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BrainGlutton
05-27-2006, 09:47 AM
Robert Heinlein coined at least two well-known words that I know of:

In his novella Waldo, he envisioned the "waldo," a hand-operated artificial manipulator. He didn't invent the waldo, that would be like saying Jules Verne invented the nuclear-powered submarine, but he came up with the concept, and the name was used when the thing actually was invented.

In Stranger in a Strange Land, he coined the (Martian) word "grok," which means "to understand" . . or, rather, "to intuit" . . . or . . . well, it's debatable what it means, but it's well-known to SF fans and Californians.

Any others?

Malacandra
05-27-2006, 10:04 AM
The name "Wendy" was coined by J M Barrie in Peter Pan.

Annie-Xmas
05-27-2006, 10:09 AM
Lewis Carroll combined "snort" and chuckle" to give us "chortle"

BrainGlutton
05-27-2006, 10:12 AM
Lewis Carroll combined "snort" and chuckle" to give us "chortle"

Good one! That word is an example of another Carroll coinage: "portmanteau"!

GorillaMan
05-27-2006, 10:15 AM
The name "Wendy" was coined by J M Barrie in Peter Pan.
This is not a proven fact - although the name was certainly popularised by its use in the book.

Quark (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=quark) is claimed to have a literary history. I'd suggest 'hobbit' has moved beyond Tolkein's world, into the realm of imps and goblins. Blatant (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=blatant) is more certain.

BrainGlutton
05-27-2006, 10:21 AM
The name "Wendy" was coined by J M Barrie in Peter Pan.

:confused: I've never heard that used as a common noun. What does it mean?

Ukulele Ike
05-27-2006, 10:22 AM
"Wendy out, today."

"No, it's Thursday."

"So am I....let's all go for a beer!"

Annie-Xmas
05-27-2006, 10:23 AM
If you include names, the name "Madison" was popularized by the movie "Splash," and Chelsea Clinton was inspired by the song "Chelsea Morning," and Mrs. Glover wanted to name her son a variation of "Savior" and came up with "Savion."

Thudlow Boink
05-27-2006, 11:01 AM
The name "Wendy" was coined by J M Barrie in Peter Pan.Staff Report: Was the name Wendy invented for the book "Peter Pan"? (http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mpeterpanwendy.html)

Malacandra
05-27-2006, 11:10 AM
:confused: I've never heard that used as a common noun. What does it mean?

What part of speech do you think a proper name is?

BrainGlutton
05-27-2006, 11:11 AM
What part of speech do you think a proper name is?

I misunderstood your post. You mean, nobody was named "Wendy" before Peter Pan?

Malacandra
05-27-2006, 11:17 AM
I misunderstood your post. You mean, nobody was named "Wendy" before Peter Pan?

That was my assertion - but it looks as though this may not be the whole truth. We live and learn.

Exapno Mapcase
05-27-2006, 11:30 AM
Good one! That word is an example of another Carroll coinage: "portmanteau"!
Not at all. Carroll's coinages were called portmanteau words because of their resemblance to the already existing piece of luggage.

A large leather suitcase that opens into two hinged compartments.

Folding the words together gives an image of closing the portmanteau.

ultrafilter
05-27-2006, 11:37 AM
"cromulent" seems to have been invented for The Simpsons.

GorillaMan
05-27-2006, 11:43 AM
"cromulent" seems to have been invented for The Simpsons.
...and "d'oh" has made it into the OED.

jjimm
05-27-2006, 11:54 AM
Newspeak, from Orwell's 1984 is used occasionally.

Doubleplusungood is used by me.

Not sure if it counts, but British comic Viz has given dozens and dozens of obscenities to UK venacular in its Profanisaurus. Google it - too obscene to link, but I give you Bobfoc and Fafcam:

"Body off Baywatch, face off Crimewatch" and "Fit as fuck, common as muck" ("fit" meaning attractive) respectively.

Ana Byrd
05-27-2006, 12:06 PM
Soma, the drug used in Brave New World, is now the name of an actual drug. (http://ideal-pharmacy.com/cgi-bin/FULLPRES.exe?PARTNUM=SOMA130&GO=300)

Improv Geek
05-27-2006, 12:06 PM
Isn't the term Assassin credited to Shakespeare? It seems like I recall that being the case but I can't find any cites as such so my memory appears to be wrong.

Among sci fi geeks, there is a fairly commonly known term: 'grok' from Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
05-27-2006, 12:13 PM
"Kryptonite" is something of a term for something that will kill a project or idea.

Insert-Word-Here-Mobile is derived from the Batmobile, or so I suspect.

Larry Mudd
05-27-2006, 12:14 PM
"Robot," from Karel Capek's play Rossum's Universal Robots. Based on a Czech word meaning "drudge."

"Quark," from Joyce's Finnegans Wake.

jayjay
05-27-2006, 12:16 PM
Soma, the drug used in Brave New World, is now the name of an actual drug. (http://ideal-pharmacy.com/cgi-bin/FULLPRES.exe?PARTNUM=SOMA130&GO=300)

Huxley didn't coin the word. It was in use in very ancient times and is mentioned in the Hindu holy texts as a ritual drink and the god associated with it.

Soma (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soma)

Larry Mudd
05-27-2006, 12:18 PM
Insert-Word-Here-Mobile is derived from the Batmobile, or so I suspect.You're not serious, are you? Even if you ignore "automobile," (a good nineteenth century word,) "Oldsmobile" was around at the turn-of-the-century.

Tapioca Dextrin
05-27-2006, 12:19 PM
"cromulent" seems to have been invented for The Simpsons.

A word that embiggens (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cromulent) us all.

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
05-27-2006, 12:21 PM
You're not serious, are you? Even if you ignore "automobile," (a good nineteenth century word,) "Oldsmobile" was around at the turn-of-the-century.


OK, you're right.

Annie-Xmas
05-27-2006, 12:29 PM
Frankenstein, now (mis)used to mean a monster or nemesis

Horatio Hellpop
05-27-2006, 12:30 PM
"Snarky," a term quite popular on internet message boards, traces back to Lewis Carroll.

I am reliably told that the term "I can't see jack-shit" originated in an underground comic, "Road Vultures" by Spain Rodriguez.

jackelope
05-27-2006, 12:30 PM
Quark (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=quark) is claimed to have a literary history.I've always been skeptical about this; the story, as I've heard it, is that he "was reading Finnegans Wake" when he found found the word. But no one actually sits down and "reads" Finnegans Wake; it's undertaken only by those who have either a professional interest or a year of free time. The word "quarks" appears exactly once in the book (page 383, for those of you reading along at home), and it seems unlikely that he would have found it by opening to a page at random--which is IMO the best way to read FW--or been sufficiently charmed* by it to name his most famous discovery after it.

And now that it occurs to me to go Googling, I find this (http://www.geocities.com/Omegaman_uk/gellmann.html):Gell-Mann called these sub-subatomic particles "quarks" a nonsense word rhyming with "walk" Later he found the same word in James Joyce's Finnegans Wake thus guaranteeing him a lifetime of irritation, as even textbooks persistently claim that he lifted the word from "Finnegan's Wake", and that it rhymes with "park".Granted, it's on a Geocities page, but if you follow the author-link, you'll find his homepage (http://www.robertmatthews.org/); he's written a few books and is apparently some kind of lecturer in physics.

Still, the only other cite I could find was some dude on a message board who calls himself "chris." Chris says, "Gell-Mann claims that he arrived at the name 'quark' independently - citing as evidence the fact that he pronounced it to rhyme with 'walk', not with 'lark' as Joyce indicated for his usage."

