List of terms (TOS)

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Battlestar Galactica Terminology

The Colonials and Cylons employ a distinct nomenclature of military jargon, colloquialisms, sayings, and technical terms to create a culture distinctly "alien" to the audience. This article serves to organize and summarize this terminology, leading to different articles if the term needs to be further expanded upon.



  • Count, a title of nobility (e.g. Count Iblis)
  • Lord, a title of nobility (e.g. Lord Baltar)
  • Sire, a title of nobility, typically ascribed to a civilian of the male gender (e.g. Sire Uri, Sire Solon)
  • Siress, a title of nobility, typically ascribed to a civilian of the female gender (e.g. Siress Tinia, Siress Blassie)


General Jargon

Military Jargon


  • "laser in their side": analogue to "thorn in their side", Starbuck uses this term to describe how the actions of Megan's surviving children have kept their father alive at Cylon hands (TOS: "The Young Lords").

Units of Measure

Colonial Unit Earth Unit
Time measurements
yahren year[1]
quatron month
secton week
time cycle day
centar hour
millicenton 10 minutes
centon minute[2]
micron second
microcenton second[3]
Distance measurements
parsec 90 Million Miles
hectar 9 Million Miles
sectar 9 Million Miles (?)[4]
metric kilometer
maxim 10 meters
metron meter[5]
Scientific measurements
ergon unknown
megon megaton
radion rad
volton voltage
wavelon wavelength

Table notes

  1. Yahren may be only about 2/3 of a year; see note.
  2. In episodes such as "Saga of a Star World" and "Lost Planet of the Gods, Part I", centon is used as the Colonial equivalent of a week before being retconned in later episodes.
  3. Microcenton is likely another term for "micron"; Starbuck uses this term when he says "switching off of you for a microcenton to scan ahead" (TOS: "Lost Planet of the Gods, Part II")
  4. A sectar is an unknown unit of measure, measuring either distance or time.
  5. "Metron" is used in a deleted scene as Serina approaches the starboard landing bay (TOS: "Lost Planet of the Gods, Part II"); likely similar to a meter, which is known as a "metric" in other episodes.

See also