hergé. As a sailor, Haddock ought to have a very colourful language. Yet, as he was to appear in a Catholic children's magazine, he obviously was forbidden to use any swearwords. The solution came one night when Hergé overheard a political argument between two passers-by in the street. In the heat of the discussion one of the persons became so enraged that he lost his composure for a moment and started yelling at his companion "You... You... You peace-pamphlet yourselves".[citation needed] This was the solution Hergé sought: what if the captain would use strange or difficult words that were not offensive in themselves, but would hurl them out as if they were very strong cusswords...? (This would also add a comical note by portraying the captain as a pseudo-intellectual who loves to use difficult words without really knowing what they mean.)

The idea took form quickly and in his first anger-scene the captain storms towards a party of Bedouin raiders yelling expressions like 'Hydromeduse' (a form of jellyfish), 'troglodyte' (cave-dweller) and 'ectoplasm'. (The bedouins immediately take flight, but from the Foreign Legion appearing behind the captain's back.) The trick with the false swearwords proved successful and was a mainstay in future books. Consequently Hergé actively started collecting difficult or dirty-sounding words for use in the captain's next anger attacks and on occasion even searched dictionaries to come up with inspiration. This went so far that in the end Hergé started to resemble Haddock in using words (at least in his writings)- he only half understood himself.

This page lists almost all of the exclamations used by Captain Haddock as curses and insults in the translated, English version of Hergé's Tintin series (with definitions where possible).

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