I can't imagine how "quark" could rhyme with "walk," but as long as Chris is on my side, I'll remain firmly convinced that he is a paragon of veracity and virtue.

* :D

jayjay
05-27-2006, 12:34 PM
I can't imagine how "quark" could rhyme with "walk," but as long as Chris is on my side, I'll remain firmly convinced that he is a paragon of veracity and virtue.

Was he British? They don't know how to say anything right...

lissener
05-27-2006, 12:39 PM
The same way that "Paula" rhymes with "trawler"

Exapno Mapcase
05-27-2006, 12:39 PM
"Catch-22" from from the novel of the same name by Joseph Heller.

Douglas Coupland is credited with "Generation X" from his book.

Shakespeare (http://www.nosweatshakespeare.com/shakespeare_words_phrases.htm) is a repository of words and phrases that were unrecorded earlier. Scholars have furious rows over whether he invented them or merely was the first to use them in a work that made it through history. But they number in the dozens or hundreds, depending on how big your vocabulary is. Of course, an equal if not greater number of his coinages were never used again.

Misnomer
05-27-2006, 12:48 PM
Isn't the term Assassin credited to Shakespeare? It seems like I recall that being the case but I can't find any cites as such so my memory appears to be wrong.Shakespeare coined a lot of words and phrases that are now commonly used. Here's (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/04/0419_040419_shakespeare.html) a National Geographic article from 2004 on the subject, and here (http://www.rhymezone.com/r/gwic.cgi?Path=shakespeare/coinages//) is a list of coinages from RhymeZone (which includes "assassination").

(On preview, Exapno Mapcase has beaten me to this point, but I'll post my links anyway. :p)

Chronos
05-27-2006, 12:48 PM
I'm surprised that the OP named two Heinlein coinages, but not Asimov's two. Asimov coined the words "robotics" and "positronic", without even realizing that he was doing so. He figured they were logical inflected forms of "robot" and "positron" respectively, but he was the first to use either.

Unauthorized Cinnamon
05-27-2006, 01:17 PM
Ursula K. LeGuin invented the word ansible to describe a device used to communicate instantaneously over vast interstellar distances. It's been picked up more generally in the scifi world.

I'd say 1984 also contributed Big Brother and doublespeak.

It hasn't happened, but I'd love to see general usage of James Hynes's term for the privileged, suburb-dwelling, soccer-mom, SUV-driving class: the truckoisie

BrainGlutton
05-27-2006, 01:36 PM
Not at all. Carroll's coinages were called portmanteau words because of their resemblance to the already existing piece of luggage.



Folding the words together gives an image of closing the portmanteau.

No, Carroll did not invent the word "portmeanteau," but he was the first to apply it to a kind of word. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=portmanteau&searchmode=none

BrainGlutton
05-27-2006, 01:38 PM
"Snarky," a term quite popular on internet message boards, traces back to Lewis Carroll.

Maybe not. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=snarky&searchmode=none

BrainGlutton
05-27-2006, 01:40 PM
Chris says, "Gell-Mann claims that he arrived at the name 'quark' independently - citing as evidence the fact that he pronounced it to rhyme with 'walk', not with 'lark' as Joyce indicated for his usage."

Hm! And I've always heard "quark" pronounced to rhyme with "pork"!

Annie-Xmas
05-27-2006, 02:04 PM
While the term "acid test" was in the language prior to Tom Wolfe, his book "The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test" gave a whole nother meaning to it. Similarly Jack Kerousc and "On The Road."

aldiboronti
05-27-2006, 02:07 PM
Shakespeare coined a lot of words and phrases that are now commonly used. Here's (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/04/0419_040419_shakespeare.html) a National Geographic article from 2004 on the subject, and here (http://www.rhymezone.com/r/gwic.cgi?Path=shakespeare/coinages//) is a list of coinages from RhymeZone (which includes "assassination").

(On preview, Exapno Mapcase has beaten me to this point, but I'll post my links anyway. :p)

Don't trust that Rhymezone site.

Here's a caveat from Languagehat's blog (http://www.languagehat.com/archives/000369.php) :

A correspondent has brought to my attention this silly site (Rhymezone), which purports to list "some of Shakespeare's many coinages!" What they mean, of course, is "words first attested in Shakespeare," but that doesn't sound nearly as sexy. And some of them aren't even that; "accused," for instance, is centuries older:
1297 R. Glouc. 523 "Sir Hubert de Boru.. Acused was to the king of mani luther prise ['wrongful takings']."

As he says, a first attestation is not necessarily a coinage.

And OED1 takes the word assassin back to the 13th century.

betenoir
05-27-2006, 02:08 PM
Douglas Coupland is credited with "Generation X" from his book.



:dubious: He better not be. "Generation X" is the name of a novel written in.....1964? Or thereabouts. Meant to refer to the baby boomers. *Sigh* Even our name is a worn out handmedown.

BrainGlutton
05-27-2006, 02:58 PM
"Generation X" is the name of a novel written in.....1964? Or thereabouts.

Can't find that book on Amazon. Cite?

seosamh
05-27-2006, 03:15 PM
Was he British? They don't know how to say anything right...

Ahem - he was IRISH. And since this is the full quote, it wouldn't take a genius to guess how it was meant to be pronounced . . .

Three quarks for Muster Mark!
Sure he hasn't got much of a bark
And sure any he has it's all beside the mark.
But O, Wreneagle Almighty, wouldn't un be a sky of a lark
To see that old buzzard whooping about for uns shirt in the dark
And he hunting round for uns speckled trousers around by Palmerstown Park?
Hohohoho, moulty Mark!
You're the rummest old rooster ever flopped out of a Noah's ark
And you think you're cock of the wark.
Fowls, up! Tristy's the spry young spark
That'll tread her and wed her and bed her and red her
Without ever winking the tail of a feather
And that's how that chap's going to make his money and mark!

betenoir
05-27-2006, 03:28 PM
Can't find that book on Amazon. Cite?


Errr....my solemn word? I swear I've held that book in my hand. The bit I read of it was pretty bad. It's your typical juvenile delinquency story. I recall some sort of Marlon Brando/James Dean type on the cover, on a motercycle.

It's probably out of print. Billy Idol probably has a copy.

RealityChuck
05-27-2006, 03:45 PM
Isaac Asimov coined the phrase "pocket calculator" in his story "The Feeling of Power," long before the device was created.

Dr. Seuss had "nerd," but that is more coincidence than real coining.

Horace Walpole coined "serendipity" from a fairy tale "The Three Princes of Serendip."

"Roorback" -- a term meaning "a fictional slander for political purposes" was coined in a fictional political attack by "Baron von Roorback" (a pen name).

"Droid" meaning "robot" was coined by George Lucas, and is in common use. (e.g. from the OED: 2001 Yahoo! Internet Life Oct. 24/4 Not all Americans are ignorant droids who only follow the next big thing.)

jayjay
05-27-2006, 03:51 PM
Ahem - he was IRISH. And since this is the full quote, it wouldn't take a genius to guess how it was meant to be pronounced . . .

I know what JOYCE was, I was talking about Murray Gell-Man.

Rodgers01
05-27-2006, 03:56 PM
Do movies count? The paparazzi got their name from the character Paparazzo in Fellini's "La Dolce Vita."

Fionn
05-27-2006, 03:59 PM
The term "catch-22" originated with Heller's novel.

Exapno Mapcase
05-27-2006, 04:02 PM
While the term "acid test" was in the language prior to Tom Wolfe, his book "The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test" gave a whole nother meaning to it. Similarly Jack Kerousc and "On The Road."
Wolfe's book was a nonfiction account of the real life and highly publicized acid tests of the 1960s. Square America might have been hearing the term in that usage for the first time, but it was nothing Wolfe invented or even popularized.

