From the simple ("dogs!", "rats!") to the scientific ("pithecanthropuses!") to the sublime ("vegetarian!"), you've just gotta love Captain Haddock of Tintin fame for his unique turn of phrase. I've tried to capture as many of his idiocyncratic curses as possible.

Last updated: 3 June 2012


  • Pirates!
  • Doryphores!
  • Gobbledygooks!
  • Filibusters!
  • Slubberdegullions!
  • Patagonians!
  • Vampires!
  • Sycophant!
  • Kleptomaniacs!
  • Egoists!
  • Tramps!
  • Monopolizers!
  • Pockmarks!
  • Belemnite!
  • Crooks!
  • Miserable earthworms!
  • Coconuts!
  • Harlequin!
  • Parasites!
  • Macrocephalic baboon!
  • Brutes!
  • Guano gatherer!
  • Pachyrhizus!
  • Toads!
  • Gyroscope!
  • Bougainvillea!
  • Bloodsuckers!
  • Nincompoop!
  • Shipwreckers!
  • Cyclone!
  • Gallows-fodder!
  • Politician!
  • Baboon!
  • Torturers!
  • Fuzzy-wuzzy!
  • Blackbird!
  • Mountebanks!
  • Cannibal!
  • Duck-billed platypus!
  • Black-beetles!
  • Rhizopods!
  • Ruffian!
  • Vermicellis!
  • Lily-livered bandicoots!
  • Rats!
  • Logarithm!
  • Cro-Magnon!
  • Freshwater swabs!
  • Beasts!
  • Bully!
  • Anthropophagus!
  • Pithecanthropuses!
  • Savages!
  • Gangsters!
  • Wreckers!
  • Vandal!
  • Carpet-sellers!
  • Numbskulls!
  • Gang of thieves!
  • Slave-trader!
  • Picaroons!
  • Visigoths!
  • Toffee-noses!
  • Anacoluthons!
  • Hydrocarbon!
  • Technocrat!
  • Buccaneer!
  • Traitors!
  • Caterpillars!
  • Odd-toed ungulate!
  • Woodlice!
  • Polynesian!
  • Swine!
  • Blackguards!
  • Vegetarian!
  • Dizzards!
  • Fancy-dress freebooters!
  • Centipede!
  • Sea-lice!
  • Ectoplasm!
  • Fat faces!
  • Artichokes!
  • Troglodytes!
  • Turncoats!
  • Bashi-bazouks!
  • Olympic Athlete!
  • Ectoplasmic Byproduct!
  • Balkan Beetle!
  • Two-timing Tartar Twisters!
  • Terrapins!
  • Breathalyser!
  • Profiteers!
  • Abecedarians!
  • Vulture!
  • Pyrographers!
  • Phylloxera!
  • Dogs!
  • Hooligans!
  • Steamrollers!
  • Body-snatcher!
  • Ostrogoth!
  • Brigand!
  • Heretic!
  • Blackamoor!
  • Anthracite!
  • Black marketeers!
  • Ophicleides!
  • Dynamiter!
  • Pickled herrings!
  • Gibbering ghost!
  • Corsair!
  • Moujiks!
  • Bootlegger!
  • Gogglers!
  • Villain!
  • Aborigine!
  • Bagpipers!
  • Crab-apples!
  • Goosecaps!
  • Aztecs!
  • Paranoiac!
  • Twister!
  • Vagabonds!
  • Sea-gherkins!
  • Road-hogs!
  • Hi-jackers!
  • Zapotecs!
  • Cercopithecus!
  • Psychopath!
  • Nest of rattlesnakes!
  • Jellied-eel!
  • Liquorice!
  • Coelacanth!
  • Invertebrate!
  • Nyctalops!
  • Mameluke!
  • Dipsomaniac!
  • Diplodocus!
  • Cowards!
  • Megalomaniac!
  • Highwayman!
  • Autocrats!
  • Bandit!
  • Nitwits!
  • Polygraphs!
  • Iconoclast!
  • Orangoutang!
  • Squawking popinjay! *
  • Prattling porpoise! *
  • Scoffing braggart! *
  • Murderers! **
  • Rotten sand-hoppers! **

* These curses actually come from an equally hot-tempered ancestor of Captain Haddock: Sir Francis Haddock (The Secret of the Unicorn).

** Not officially a Haddock curse at all, but I still wanted to include it. These two curses are shouted by none other than Snowy himself in Land of Black Gold. Captain Haddock has clearly been an influence on Snowy, although Snowy's personality still shines through because the curses are preceded by his legendary "Wooah! Wooah!"


Special Honourable Mention
  • "Billions of bilious blue blistering barnacles". While this isn't specifically a "curse" as I mean it above (a noun/phrase directed at a person or group of people), it's still a vintage Haddock.

  • Similarly, Pratik Chakraborty is fond of the ever-popular "Ten Thousand Thundering Typhoons".

  • Eagle-eyed Haddock curse spotter Sashidhar Kondareddy also suggests "Blue blistering bell-bottomed balderdash" from Tintin and the Picarros. Sashidhar comments: "Haddock's exclamations always involve blistering barnacles; This does not and it rhymes as well as billions of bilious blue blistering barnacles . . . ."

  • Swapnaa uncovered a good curse in The Shooting Star: "Seismic Semaphore!" Swapnaa notes, however, that this curse wasn't delivered by Captain Haddock, but rather his friend Captain Chester.

  • Gabe suggests that I include "acting the goat" from Destination Moon in the list of honourable mentions. While it's not a curse per se, Haddock's comment about "acting the goat" drives the normally tranquil Professor Calculus into an unprecedented rage.

