Troglodytes of the World, Unite!

TROGLODYTES. Pronounced “troglod-ee-t” in French, “troglod-eye-te” in English. The word is used as an insult by Captain Haddock in the Tintin stories, and our English-speaking friends use it that way, too. We’re still considered like… odd ducks, a bit backward, or at best harmless hippies. High time to correct this false impression.

Pardon My French

Troglodytes of the World, Unite!
According to our informants across the Atlantic, for English-speakers the term “troglodyte” is pejorative. This was true for us in France, too, in the 19th century, but things have changed. It’s up to us to stand up for the cause and spearhead the fight against prejudice. We who live in caves have a reputation of being Neanderthals, degenerates, living in squalor, expressing ourselves with grunts between mouthfuls of human flesh: hideous, dirty, unkempt, wretched and malicious, too. In cyberpunk-speak, too, “ trogs ” are bad!

For example, some songs, often off-color, testify to this uncomplimentary usage. We went hunting on the internet (you bet! - we know how to use computers, read, type and talk bits and bytes with the best of them) and turned up lyrics, especially from the well-known David Byrnes of theTalking Heads. Here are some extracts:,page1.htm)

“Americans are dancin’ in their discotheques
Americans are payin’ their income tax
Americans are workin’ from 9 to 5
Americans are living like troglodytes…”

or from the Jimmy Castor Bunch – Troglodyte (Cave man)

What we're gonna do right here is go back, way back, back into time.
When the only people that existed were troglodytes...cave men...
cave women...Neanderthal...troglodytes. Let's take the average
cave man at home, listening to his stereo. Sometimes he'd get up,
try to do his thing. He'd begin to move, something like this:

What follows is obscene; I’ll spare you the details.

Lyrics to theTroglodyte Wins, by Busdriver
The Trogdolyte wins
Because you voted in a defrosted Cro-Magnon man
The Trogdolyte wins
Because you voted in a defrosted Cro-Magnon man

Here we’re talking politics.  Hmm, what politician might he have had in mind in 2006?

Let’s talk about linguistic relics and language evolution. Our friends across the Channel and across the Atlantic have given this word a second life and a somewhat different meaning (although obviously it came from the same roots). When our friends speak of us, they are more likely to call us "cave dwellers."

Here, There and Everywhere

Troglodytes of the World, Unite!
The cave craze has been much in the news lately. It is being made accessible to the public by the Rendez-VousTroglos weekends in the Centre and Pays de la Loire regions, when a lot of cave dwellers open their doors to the public,  a public amazed to discover homes that are bright, modern, even avant-garde, with a highly environmental and ecological flavor. Many visitors to our fair country have been seen to ooh and aah over this kind of sustainable habitation.
This phenomenon is widespread in France, but it’s found all around the world. If you look, you’ll see that there is nothing more “common” than a troglo. In Greece, in Italy, in China… everywhere where the terrain allows for them. When all is said and done, what could be more natural or universal? From the restored refuges of yesteryear to cutting-edge architectural projects, they all  implicitly try to respond to the same question which is crucial for the planet: how to take advantage of the underground and preserve the surface?
We “troglodytes” are ahead of the curve…
It is our responsibility as Intraterrestrials to make troglos better known not only in France, but also to our friends in far-away places. Whence the wish for an English-language version of the site. Our friend Annette Bonnell is already helping, but we’re calling for more assistance from friendly French-speaking anglophones.  We need your HELP!

Made in france © Mister Trog

We Proud “TROGS”

A little linguistic reminder
In cyberpunk-speak: Trog: abbreviation for troglodyte. A derogatory term, designating those considered “subhuman,” ugly, deformed or backward.
In troglonaut-speak: Trog: abbreviation which signifies belonging to the underground world which includes your humble servants, members of the MDVMS (Mouvement de Défense et Valorisation du Monde Souterrain – Movement  for the Defense and Appreciation of the Underground World).  

The Trogs are keeping up the good work.
And we ask ourselves (and you): are there cave habitations in English-speaking countries?

le Jeudi 4 Août 2011 à 13:31 | Lu 9455 fois