He did invent the phrase "radical chic," however.

ElvisL1ves
05-27-2006, 04:11 PM
I've seen sporks called "runcible spoons", from "The Owl and the Pussycat".

Munchausen Syndrome (and by proxy) comes from the fantasy tales of "Baron Munchausen".

Exapno Mapcase
05-27-2006, 04:13 PM
:dubious: He better not be. "Generation X" is the name of a novel written in.....1964? Or thereabouts. Meant to refer to the baby boomers. *Sigh* Even our name is a worn out handmedown.
Found it.

http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/12/messages/1217.html
GENERATION X -- In the late 1980s a new demographic generation, Generation X, began to be noticed. The name was derived from the book 'Generation X' (1964), by Charles Hamblett and Jane Deverson, who interviewed alienated British mods and rockers and let them speak for themselves. British rock star Billy Idol saw the book and named his band after it. In the late 1980s Canadian public opinion pollster Allan Gregg gave a speech on this new demographic group and tagged it with the name of Billy Idol's former band. Then Douglas Coupland, a young Canadian cartoonist and author, borrowed Gregg's Generation X speech title and created for 'Vista,' a business magazine, a comic strip based on his generation. The strip featured young workers who were smarter than their boomer bosses but caught in dead-end jobs. When the 29-year-old Coupland published his novel 'Generation X' in 1991 the image and name gained increasing recognition." From "Speaking Freely: A Guided Tour of American English from Plymouth Rock to Silicon Valley" by Stuart Berg Flexner and Anne H. Soukhanov (Oxford University Press, New York, 1997)/ Page 225, 227.


There is an even earlier reference from 1952 (http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/146550.html) but the 1964 book gets the real prize.

Flutterby
05-27-2006, 04:27 PM
Can't find that book on Amazon. Cite?

Here you go (http://www.modculture.co.uk/books/review.php?id=5)

And from here (http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/146550.html):

Charles Hamblett and Jane Deverson's 1964 novel 'Generation X' portrays the children who would come of age in the closing years of the 20th century:

"The ultimate responsibility of Generation X is to guide the human race through the final and crucial decades of this explosive century into the enlightenment of the next one."

KarlGauss
05-27-2006, 04:52 PM
Isn't the term Assassin credited to Shakespeare? It seems like I recall that being the case but I can't find any cites as such so my memory appears to be wrong
Hmmm .... I doub't it. The word 'assassin" derives from the latin phoenetic translation of something along the lines of 'hashashin" (from the Arabic), with the latter term referring to someone who took hashish (and then became almost possessed and without fear - someone who could kill without worry).

BrainGlutton
05-27-2006, 04:56 PM
Hmmm .... I doub't it. The word 'assassin" derives from the latin phoenetic translation of something along the lines of 'hashashin" (from the Arabic), with the latter term referring to someone who took hashish (and then became almost possessed and without fear - someone who could kill without worry).

Likely, but disputed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hashshashin#Etymology_of_the_word_.22assassin.22

barracuda
05-27-2006, 05:16 PM
Nobody's mentioned "malapropism" named after Mrs. Malaprop in Sheridan's The Rivals .

And maybe not really common, but I love "granfallon", Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s word for a meaningless group. ("Oh, we rode into town on the same bus." or "I'm from California, too.") From Cat's Cradle.

Beware of Doug
05-27-2006, 05:38 PM
Nobody's mentioned "malapropism" named after Mrs. Malaprop in Sheridan's The Rivals .That's a play, not a book. Books are fiction; plays are strictly factitious. Don't confuse apples with apples. And yes, I know the difference between a malapropism and a mixed metaphor.
And maybe not really common, but I love "granfallon", Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s word for a meaningless group.It's "granfalloon." Watch your ornithology.

jjimm
05-27-2006, 05:45 PM
And yes, I know the difference between a malapropism and a mixed metaphor.You're as dangerous as an allegory on the banks of the Nile.

Happy Clam
05-27-2006, 06:00 PM
Nobody's mentioned "malapropism" named after Mrs. Malaprop in Sheridan's The Rivals .
Hmm. I understand there's some debate over this- the term may have been used for "misuse of long words" before Sheridan, and he merely adapated it into the character's name. Consider the french "mal a propis" which offers an equally obvious etymology for this practice (although, of course, Sheridan may simply have used some good-sounding French rather than adopting a common expression).

barracuda
05-27-2006, 06:38 PM
That's a play, not a book. Books are fiction; plays are strictly factitious. Don't confuse apples with apples. And yes, I know the difference between a malapropism and a mixed metaphor.
It's "granfalloon." Watch your ornithology.

Sure, I know it's a play - other posters have used examples from movies - a play should be acceptable.

And :smack: ! I can't believe I spelled 'granfalloon wrong even after previewing!

barracuda
05-27-2006, 06:41 PM
Hmm. I understand there's some debate over this- the term may have been used for "misuse of long words" before Sheridan, and he merely adapated it into the character's name. Consider the french "mal a propis" which offers an equally obvious etymology for this practice (although, of course, Sheridan may simply have used some good-sounding French rather than adopting a common expression).

And given how English-speakers can butcher French, I think that's highly likely. Sigh, another great myth BUSTED!

Ellis Aponte Jr.
05-27-2006, 06:52 PM
"Svengali" from du Maurier and "lolita" from Nabokov.

Der Trihs
05-27-2006, 07:46 PM
Ursula K. LeGuin invented the word ansible to describe a device used to communicate instantaneously over vast interstellar distances. It's been picked up more generally in the scifi world.If terms still restricted to sci-fi count, then I nominate the term "wet navy", used to refer to oceangoing navies as opposed to space navies. I don't know who used it first, but I've seen used by various authors.

Johanna
05-27-2006, 08:26 PM
The 1913 book Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter has been forgotten, but the word Pollyanna lives on, probably even used by people with no idea of its origin.

Beware of Doug
05-27-2006, 08:50 PM
Sure, I know it's a play - other posters have used examples from movies - a play should be acceptable.Yeah, just funnin' ya. And I missed the movie cites. I really should be more condescending about reading all the posts. :D

pesch
05-27-2006, 08:55 PM
The word "serendipity" was coined by Horace Walpole in a letter to his friend:

"I once read a silly fairy tale, called The Three Princes of Serendip: as their highnesses travelled, they were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of: for instance, one of them discovered that a mule blind of the right eye had travelled the same road lately, because the grass was eaten only on the left side, where it was worse than on the right—now do you understand serendipity? One of the most remarkable instances of this accidental sagacity (for you must observe that no discovery of a thing you are looking for, comes under this description) was of my Lord Shaftsbury, who happening to dine at Lord Chancellor Clarendon's, found out the marriage of the Duke of York and Mrs. Hyde, by the respect with which her mother treated her at table."[1]

Cribbed from the Wikipedia entry. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serendipity)

Der Trihs
05-27-2006, 09:29 PM
I've heard "warp speed" used to mean "go very fast" various places.

Skald the Rhymer
05-27-2006, 10:09 PM
Robert Heinlein coined at least two well-known words that I know of:

In his novella Waldo, he envisioned the "waldo," a hand-operated artificial manipulator. He didn't invent the waldo, that would be like saying Jules Verne invented the nuclear-powered submarine, but he came up with the concept, and the name was used when the thing actually was invented.

In Stranger in a Strange Land, he coined the (Martian) word "grok," which means "to understand" . . or, rather, "to intuit" . . . or . . . well, it's debatable what it means, but it's well-known to SF fans and Californians.

