in or towards the upper parts of a spacecraft; (also) in or towards orbit
Also as adj.
The equivalent sense ‘in or towards the upper deck(s) of a ship’ is found from the 19th century.
[He] followed with cheerful assurance as Ridge led the way to the topside observatory dome.
When the Comet Returned in Amazing Stories Apr. 12/1
We’re out of the Belt, spacebound for the Jovian system. I–I’ll go topside right away, sir!
Jessifer Rides Again in Thrilling Wonder Stories Oct. 58/2
The guys at the field will have to see them or you don’t go topside.
To Tombaugh Station in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction July 97/1
‘My engines haven’t fired yet. We’re in orbit.’ ‘Oh, of course. Where in orbit?’ ‘Approaching perigee. We’ll pass and climb in a little while. You might as well stay there.’ ‘I've never fainted before,’ she said to herself. ‘You’ve never jumped topside in a bucket before. This isn’t the deluxe tour, Bristol, and this ain’t no stinking ferryboat. I can’t waste time nor money on the featherbed treatment.’
To Tombaugh Station in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction July 106/1
There was this damn dog, who’d been sleeping under the porch all the time I’d been snoozing topside. He was awake now. And he started barking. Then he chased my ass down to the road.
Dhalgren i. 45
The Nipple offices were topside because, when the rag was founded, topside meant cheap.
Steel Beach (1993) 16
He filled the bill until they could get her topside.
Ice Trap i. 10
But you go topside if you want to, Bones.
Mind Meld i. 8
Hull’s all but lost topside, either ripped or burned away.
Final Voyage of La Riaza in Interzone (#210) June 17/2
Harl Vincent, in Amazing Stories
Research HistorySuggested by Randy Hoffman.
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from 1960 for the adverb sense, from Wilson Tucker's "To the Tombaugh Station"
Michael Dolbear submitted a 1998 cite from Lois McMaster Bujold's "Komarr".
We expect this is probably somewhat earlier, and would like to have that confirmed with an antedating.
Last modified 2021-02-19 12:38:19
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.