  • Annas writes "Just a quick note to let you know that the most remembered Haddockism in Indonesian is 'Seribu juta topan badai dan kutu busuk!' Litterally translated, that means 'A thousand million typhoon storms and rotten lice!'


Guest Submissions

This Haddock webpage has received a fair bit of e-mail over the years (most of it, strangely enough, from India. For some reason Indians just love Tintin and Captain Haddock). Many people have been kind enough to point out classic Haddock curses that I missed. Many thanks to everyone for taking the time and trouble to bring these gems to my attention . . . . . .

Name Book Curse(s)
Henry Small (age 8) Red Rackham's Treasure
  • Freshwater pirates! (compare with the Secret of the Unicorn curse below)
Tintin in Tibet
  • Marmeluke!
  • Bulldozer!
The Red Sea Sharks
  • Boneheads!
  • Dunderheaded coconuts!
  • Cut-throat!
  • Viper!
  • Gallows-bird!
Mankaran ("another guy from India," he writes.) The Calculus Affair
  • Carpathian caterpillar!
  • Carpathian Bashi-bazouks!
Sap The Castafiore Emerald
  • Miserable molecule of mildew!
Sashidhar Kondareddy Explorers on the Moon
  • Interplanetary-pirate!
  • Freshwater-spaceman!
  • Prize Nincompoop!
  • Scorpion!
  • Unfeeling Monsters!
The Calculus Affair
  • Infernal Mileage Merchants!
Tintin and the Picarros
  • Weevil!
  • Dictatorial duck billed diplodocus!
  • Puffed up punchinello!
  • Thundering herd of zapotecs!
  • Borgia!
  • Miserable blundering barbecued blister . . . (Haddock does not complete the curse)
  • Subtropical sea louse!
Gabe Destination Moon
  • Poisoners!
Joe (U.S.A.) Destination Moon
  • Tribe of Polynesians!
Land of Black Gold
  • Nitwitted ninepins!
Sameer Menon (India) ---
  • Vivisectionists!
Graham (Victoria, Canada) The Red Sea Sharks
  • Fancy-dress Fatima!
"PJ" ---
  • Anachronisms!
Ximena Cortes ---
  • Anamorphic aardvark!
Note: Haddock actually says the words rather than screaming them at someone in a rage, so they're not a true Haddock "curse" as such. But how could I resist?
Wendy Tintin and the Picarros
  • Fancy-dress fascist!
Mr. Gordo The Red Sea Sharks
  • Confounded rattletrap!
  • Tin-can contraption!
  • Stool-pigeon!
Tintin in Tibet
  • Musical morons!
Andrew McKinlay (Edinburgh, Scotland) ---
  • Whipper-Snapper!
  • Abominable Snowmen!
  • Jelly-fish!
  • Flaming Jack-in-a-box!
Rajat Bhattacharya (India) Destination Moon
Explorers on the Moon:
  • Brontosaurus!
  • Dunder-headed Ethelreds!
  • Prize purple jelly-fishes!
  • Jack-pudding!
  • Interplanetary goat!
  • Ku-Klux-Klan!
  • Cyclotron!
  • Bully!
  • Moth-eaten marmot!
Rosy Tintin in Tibet

Note: Haddock seemed to be in a particularly foul mood in this book and Haddockisms abound.

  • Jobbernowl!
  • Anthropithecus!
  • Arabian nightmare!
  • Misguided missile!
  • Megacycle!
  • Pyromaniac!
  • Big-head!
  • Poltroons!
Neil Taylor The Red Sea Sharks
  • Addle-pated lumps of anthracite!
  • Blithering bombardier!
  • Thundering son of a sea-gherkin!
  • Rapscallion!
  • Arabesque!
  • Lubberly scum!
  • Insolent porcupine!
  • Dunderheaded coconuts!
Rajesh Nayak The Secret of the Unicorn
  • Saucy tramp!
  • Fresh water pirate! (technically a "Sir Francis Haddockism")
Sharmada The Seven Crystal Balls
  • Tribe of savages!
  • Monsters!
  • Band of thugs!


Additional Submissions
  • Rahul points out another rare Hergé mistake.

  • Glenn Evans in Victoria, Australia has two submissions:

    • Glenn is especially amused by Captain Haddock's expert use of sarcasm.

    • Glenn has also long been an admirer of Bianca Castafiore and, in particular, her talent for bungling Captain Haddock's name. Glenn sends along his look at Castafiore's misnomers.

  • Over the years I've received some very interesting information from visitors. I invite you to have a look at their comments.

  • I mention above that most of my e-mail comes from Indians. I've always wondered why Indians love the Tintin stories so much. Tintinologist Sashidhar Kondareddy decided to explore the issue for himself in his excellent article Top Ten Reasons for Tintin's Popularity around the World.

  • Mats Grindal looks at Haddock curses with a uniquely Swedish perspective.

  • Thomas Ryugo submits a number of Tintin and Haddock related observations.

  • Fernando Salazar has some observations about a recent politically correct analysis of Haddock's curses.


Other Haddock Websites

I created this Haddock page just as a bit of fun and I'm happy that people have enjoyed it. The truth is, though, that this page of our favourite captain's curses is not the only one out there. I congratulate the creators of the websites listed below. They've done a terrific job and any Tintin fan will find their efforts to be of great interest:


Miscellany


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Have I missed something? Any comments? Please drop me a line. I'd be happy to hear from you.


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