Any others?

When I read the thread title, grok & waldo were the first two that came into mind--but really, how common is EITHER of them? When people say "waldo" there's always a "where's" behind it and a map in front of them, and only geeks like me say grok; it's hardly common.

Sir Prize
05-27-2006, 10:16 PM
Isn't the term Assassin credited to Shakespeare? [/i]
Assassin (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=assassin)
1531 (in Anglo-L. from c.1237), via Fr. and It., from Arabic hashishiyyin "hashish-users," pl. of hashishiyy, from hashish (q.v.). A fanatical Ismaili Muslim sect of the time of the Crusades, under leadership of the "Old Man of the Mountains" (translates Arabic shaik-al-jibal, name applied to Hasan ibu-al-Sabbah), with a reputation for murdering opposing leaders after intoxicating themselves by eating hashish. The pl. suffix -in was mistaken in Europe for part of the word (cf. Bedouin).

Walloon
05-28-2006, 03:05 AM
Shangri-La (from Lost Horizon, by James Hilton)
California (from the 1510 romance Las Sergas de Esplandián)
knickerbockers (hence knickers) (from the comic A History of New York, by Washington Irving)

Alessan
05-28-2006, 04:30 AM
The term "Cyberspace" comes from the works of William Gibson - either Neuromancer or one of his early short stories . I'm surprised no-one has mentioned it yet.

FlyingRamenMonster
05-28-2006, 08:57 AM
The term "Cyberspace" comes from the works of William Gibson - either Neuromancer or one of his early short stories . I'm surprised no-one has mentioned it yet.

Damn you Alessan, I was just about to mention it!

sciurophobic
05-28-2006, 09:26 AM
Swift's "Lilliputian", "Brobdingnagian", and "Yahoo" as synonyms for small, large and stupid.

Idlewild
05-28-2006, 09:27 AM
The 1913 book Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter has been forgotten, but the word Pollyanna lives on, probably even used by people with no idea of its origin.
Pollyanna and its sequel are both still in print which is kind of dandy for any 1913 children's book and I'd say makes it slightly not forgotten. Not that I'd recommend any modern child read it, but it was certainly on my bookshelf along with What Katy Did, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and sundry other little moral tracts in disguise. Those are still in print too. I guess the classics never die...

zagloba
05-28-2006, 11:48 AM
Granted, it's on a Geocities page, but if you follow the author-link, you'll find his homepage; he's written a few books and is apparently some kind of lecturer in physics.I first read this as Gell-Mann is apparently some kind of lecturer in physics. Nice understatement, I thought.

bonzer
05-28-2006, 06:07 PM
I've always been skeptical about this; the story, as I've heard it, is that he "was reading Finnegans Wake" when he found found the word. But no one actually sits down and "reads" Finnegans Wake; it's undertaken only by those who have either a professional interest or a year of free time. The word "quarks" appears exactly once in the book (page 383, for those of you reading along at home), and it seems unlikely that he would have found it by opening to a page at random--which is IMO the best way to read FW--or been sufficiently charmed* by it to name his most famous discovery after it.

I don't think Gell-Mann has actually ever specifically claimed to have read the Wake from start to finish. Somewhat the opposite even.
Gell-Mann cited Joyce when introduced the term in print in Physics Letters in February 1964 and this was sufficiently unusual that the basic story quickly became well-known and widely repeated. But he hasn't elaborated on the circumstances that often - though, offhand, I seem to recall that the OED tried to pin him down a bit at one stage - and the fullest account I'm aware of is in the 1983 interview he granted Crease and Mann for their 1986 history of 20th century physics The Second Creation. In this he explained how he first used the word quork for his idea verbally over coffee following a seminar he gave on the topic at Columbia in March 1963. Then:

It seemed somehow appropriate. A strange sound for something peculiar. When I was going to publish the idea eight months later or whatever it was, late in sixty-three, I was paging through Finnegans Wake as I often do, trying to understand bits and pieces - you know how you read Finnegans Wake - and I came across "Three quarks for Muster Mark." I said, "That's it! Three quarks make neutron or a proton!" Joyce's word rhymes with bark, but it was close enough to my funny sound. Besides, I told myself, in one of its meanings it is also supposed to rhyme with quart. So that was the name I chose. The whole thing was just a gag. It's a reaction against pretentious scientific language.

George Johnson, his authorised biographer, adds the detail - unfootnoted, but presumably based on one of his interviews with him - that the copy involved was a first edition belonging to his brother, Ben Gelman.

Since it was Gell-Mann who pointed out the reference, pretty much the only plausible alternative is that he was flicking through the Wake deliberately looking for a word to use without the preconception. If so, that's still an example of what the OP was looking for.

Of course, none of this prevents Gell-Mann from being a front runner for the title of The Most Pretentious Man Alive.

Diceman
05-28-2006, 06:30 PM
When I read the thread title, grok & waldo were the first two that came into mind--but really, how common is EITHER of them? When people say "waldo" there's always a "where's" behind it and a map in front of them, and only geeks like me say grok; it's hardly common.
I have to agree. Waldo is that guy that hides in pictures. Talking about "a waldo" would confuse nearly everyone. And "grok" really isn't too common even on the internet. It's really just a bit of jargon.

Colibri
05-28-2006, 11:01 PM
"Cyberspace" was coined by William Gibson in his 1984 science fiction novel "Neuromancer.

Colibri
05-28-2006, 11:02 PM
"Cyberspace" was coined by William Gibson in his 1984 science fiction novel "Neuromancer.

Apologies to Alessan, I didn't check the second page before posting.

Colibri
05-28-2006, 11:13 PM
Ok, I've got one that hasn't been mentioned: "gargantuan," from Gargantua, by Francois Rabelais (1534).


Of course, none of this prevents Gell-Mann from being a front runner for the title of The Most Pretentious Man Alive.

My favorite quote of his (perhaps apocryphal): "If I have seen farther, it's because I have been surrounded by dwarfs."

Cat Whisperer
05-29-2006, 12:57 AM
I have to agree. Waldo is that guy that hides in pictures. Talking about "a waldo" would confuse nearly everyone. And "grok" really isn't too common even on the internet. It's really just a bit of jargon.
I'd have to disagree about "waldo." Anybody who has the need to talk about an articulated robotic limb will call it a waldo, I believe, and that's common enough usage for me. "Grok" is still the territory of geeks, though.:D

AskNott
05-29-2006, 01:03 AM
"Kryptonite" is something of a term for something that will kill a project or idea.

That's true, but wasn't the gas Krypton named for Kal-el's (Superman's) home planet?

The "tenth planet" has been tentatively named for a fictional warrior princess, Xena, subject to approval by the Commissioner of the National Football League, or somebody.

Uncle Tom, of Uncle Tom's Cabin, has come to mean an obediant black man.

Skald the Rhymer
05-29-2006, 01:27 AM
That's true, but wasn't the gas Krypton named for Kal-el's (Superman's) home planet?
[quote]

I believe it's the other way 'round. Krypton was discovered & named in 1898 or so.

[quote]
Uncle Tom, of Uncle Tom's Cabin, has come to mean an obediant black man.

I'd change "obedient" to "embarrassingly/slavishly subservient to whites (in the view of the utterer)" here. A black corporal who follows the orders of his black sergeant isn't going to be considered a Tom by anyone; nor would his fellow Marines consider him a Tom for following the orders of his white lieutenant, so long as he behaved with pride. But a black man who behaves sans pride, as if he believes himself inherently inferior to and justifiably subordinate to ANY white person, is a Tom.

