If the idioms and swears are unfamiliar to the players, then they will feel unfamiliar to the characters. Use weird ones when the players are in a new or foreign region to make it feel more like they are elsewhere. Otherwise, use them in sci-fi and fantasy to remind the players of the world and its lore.
Idioms for unfamiliar regions
|Heavy Rain||Death||Anger (ironic)||Not very much|
|cats and dogs||kicked the bucket||calm as a lake||two shakes of a lamb’s tail|
|tables and chairs||sharpened the wrong knife||happy as honey||quick as birth (ironic)|
|axes are dropping||brushed it over||sweet as apples||bee’s feet|
|wheelbarrows||sneezed the lot||skipping twice over||light-by-thunder|
|stream of mallets||bounced it twice||pounds in||count to one twice|
|raining frogs||had half again||flute, fiddle and free||a cricket’s fart|
|ghost rain||slept over and under||clear as nightingales||a life’s taxes (ironic)|
|old ladies and sticks||moved aside||thirsty, hungry and sleeping||ladder’s down|
|poured from a bucket||red and yellow||honeymooning||three pints gone|
|boats and barrels||dropped it all||bunny eyed and bunny eared||top to top and half over|
If challenged on the origin of these idioms, the locals don’t know why they say them, they’ve just always been said like that. Just like in real life.
Unproved theory: most swears relate to poop, willies, sex or gods
Extension of unproved theory: most poop, willy and sex swears are ‘four-letter-words’ and most ‘four-letter-words’ are poop, willy or sex swears.
In Farscape they say frell.
In Gaunt’s Ghosts they say feth.
In Battlestar Galactica (2004) they say frak.
Some of those are five letters long but they fit the format of a four-letter-word
Roll 3d8 to get a random start, vowel and end of a four-letter-word.
Some results might be real words but you could just reroll them with little effort.
You might want to roll to decide what the word represents, or you could choose based on how it sounds.
|d4||Type of swear|
Swears relating to gods and such
If a swear invokes a name, I’m going to call it a curse from here on.
Curses in English are mostly about invoking the christian god’s name.
Cursing by literally saying/shouting the name can be replaced with the names of gods in your setting. If your setting is devoid of gods you can use a legendary figure.
Sometimes curses call upon an aspect or item of a character.
In Harry Potter some characters say Merlin’s Beard!
Marvel’s Thor similarly sometimes says Odin’s Beard!
An Arthurian character might exclaim By Excalibur!
I can’t really give you a random table that will work for your setting. You just need to spend 2 minutes listing a few possible curses and stick them somewhere in your notes.