Words index  Vivian Cook

Words taken from Science Fiction

Many words or particular meanings of words are found for the first time in writings by science fiction writers. Like words that occur for the first time in Shakespeare, this may simply mean that they are simply the first people to put them in print. However in this area many words are undoubtedly invented by the writers themselves, such as William Gibson’s ‘cyberspace’. One famous story is that ‘grok’, invented by Robert Heinlein in 1961, appears on the list of the most frequent 2000 words of English – because their sample included Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land.

Airlock 1928 Doc Smith

Cyberspace 1982 William Gibson

Dalek 1963 Terry Nation

Deep space 1937 Doc Smith

Force field 1931 Doc Smith

Humanoid 1940 Isaac Asimov

Hyperspace 1931 John Campbell (1909 in maths)

Offworld 1957 Andre Norton

Parallel universe 1923 H.G Wells

Planet Earth 1941 Comet magazine

Robot 1923 Karel Capek

Time machine 1895 H.G. Wells

Space warp 1935 N. Schachner

Spaceman 1933 C.L. Moore

Spaceworthy 1931 Doc Smith

Starbase 1944 R.M. Williams

Starship 1934 F. Kelly

Subspace 1940 A.E. van Vogt

Superhero  1942 Superspine comics

Teleportation 1951 John Wyndham

Terraform 1942 Jack Williamson

Blast off 1937 Doc Smith

Vacuum suit 1947 N Schachner

Venusian 1874 Anne Blair

Waldo 1942 Robert Heinlein 


Source: mostly OED Science Fiction citations

Forming new words Shakespeare's words

English names for foreign places