Walloon
05-29-2006, 01:52 AM
But a black man who behaves sans pride, as if he believes himself inherently inferior to and justifiably subordinate to ANY white person, is a Tom.That doesn't sound like the title character of Harriet Beecher Stowe's anti-slavery novel.

Chronos
05-29-2006, 02:19 AM
I'd have to disagree about "waldo." Anybody who has the need to talk about an articulated robotic limb will call it a waldo, I believe, and that's common enough usage for me.My favorite usage of it:Used to be he could only read microfilm, but late '74 he got a new scanning camera with suction-cup waldoes to handle paper and then he read everything.

And Xena is a bit of a complicated case. Officially, the International Astronomical Union is the only body which can name celestial objects. Traditionally, the discoverer of the object gets to choose the name, but it has to be officially approved by the IAU. Well, the same team that discovered Xena had previously discovered Sedna, and announced the name they had chosen in a press conference. They caught some flak from the IAU for that, announcing the name before it'd been officially approved. Well, now they have a suggestion for the official name for this new iceball, but they're following the rules this time and not saying what it is until it's officially confirmed. But in the meantime, nobody wants to call the thing by a catalog number all the time, so they're using "Xena" as a placeholder to unofficially call it until the official name is approved. All I can say is, the IAU had better get off their collective duffs and approve the official name soon, or nobody's ever going to call it anything but Xena anyway.

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
05-29-2006, 05:43 AM
That's true, but wasn't the gas Krypton named for Kal-el's (Superman's) home planet?

.

No, it was not.

Observe--

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krypton#History

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krypton_%28Planet%29

The gas was named in 1898, the fictional planet in 1939.

manx
05-29-2006, 05:45 AM
The same way that "Paula" rhymes with "trawler"

Paula doesn't rhyme with trawler? How on earth do you pronounce it?

zagloba
05-29-2006, 07:02 AM
Well, we're Americans, so we pronounce the final "r" in trawler, for a start.

Annie-Xmas
05-29-2006, 07:46 AM
Lewis Carroll also gave us "Wonderland" and L. Frank Baum contributed "Oz."

I have a hunch "Spamalot" will be joining this list in the near future.

Larry Mudd
05-29-2006, 10:24 AM
Well, we're Americans, so we pronounce the final "r" in trawler, for a start.Not all of you, of course. In Maine y'all have non-rhotic accents and trawlers, which combine to create Trollahs.

Jeff Lichtman
05-29-2006, 01:16 PM
E.C. Segar introduced the word "jeep" in his comic strip Thimble Theater starring Popeye . Eugene the Jeep was a magical fourth-dimensional creature that could go anywhere and do almost anything. It's not clear whether Segar's jeep influenced the name of the four-wheel-drive vehicle. Some dictionaries say the original military vehicle was called a "General Purpose" or "GP" vehicle, thus "jeep." It could be, though, that soldiers were aware of the comic strip character when they applied the name to the car - sometimes things happen for more than one reason.

Segar didn't invent the word "goon," but he certainly helped popularize it with the character Alice the Goon - a monster that the Sea Hag enslaved to try to destroy Popeye. Segar's "goon" was similar to the current meaning of the word: a thug hired to intimidate or hurt one's opponents.

Rayne Man
05-29-2006, 01:59 PM
Two words ( both fictitious places) come to mind. Utopia (Thomas More) and Shangri la (James Hilton, Lost Horizon)

Harriet the Spry
05-29-2006, 04:05 PM
Swifts Brobdignagian and Lilliputian have sort of entered the language as words meaning oversized or undersized.

bup
05-29-2006, 04:14 PM
Low-brow connoisseur checking in, with

JK Rowling's muggle, now in the OED, and

Charles Schulz' security blanket.

Mangetout
05-29-2006, 04:43 PM
Quite aside from being an expensive brand of appliances, 'smeg' was introduced to common parlance by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor in their SF comedy series Red Dwarf. Clearly a contraction of smegma, but as an expletive, smeg was a novel creation.

RealityChuck
05-29-2006, 04:51 PM
Uncle Tom, of Uncle Tom's Cabin, has come to mean an obedient black man.That's true, but in the book, Tom was portrayed as being noble, not subservient.

If we count myths as literature, then we have words like "titan," "odyssey," and "siren" (meaning an attractive woman), and phrases like "Achilles heel."

Al Capp coined "Sadie Hawkins Day," which was used for a time as "Sadie Hawkins Day Dance," where the girls would ask the boys out. I suspect that term has faded, though.

The word "vamp," meaning "a predatory woman" is a short form of the title of Rudyard Kipling poem "The Vampire."

sciurophobic
05-29-2006, 04:57 PM
Swifts Brobdignagian and Lilliputian have sort of entered the language as words meaning oversized or undersized.

See post #70 :)

Sternvogel
05-29-2006, 05:06 PM
Sir Philip Sidney coined the name Pamela (http://www.behindthename.com/php/view.php?name=pamela) for his poem Arcadia.

The word blurb (http://www.toonopedia.com/burgess.htm) comes from Miss Belinda Blurb, a woman created by humorist Gelett Burgess to provide a gushingly complimentary "review" on the jacket of one of his books.

Sinclair Lewis's novel Babbitt inspired Babbittry (http://www.answers.com/babbittry&r=67), a word which refers to the narrow-minded self-satisfaction embodied by the book's title character.

CalMeacham
05-30-2006, 07:35 AM
Most of my favorites have been mentioned, but I have to add two notes here:

Frankenstein, now (mis)used to mean a monster or nemesis


The practice of naming the monster "Frankenstein" isn't a mistake made by audiences of the 1931 movie. The monster himself is called "Frankenstein" in Peggy Webling's play (the one the film credits as its source, but doesn't really resemble closely). There's a copy of the program in the book of the Universal screeplay, and you can see Hamilton Deane, who played the Monster, credited as "Frankenstein". I suspect the prace predates the Webling play, but don't have any earlier evidence.



The practice of calling mechanical arms/hands "waldoes" is respected in science fiction, where Arthur C. Clarke and others have used the term, but I'm not sure how far outside the field it's known. I remember reading something by someone in the field of such mechanical devices taking umbrage at the thought that this term was widespread in his industry, where he'd never jeard it used. And I have to admit I've never seen it used outside of science fiction.

Snickers
05-30-2006, 08:45 AM
Well, we're Americans, so we pronounce the final "r" in trawler, for a start.

Likewise, we generally don't put terminal R's on words that end in vowels.

Sal Ammoniac
05-30-2006, 08:45 AM
Ok, I've got one that hasn't been mentioned: "gargantuan," from Gargantua, by Francois Rabelais (1534).
Rabelais even provides an etymology. When Gargantua is born, his father says "Que grand tu as," ("how big you are"), and the people in attendance suggest that the boy be named according to the first words of the father, after the fashion of the ancient Hebrews.

As to the OP, I was going to nominate a number of Dickens characters whose names have spawned common words -- micawberish, jarndycean, etc. -- but then I realized that the OP was asking for actual coinages. Let's see...

Okay, how about "astronaut"? From Wikipedia: "The first known use of the term 'astronaut' was by Neil R. Jones in his short story The Death's Head Meteor in 1930."

And I feel sure there must be something in Dr. Seuss, but nothing comes to mind.

Sal Ammoniac
05-30-2006, 08:57 AM
Ok, I've got one that hasn't been mentioned: "gargantuan," from Gargantua, by Francois Rabelais (1534).
Rabelais even provides an etymology. When Gargantua is born, his father says "Que grand tu as," ("how big you are"), and the people in attendance suggest that the boy be named according to the first words of the father, after the fashion of the ancient Hebrews.

