ok so here’s a thing i’m pondering
trying to finish up the next last kings chapter. i introduced the idea that Kes’s mother and some of the other older people in the community speak to one another in codes, pretty often, because as refugees and people of uncertain political status, it often behooved them to have covert conversations without appearing to do so.
I wish I’d come up with this earlier, because it’s such a neat idea and I’d love to have incorporated it earlier. But here’s the rub: I’m fucking terrible at that kind of thing.
The idea is that they just substitute words, have nicknames for everything, have rhetorical conventions they use for discussing things– like, north means unfavorable, south means favorable, OR North is the Empire, South is the Rebellion, that kind of thing. And everyone has nicknames.
That last bit is stolen from people I know who have parents who didn’t teach them their immigrant native language. My dude’s mother was born here but her siblings were born overseas; she grew up speaking their language only in the house. So she and her mother and sister would speak it to one another when they were discussing things they didn’t want the children’s input on. But the kids weren’t stupid; they knew a few basic words and definitely, definitely knew their own names. Dude knows the words for jackass, dinner, yes, no, and assorted other odd things. So, of course, they would call him “the boy child” so he wouldn’t pick up his name; after a while he knew that phrase too, and they had to come up with something else to call him. (He knows the word for jackass, by the way, because it was how they referred to another relative.)
So Kes knows that his mother calls him little bird when she’s trying not to use his name (it was less comical before puberty hit him like a ton of bricks and he went from pipsqueak to beefsteak in like two months), but they’re constantly changing what they call him; most recently, it has just been a syllable and a hand gesture, at the time of the story. But he’s pretty tuned-into it, and he often knows what they’re talking about even if he doesn’t understand any of the references.
So here’s what I’m hung up on. These people are refugees, and the only power that has acknowledged their status in that way is Alderaan. They are heavily involved with the Alderaanian government but don’t spend much time there. Likewise, some of their number are involved in the Rebellion, but not overtly. It’s enough, though, that Kes’s mother knows that Bail Organa is involved in the Rebellion, knows how important he is, knows how crucial it is that no one leak that to the Empire.
What would their nickname be for Bail Organa?