Tellurian n.

a native or inhabitant of Earth


  • 1828 Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine May 555

    Man in the Moon. What monster have we here?—Away, Tellurian!

  • 1847 T. De Quincey Joan of Arc in Tait’s Edinburgh Magazine Aug. 538/2

    If any distant world…are so far ahead of us Tellurians in optical resources.

  • 1930 ‘G. Edwards’ in Science Wonder Stories Feb. 787/1 Gawain Edwards

    There is a mystery in Tellus which has not been solved. I cannot reconcile the disappearance of all its water and its race of men as well, with the legend preserved in our family that, not so very long ago, Tellurians visited us, staying beneath this very roof as guests. Why did the Earth-race die out so quickly?

  • 1930 M. J. Breuer & J. Williamson Birth of a New Republic in Amazing Stories Quarterly Winter 29/1 page image Miles J. Breuer, M.D. Jack Williamson bibliography

    The Tellurians had learned of such difficulties, to their cost, when they attempted to trap Warrington’s army in the crater of Hipparchus by landing the fleet and disembarking soldiers in a circle about him.

  • 1932 C. R. Tanner Tumithak of the Corridors in Before Golden Age 235

    The Tellurians soon found themselves locked up in a great metal tower many miles from their space flier. In a moment of carelessness, one of Sudiven’s companions had let drop the remark that this flier was the only one yet built upon the earth, and the shelks decided to take advantage of this fact, to begin at once the conquest of earth.

  • 1965 I. Asimov Water, Water, Everywhere– in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Dec. 87 Isaac Asimov

    Mr. Bridges is more interested in correct usage of planetary names, rather than in mere derivations (a more useful and less frivolous involvement than mine, you see) and, for instance, advocates what he maintains to be correctly derived words such as Venustian and Hesperian for hypothetical inhabitants of Venus in place of the incorrect Venusian or Cytherean; and Tellus and Tellurian in place of Terra and Terran. He lists astronomers and classical scholars who support his views.

  • 1967 A. Schwartz Wandering Tellurian 5

    As with most Tellurian ghettos, the enclave on Lhonz 4 kept an academy, a building with two floors, in contrast to the habitations surrounding it. It was solid and impressive, built of native red stone and furnished with the usual heavy tapestries and large fireplaces found in the ghetto. Lhonz 4 was a small, cold world, hereditarily inhabited by humanoids more notable for their hirsuteness than for their doubtful attractiveness. Relations between the locals and the sons of Tellus, the death merchants, were strictly on a cash basis. But the Tellurians had to make do with Lhonz. Few worlds relish the establishment of a race with a reputation for viciousness and undoubted possession of weapons in advance of anything in the galaxy.

  • 1968 E. E. Smith Skylark Three 162 Edward E. Smith

    DuQuesne, of course—I'll bet a hat no other Tellurian is this far from home.

  • 2002 A. B. West Wakenight Emporium xxv. 101

    It happens…that tellurians of learning and advanced years, such as myself, grow disenchanted with all things martian.

Research requirements

antedating 1930

Earliest cite

E.E. 'Doc' Smith, 'Skylark Three'

Research History
Rick Hauptmann submitted a 1931 cite from Miles Breuer and Jack Williamson's "The Birth of a New Republic".
Cory Panshin submitted a cite from a 1968 reprint of E.E. Smith's 1930 "Skylark Three"; Jesse Sheidlower checked the original, in Amazing Stories for October 1930, and this uses "Terrestrial" instead.
Jeff Prucher submitted a 1930 cite from Gawain Edwards "A Rescue From Jupiter".
Fred Galvin found a reference in the ISFDB to a 1967 Ace double "The Wandering Tellurian", by Alan Schwartz: he later obtained a copy, and submitted a cite from this work.
Fred Galvin submitted a 1965 cite from a science column by Isaac Asimov in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1974 reprint of Charles R. Tanner's 1932 "Tumithak of the Corridors".

We would like cites of any date from other sources.

The OED has cites back to 1847 for non-sf usages.

Last modified 2021-01-05 23:31:06
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.