As to the OP, I was going to nominate a number of Dickens characters whose names have spawned common words -- micawberish, jarndycean, etc. -- but then I realized that the OP was asking for actual coinages. Let's see...

Okay, how about "astronaut"? From Wikipedia: "The first known use of the term 'astronaut' was by Neil R. Jones in his short story The Death's Head Meteor in 1930."

And I feel sure there must be something in Dr. Seuss, but nothing comes to mind.

Sal Ammoniac
05-30-2006, 08:59 AM
Oops, sorry about that. The trouble you get into when your short-term memory goes!

CalMeacham
05-30-2006, 09:01 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by zagloba
Well, we're Americans, so we pronounce the final "r" in trawler, for a start.



Likewise, we generally don't put terminal R's on words that end in vowels.


Unless you live in the Boston area. They take all those "r"s they've saved up by not pronouncing them at the end of words and stick them where most people would think them not needed -- like at the end of "pizza" and "saw" ("I had a slice of pizzer." And a "saw" is something you cut wood with. The past tense of "see" is "sawr", except when it's "seen"., as in "I seen him.")

Exapno Mapcase
05-30-2006, 10:04 AM
Quite aside from being an expensive brand of appliances, 'smeg' was introduced to common parlance by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor in their SF comedy series Red Dwarf. Clearly a contraction of smegma, but as an expletive, smeg was a novel creation.
Is "smeg" really in common use in the U.K.? It's non-existent in the U.S.

In fact, I searched the Dope and except for the poster named Smeghead there aren't even a handful of threads that use the term.

I'm curious if other British Dopers have seen or heard the term used in everyday talk.

Annie-Xmas
05-30-2006, 10:25 AM
"Camelot" meant a specific imaginery place until the Kenndey family came along.

Don't let it forgot
That once there was a spot
For one brief shining moment that was known as
Camelot.

GorillaMan
05-30-2006, 10:46 AM
Is "smeg" really in common use in the U.K.? It's non-existent in the U.S....

I'm curious if other British Dopers have seen or heard the term used in everyday talk.
It's not an everyday term, no. But it's widely-understood, probably by a decent chunk of the population who have no idea of its origins and who have never watched Red Dwarf.

jsc1953
05-30-2006, 12:06 PM
Isaac Asimov coined the phrase "pocket calculator" in his story "The Feeling of Power," long before the device was created.

Just going from memory -- I think the phrase in Asimov's short story was "pocket computer", although the concept is certainly equivalent to our pocket calculator.

B. Serum
05-30-2006, 12:38 PM
"Droid" meaning "robot" was coined by George Lucas, and is in common use. (e.g. from the OED: 2001 Yahoo! Internet Life Oct. 24/4 Not all Americans are ignorant droids who only follow the next big thing.)

I don't think I can give that to Lucas. "Droid" was slang for "android" which — according to Wikipedia — was first used by the French author Mathias Villiers de l'Isle-Adam (1838-1889) in his work Tomorrow's Eve, featuring an artificial human-like robot named Hadaly.

Annie-Xmas
05-30-2006, 01:09 PM
Two from musical theatre lyricist Tim Rice:

"Superstar" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0103008/plotsummary) was coined by Andy Warhol and came to promanence as "Jesus Christ Superstar."

"Evita" is beginning to mean a woman in power. A recent bio of Hilary is titled "American Evita."

CalMeacham
05-30-2006, 02:18 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck
"Droid" meaning "robot" was coined by George Lucas, and is in common use. (e.g. from the OED: 2001 Yahoo! Internet Life Oct. 24/4 Not all Americans are ignorant droids who only follow the next big thing.)



I don't think I can give that to Lucas. "Droid" was slang for "android" which — according to Wikipedia — was first used by the French author Mathias Villiers de l'Isle-Adam (1838-1889) in his work Tomorrow's Eve, featuring an artificial human-like robot named Hadaly.


A bit o' history here.

as noted above, Karel Czapek gave us "Robot" with his work R.U.R. ("Rossum's Universal Robots"), where the name was derived from the Slavik word for "workers" (I never heard it rendered as "drudges", but , for all I know, that might be accurate). The "robots" in his story weren't mechanical beings, but biological constructs. Science fiction convention has been to call such creatures "androids", at least since the 1930s (I don't know if l'Isle-adam used the term that way or not). "Robots" quickly came to mean "mechanical people", generally metal ones.

In the 1971 film Silent Running they called the diminutive robots "Drones", I suspect to get away from the "robot" terminology. When Lucas made Star wars, he called R2D2 and C3PO "Droids". I strongly suspect his reasoning was the same, and influenced by the SR terminology (and the robots. Huey, Dewey, and Louie were diminutive, sawed-off robots that spoke in machine noises, as R2D2 would.) at only one point in Star Wars was the term "robots" used -- when Luke says to Obi-Wan tyhat the Storm Troopers who killed the Jawas might follow the trail to "the robots", and from them to Uncle Owen and Aunt Beroo. Every other time in the Star Wars movies, robots are called "droids". the term is used as if it's not a shortened form of "android" (although that's clearly where it derives from in our universe, if not in R2D2's), but a "translation" of whatever language they speak A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far away. L:ucas is definitely responsible for the term -- I never heard it used before SW.

So now you have the interesting case where the original meanings have become changed -- "robots" are now mechanical things (if not always metal -- Ash in alien and Bishop in Aliens seem to be more plastic than metal), while "droids" are also mechanical, not like the old "androids" at all.

Giles
05-30-2006, 02:34 PM
Can't find that book on Amazon. Cite?
Here it is on Amazon.com:

Generation X, by Charles Hamblett and Jane Deverson (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0874496209)

Chronos
05-30-2006, 04:30 PM
The "robots" in his story weren't mechanical beings, but biological constructs. Science fiction convention has been to call such creatures "androids", at least since the 1930sThe way I've seen the term used, "android" refers to any human-shaped robot, regardless of composition, or more narrowly, one which can be mistaken for a human. By this standard, Bishop is definitely an android, Data probably is, and even C3PO might be. But even by this looser standard, R2D2 is unambiguously not an android, despite being a "droid". So I think it's safe to call "droid" a new coinage, with an etymology from "android", rather than just an abbreviation with the same meaning.

Anne Neville
05-30-2006, 04:52 PM
"cromulent" seems to have been invented for The Simpsons.

Originally popularized by Blackadder III, though.

Gell-Mann called these sub-subatomic particles "quarks" a nonsense word rhyming with "walk" Later he found the same word in James Joyce's Finnegans Wake thus guaranteeing him a lifetime of irritation, as even textbooks persistently claim that he lifted the word from "Finnegan's Wake", and that it rhymes with "park".

Hm! And I've always heard "quark" pronounced to rhyme with "pork"!

I've heard "quark" rhyming with "park", and rhyming with "pork", both by physicists.

I can't imagine how "quark" could rhyme with "walk,"

Me neither.

iamthewalrus(:3=
05-30-2006, 04:53 PM
"Evita" is beginning to mean a woman in power. A recent bio of Hilary is titled "American Evita."Does it really mean that generally, or is the author drawing specific parallels between the life of Hillary Clinton and Eva Peron?

ryobserver
05-30-2006, 08:16 PM
Plato isn't remembered as a fiction writer, but Atlantis is probably the grandmother of all fictitious place names.

crowmanyclouds
05-30-2006, 09:51 PM
Low-brow connoisseur checking in, with
JK Rowling's muggle, now in the OED...Muggle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muggles), a slang term for marijuana, mostly used in the 1920s and 1930s and associated with the United States jazz scene.

* To muggle or to muggle up was to smoke marijuana, and to experience the "high" from marijuana was to be all muggled up.

