Wintry imagery

Idiomatic Language from the Daiellen SectorEdit

Rowdy, rambunctious, and c-c-cold, the planet Surebleak provides rich fodder for creative expression. Starting with I Dare, the dialogue is filled with cool coinings, icy expressions, wintry word play, metaphors, similes, analogies, and other interesting language. Names change, too, Surebleak style.

Wintry ImageryEdit

Surebleak is cold, and 'Bleaker lives revolve around the weather, so there's lots of wintry language. (But no sledding scenes, yet)

  • "He was beginning to think the little guy was a couple snowflakes short of a blizzard." [1]
  • "Blizzard! It's gotta be the same kid!" [2]
  • "Once in a summer snowstorm." [3]
  • “She had me call the Watch. They’ll be here before the next blizzard, I guess.”[4]
  • Miri, showing her 'Bleaker roots: "Could've knocked me over with a snowflake"[5]
  • "as pitiless as a dead winter night"[6]
  • "...his voice about as warm as a Surebleak winter morning"[7]
  • “Some people were too stupid to come in out’a the snow”[8]
  • "We can get the boy outta this particular snow drift, but that leaves the paper itself. Plainly said, ma'am, that's a bad paper.”[9]
  • "How is it said here? Ah. We are in the belly of the blizzard.”[9]
  • “Right you are," he said, and turned back to the Liadens, who were sitting like they'd been quick frozen.”[9]
  • “Skene shook her head. “You was a big snowball on the old world, hey?” [10]
  • "No rush; ain't snowing."[11]
  • "I don't mean any insult, but that trader sounds to be an ice bitch."[12]
  • "Zimmer came in, one arm in a sling, his face white as a snowbank"[11]
  • “She paused, but the only thing she was getting from Val Con was a blizzard.” [13]
  • "Yesterday, I was at market, and freeze me if there weren't a whole bin o'raisins just come in"[14]
  • “The baker, she almost got made an example, but she had one of Boss Conrad’s ’hands with her in the shop, so that melted before it froze.” [15]
  • “which —- snow and sleet! — would mean the power cell in Kreller’s hoopie’d been run down for no good reason.”[16]
  • “Would’ve thrown the fear of freezing into a couple of ’em,” Miri allowed thoughtfully[17]
  • " the New Bosses a thing or three, and put the fear of winter into 'em."[18]
  • “Queterian carpet, though -- that’s what we here on Surebleak call ice on top the snow. It’s nice to dream on, but --”[19]
  • Calm before a storm means it'll snow twice as deep, Grandma Golden used to say. [20]
  • "You're ass-deep in slush, friend."[21]
  • "Get the slush offa his land!"[11]
  • "You'll be the sorriest pile of slush on the planet"[15]
  • “Sleet, what I got to say won’t take but one minute”[22]
  • "You get the sleet outta here, Smealy. We ain’t selling exceptions.”[22]
  • “It’s a wonder poor Sheyn didn’t melt away like a snowflake, opening the door without having any warning about what was waiting on the porch.”[22]
  • “Now you gone and woke up the pretties, an’ our bonus is slush!”[22]
  • "Baker Quill doesn't let any ice grow under her boots."[23]
  • "Just as good to wish for flowers in a blizzard, Algaina, she told herself."[14]
  • “The bloodlust, though, that got scarier'n a sleet-storm, real fast. Killing rage multiplied in a crowd...”[18]
  • “Pablo's fist came outta nowhere, and the next thing Darby was seeing was snowflakes, in real pretty colors, and feeling the wall against his back.”[18]
  • "Sleet and thunder!" Darby yelled.[18]
  • “Peor's worry was like a snowfog, clammy and chill.”[18]
  • “"S'only the kid brother. You snow-blind?"”[18]
  • “Thundering Blizzards!” How did Quin know this woman?”[24]
  • "If it had been her, standing Road Boss and Delm Korval, too...well. There weren’t enough snowflakes in the storm, like they said here on Surebleak." [25]
  • However,” Val Con said, his voice about as warm as a deep winter dawn, “that is not how matters fell out.” [26]

Cold ComedyEdit

“What is it doing in orbit around Surebleak?”

“Maybe they need ice,” she said[27]

Other IdiomsEdit

  • Coffee's on the warmer," Beck said. "Need anything else? Handwich?" [28]
  • Wintercome is late autumn, but with wintry weather[29] (see Skyblaze)

Morphing NamesEdit

Liaden and Yxtrang names present a challenge to the Terrans on Surebleak, so they simplify:

"Silver, is it?" he said interestedly. "Now there's a pairing you don't get every day. I'm Golden myself. Mike Golden." [30]

"It's his joke," that same son said, astonishingly. "It isn't very good, but I don't mind it."[31]

  • Gwince calls Val Con “Mr. Falcon” [32]
  • Quin's new hand Tef Lej pen’Erit is dubbed “Lefty” by Cook (he's not left handed)[33]
  • Lady Kareen yos'Phelium's cook calls Nelirikk "Rikki" [34]
  • Kez Rel ter'Ista, a Liaden physician, becomes Kestrel Terista, which he initially hears with a mix of humor and aggravation, eventually adopting the "nickname"[18]
  • Don Eyr, a Liaden bread and chernubia chef, becomes Donnie. But..."Donnie" -- no, Algaina corrected herself, "Don Eyr." [14]
  • "I am Jax Ton tel'Ofong -- or Jack O'Fong, according to my boss."[14]
  • The name “Surebleak” itself: "the name of the planet itself to be a sign of the original colonists’ disapproval" [35]


  1. I Dare, Day 307
  2. I Dare, Day 309
  3. I Dare, Day 308
  4. Dragon in Exile chapter 36
  5. Agent of Change, chapter 18
  6. I Dare, Day 307
  7. I Dare, Day 59
  8. Necessity’s Child, chapter 8
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Street Cred, in Change Management
  10. Dragon in Exile, ch 11
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Dragon in Exile, chapter 21
  12. Dragon in Exile, chapter 16
  13. Neogenesis, Surebleak / chapter 20
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Block Party, online at
  15. 15.0 15.1 Dragon in Exile, chapter 22
  16. Dragon in Exile, chapter 15
  17. Dragon in Exile, chapter 23
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 18.6 Chimera, in Sleeping with the Enemy: Adventures in the Liaden Universe #22
  19. Dragon in Exile, chapter 2
  20. Dragon in Exile, ch 35
  21. Dragon in Exile, chapter 4
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 Dragon in Exile, chapter 26
  23. Dragon in Exile, chapter 35
  24. Friend of a Friend, in Sleeping with the Enemy: Adventures in the Liaden Universe #22
  25. Neogenesis, ch 1 / Surebleak-1
  26. Dragon in Exile chapter 13
  27. Dragon in Exile, chapter 32
  28. Dragon in Exile, ch 35
  29. Skyblaze
  30. Necessity’s Child, chapter 10
  31. Necessity’s Child, chapter 11
  32. Dragon in Exile chapter 24
  33. Dragon in Exile chapter 34
  34. Neogenesis, Surebleak / chapter 8
  35. The Rifle’s First Wife