American sci-fi writer, Theodore Sturgeon famously said, “Sure, ninety percent of science fiction is crud.” He believed that was “because ninety percent of everything is crud”, but many literary purists think sci-fi’s exotic worlds, flamboyant characters and incredibly imaginative plots make it throwaway. Yet, if they delved a bit deeper, they’d find a profound genre that’s both rich in themes and perhaps, more surprisingly, in language too. In fact, over the years it’s given us a myriad of new words, the majority of which have been created in order to describe concepts and devices that didn’t have existing words in their time. Most of these words have never been incorporated into our everyday language. However, sometimes technology catches up to sci-fi and a fictional word gets borrowed and becomes a common term. In other situations, a sci-fi author doesn’t necessarily coin a word, but uses it and popularizes it, keeping it alive and in use.
So, ready yourself for blast off as we count down 10 of our favorite out-of-this-world words and phrases from science fiction that have become part of our everyday lives.