Muggles (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muggles_%28recording%29) is the title of a recording by Louis Armstrong and His Orchestra, recorded in Chicago on December 7, 1928. The title refers to Muggles as a slang term for marijuana...

CMC fnord!

matt_mcl
05-31-2006, 12:48 AM
Me neither.

Pronounce "walk" Britishly: "wohk". Now pronounce "quark" to rhyme with it, then put the "r" back in: kwoark, to rhyme (for rhotic dialects) with "stork."

mamboman
05-31-2006, 01:15 AM
"Lurgi", for flu or other generic winter-time ailment, comes from the Goon Show.

mm

Jeff Lichtman
05-31-2006, 01:58 AM
How about Peyton Place? Is that still used to mean a community with scandalous secrets? Has the term been kept alive by the song Harper Valley PTA?

Rayne Man
05-31-2006, 02:12 AM
"Lurgi", for flu or other generic winter-time ailment, comes from the Goon Show.

mm

This beggers the question of the origin of the word "goon". All I do know is that it was around before the radio show. I have found one explanation which seems to fit the bill (from the Word Detective):-

"Goon" first appeared around 1921 meaning "a dull or stupid person, an oaf," most likely derived from the English dialect word "gooney," meaning "simpleton."

Now, of course, the word now also means a hired thug or strong-arm man.

bup
05-31-2006, 07:02 AM
Muggle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muggles), a slang term for marijuana, mostly used in the 1920s and 1930s and associated with the United States jazz scene.

* To muggle or to muggle up was to smoke marijuana, and to experience the "high" from marijuana was to be all muggled up.

Muggles (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muggles_%28recording%29) is the title of a recording by Louis Armstrong and His Orchestra, recorded in Chicago on December 7, 1928. The title refers to Muggles as a slang term for marijuana...

CMC fnord!'Muggle' meaning marijuana is obsolete - nobody calls it that anymore.

'Muggle' meaning non-magical person, or general skilless person in whatever context.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/uk/newsid_2882000/2882895.stm

CalMeacham
05-31-2006, 07:14 AM
The way I've seen the term used, "android" refers to any human-shaped robot, regardless of composition, or more narrowly, one which can be mistaken for a human.


I think the usage is changing again. When I was growing up in the 1960s (and reading things going back two decades), in books and comics "androids" seemed to refer to biological constructs. Asimov never called his human-looking robots "androids" -- thyey were invariably called "robots". The human-shaped robots in Twilight Zone episodes were "robots". The movie Metropolis never used the term "android". Philip K. Dick's novel on which Bladerunner is based was caled "Do androids Dream of Electric Sheep?", and the things in it are biological constructs.

The current Wikipedia article on "Androids" seems accurate, but draws almost all of its examples from recent works, and says many times that creations from earlier fiction "could be called" "androids" when the original work calls them "robots".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Androids

Larry Mudd
05-31-2006, 11:35 AM
I think the usage is changing again. When I was growing up in the 1960s (and reading things going back two decades), in books and comics "androids" seemed to refer to biological constructs. Asimov never called his human-looking robots "androids" -- thyey were invariably called "robots". The human-shaped robots in Twilight Zone episodes were "robots". The movie Metropolis never used the term "android". Philip K. Dick's novel on which Bladerunner is based was caled "Do androids Dream of Electric Sheep?", and the things in it are biological constructs. The biological component is incidental, there. I'm as up on Golden Age SF as the next guy, and "android" has meant simply "manlike" (by-and-large) for a goodly long time. Since the early '60s, the word "cyborg" has had the approximate meaning you ascribe to "android."

As far as Philip K. Dick's use of the word (in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep or elsewhere) is concerned, he certainly didn't have such a definition in mind. In his 1972 essay "The Android and the Human," he wrote:I have, in some of my stories and novels, written about androids or robots or simulacra -- the name doesn't matter; what is meant is artificial constructs masquerading as humans.

Diceman
05-31-2006, 11:41 AM
Many fiction writers use "android" to refer to a robot with a sentient level of intelligence. Commander Data on Star Trek, for example, was always referred to as an android. Such robots are usually more-or-less human in appearance, but it's the human-like mind that makes them androids.

RealityChuck
05-31-2006, 11:54 AM
I don't think I can give that to Lucas. "Droid" was slang for "android" which — according to Wikipedia — was first used by the French author Mathias Villiers de l'Isle-Adam (1838-1889) in his work Tomorrow's Eve, featuring an artificial human-like robot named Hadaly.And the OED gives first cite to Lucas:

1976 G. LUCAS Star Wars iv. 56 'Droids can't replace a man, Luke.

This sounds like a case where someone used the word once, but was forgotten until someone happened to come across it long after Lucas's version became standard (I'd argue Dr. Seuss's "coinage" of "nerd" is the same thing). Further, it's a French book, which means it is a French word, and clearly not an English one (if it had been used in English, then the OED would have cited it.) Your cite is one reason why the Wikipedia should not be considered definitive.

CalMeachum -- Oh, definitely. The original robots are what we would now call androids, and Lucas's "droids" were what SF readers would have called "robots" at the time.

Chronos -- No -- a robot was a mechanical device; most were humanoid (e.g., R. Daneel Olivaw), some were not (Anthony Boucher's "Q.U.R."). "Androids" (e.g., Robert Silverberg's Tower of Glass) were human shaped, but organic. Android stories in SF often dealt with issues of race and their need to be accepted as fully human.

CalMeacham
05-31-2006, 11:54 AM
Since the early '60s, the word "cyborg" has had the approximate meaning you ascribe to "android."


I definitely have to disagree with you on this point. "Cyborg" is a portmanteau for "cybernetic organism", and implies both biological and mechanical parts, usually mechanical parts added to an existing biological entity (like the Six Million Dollar Man, who started off in the Martin Caidin book "Cyborg")
It's clearly not synonymous with the use of "android" I describe, and I don't know of anyone who uses it that way.


And I stand by my description of "android" as biological creatures. I don't know of any Golden-age to 1970s writer who used that term for "human-shaped robot".

Dunderman
05-31-2006, 12:10 PM
The "tenth planet" has been tentatively named for a fictional warrior princess, Xena, subject to approval by the Commissioner of the National Football League, or somebody.If that counts, so does every planet except Earth, and a big bunch of other celestial bodies too.

Bryan Ekers
05-31-2006, 12:15 PM
And I stand by my description of "android" as biological creatures. I don't know of any Golden-age to 1970s writer who used that term for "human-shaped robot".

Gad, if only I'd seen this last week when I was tidying up my comic collection. I actually held in my hand a 1970s copy of Richie Rich which shows him and girlfriend Gloria flying while holding the handle of an over-sized umbrella. The story (which involves them being caught in an updraft and blown to the top of the previously unexplored Mt. Mystery) is about them discovering and trying to escape from a city of androids.

Gloria: What are androids, Richie?
Richie: They're robots that look like people.


Anyway, the issue is at my girlfriend's house and the above synopsis is (geekily) from memory. She sends my old comix to her nephew in Norway a few at a time, and the leftovers culled from my collection have given her enough material to ship until the kid is in med school. I'll see if I can retrieve it.

interface2x
05-31-2006, 12:19 PM
George Costanza once told a woman that he coined the phrase "Pardon my French."

Sailboat
05-31-2006, 12:27 PM
"cromulent" seems to have been invented for The Simpsons.

Well...according to Wikipedia,

Cromulent

A word meaning perfectly valid or acceptable, originally popularized by BBC's Blackadder III. According to DVD commentaries, the word was coined by David X. Cohen, but in fact was used years before by Edmund Blackadder.

...

Both "embiggen" and "cromulent" were quickly adopted and used by Simpsons fans. Cromulent has taken on an ironic meaning, to say that something is not at all legitimate and in fact spurious. Indeed the DVD commentary for the episode Lisa the Iconoclast makes a point of reinforcing that "embiggen" and "cromulent" are completely made up by the writers and have since taken on a life of their own via the internet and other media, which is a shame as she is clearly unaware this word was first coined by the Blackadder team.

...

"Cromulent" has since appeared in the Webster's New Millennium Dictionary of English. (lookup via reference.com.)

So it indeed appears to be made up in a comedy, but not The Simpsons.

Sailboat

Saltire
05-31-2006, 12:53 PM
There's a third Asimov coinage (I'm ignoring 'pocket calculator', as that's two words). Late in his life, he was proud to appear in the OED in three entries: the previously mentioned 'robotics' and 'positronic', as well as 'psychohistory'.

Besides being far and away less well-known than the other two, 'psychohistory' was also marred by not being original to The Good Doctor. I don't recall the detail, but it had been presented earlier without his ever hearing it himself. So the OED lists his Foundation novels as a second source of the word, with its peculiar definition.

kaylasdad99
05-31-2006, 02:27 PM
Does anyone have a copy of The Science Fiction Hall of Fame handy? I can't recall the name of the story, or the author, but it is voiced in the first person, from the point of view of an android. In this story, androids have circuitry that prevents them from harming humans, yet the story begins with a search party finding the dead body of a little girl, with the evidence pointing to her murder by an android.

"What kind of blood don't coagulate?"

"Droid blood doesn't coagulate."

Turns out that excessive ambient temperatures (and there's a heat wave going on) causes at least this one 'droid to go crazy. "The heat is all reet."

BrainGlutton
05-31-2006, 02:43 PM
Hmm. I understand there's some debate over this- the term may have been used for "misuse of long words" before Sheridan, and he merely adapated it into the character's name. Consider the french "mal a propis" which offers an equally obvious etymology for this practice (although, of course, Sheridan may simply have used some good-sounding French rather than adopting a common expression).

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=malapropism&searchmode=none:

1849, from Mrs. Malaprop, character in Sheridan's play "The Rivals" (1775), noted for her ridiculous misuse of large words (i.e. "contagious countries" for "contiguous countries"), her name coined from malapropos (adv.), 1668, a borrowing from Fr. mal à propos "inopportunely, inappropriately," lit. "badly for the purpose," from mal (see mal-) + proposer "propose."

CalMeacham
05-31-2006, 02:46 PM
kaylasdad99 -- I'm not certain, because I don't recall that incident, but a robot or android (I don't recall which) that goes crazy is central to Alfred Bester's Fondly Fahrenheit, which is certainly in The SF Hall of Fame.

kaylasdad99
05-31-2006, 03:23 PM
kaylasdad99 -- I'm not certain, because I don't recall that incident, but a robot or android (I don't recall which) that goes crazy is central to Alfred Bester's Fondly Fahrenheit, which is certainly in The SF Hall of Fame.Fondly Fahrenheit it was. Thanks.

Anyway, that was my introduction to the word "droid." In 1977, I thought Lucas stole it from Bester on purpose.

gigi
05-31-2006, 03:36 PM
But a black man who behaves sans pride, as if he believes himself inherently inferior to and justifiably subordinate to ANY white person, is a Tom.I think of it more as said by black folks to indicate someone who considers being in good with the white folks more important than being true to his race, or a sell-out. Or someone who has gotten in good with the white folks so they are "trusted" by the oppressor, aka a house negro.

Chronos
05-31-2006, 04:19 PM
Asimov never called his human-looking robots "androids" -- thyey were invariably called "robots".I don't have a copy handy to check, but wasn't the robot in the story "Satisfaction Guaranteed" described as an android? He was designed to be human not just in shape, but in appearance (as in, could be mistaken for human), and was suited to various household tasks.

In any event, I think we can agree that there is no definition by which R2D2 qualifies as an android, so "droid" as applied to R2D2 and his like can be considered a new coinage.

Don Draper
05-31-2006, 05:30 PM
Malaprop - n : the unintentional misuse of a word by confusion with one that sounds similar [syn: malapropism] - taken from the name of a character in Oscar Wilde's play "the Importance of Being Ernest", the dim-witted Mrs. Malaprop.

Brainiac and Bizarro were initially names of Superman villains.

And then there's Shazam! (which is commonly pronounced "Shu-ZAM!!!!") which came first from the comic book, then from the Andy Griffith Show.

Peter Morris
05-31-2006, 05:38 PM
the word "cromulent" comes from Blackadder? cite, please.

There's contrafribblarities, anus-peptic, phrasmotic, compunctious and pericombobulation, but I'm not aware of cromulent.

http://ics.leeds.ac.uk/papers/vp01.cfm?outfit=pmt&folder=1185&paper=1187

BrainGlutton
05-31-2006, 06:44 PM
Malaprop - n : the unintentional misuse of a word by confusion with one that sounds similar [syn: malapropism] - taken from the name of a character in Oscar Wilde's play "the Importance of Being Ernest", the dim-witted Mrs. Malaprop.

Older than that. See post #131.

In fact, there is no such character in TIOBE. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Importance_of_Being_Earnest

jayjay
05-31-2006, 06:59 PM
Malaprop - n : the unintentional misuse of a word by confusion with one that sounds similar [syn: malapropism] - taken from the name of a character in Oscar Wilde's play "the Importance of Being Ernest", the dim-witted Mrs. Malaprop.

It was Sheridan's "The Rivals", not Wilde. "The Importance of Being Earnest" premiered more than a century after Sheridan's play.

Annie-Xmas
06-01-2006, 07:28 AM
Three pages with no mention of Ira Levin? Stepford Wives and Rosemary's Baby?

Sal Ammoniac
06-01-2006, 08:20 AM
I just remembered the Dr. Seuss example I was trying to think of: grinch, of course.

Peter Morris
06-02-2006, 10:09 PM
List of words (http://shakespeare.about.com/library/weekly/aa042400a.htm) attributed to Shakespeare which does include assassination but not assassin. Seems he was the first to add that suffix.

cold cold night
06-03-2006, 10:11 AM
I'd have to disagree about "waldo." Anybody who has the need to talk about an articulated robotic limb will call it a waldo, I believe, and that's common enough usage for me. "Grok" is still the territory of geeks, though.:D
I've got to agree with this. I've never heard "grok" outside the realm of the message board. And even then it is only used by SF nerds who haven't learnt the English word "comprehend."

New Orleans rapper Lil' Wayne was the first recorded person to use the term "bling bling," in the Hot Boyz' track of the same name. Bay Area rapper E-40 was, among other things, the first person to use the -izzle suffix on words and he coined the term "pop [one's] collar" to refer to the practice of wearing one's shirt collar folded up rather than down. Incidentally, all the terms mention in this paragraph have a far wider usage than "grok" or "waldo."

BrainGlutton
06-03-2006, 06:38 PM
Three pages with no mention of Ira Levin? Stepford Wives and Rosemary's Baby?

Only time I've ever heard/seen "Stepford wives" used in a sentence not actually discussing the movie was in the box copy for one of Richard Simmons' Sweatin' to the Oldies videos. (Sometimes you get bored enough to read anything . . .) Rosemary's Baby? Never yet.

spiritturtle
06-03-2006, 09:55 PM
Check out Wikipedi's Shakespear's list of words (all words verified by the Oxford English Dictionary) for an impressive list of invented or reformed words.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_words_invented_by_Shakespeare

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