esp v.

to use extrasensory powers (on); as: to communicate with (a person) telepathically; to send (a message) telepathically; to analyze (a person, place, etc.) using extrasensory powers

SF Encyclopedia


  • 1949 E. F. Russell Glass Eye in Astounding Science Fiction Mar. 41/1 page image Eric Frank Russell bibliography

    Eenif gestured toward the metal wall through which both of them could esp the new world in all its glowing colors.

  • 1952 M. Clifton Star, Bright in Galaxy Science Fiction July 16/1

    Daddy, I've tried and tried to ESP you. Truly I did. But you don’t ESP worth anything.

  • 1953 L. Daniel Question in Vortex Science Fiction (#2) 159/1 page image Lucius Daniel bibliography

    It’s wrong to think that cybernetic machines have no feelings, especially the ones able to esp. Through long dealings with humans they have learned the latter’s limitations and sympathise with them.

  • 1953 E. F. Russell Postscript in Science Fiction Plus Oct. 32/2 Eric Frank Russell

    They have esp and are telepathic. You think the questions and they write the answers. They read books by esping them. I’ve seen one hold a pen in a dozen fibers like long hairs and make a copy of what it had no eyes to see.

  • 1955 R. Sheckley Lifeboat Mutiny in Galaxy Science Fiction Apr. 63/2 Robert Sheckley

    ‘I am Lifeboat 324-A,’ the boat esped again.

  • 1955 G. O. Smith Highways in Hiding in Imagination Mar. iii. 27/2 George O. Smith

    As soon as we heard the screech of brakes and rubber we esped the place.

  • 1956 F. Pohl Slave Ship in Galaxy Science Fiction Mar. vi. 129/2 page image Frederik Pohl bibliography

    ‘If you’re sorry now, what will you be when a court-martial gets hold of you?’ ‘But I—I didn’t say anything, sir. I just sort of, well, wanted to know how my wife was. You don’t talk when you esp. You just—’ ‘Knock it off,’ ordered Kedrick explosively. ‘You can tell all that to Commander Lineback. I can assure you, though, that he takes a dim view of you right at the moment.’

  • 1966 C. Hebron Experiment in SF Impulse Oct. vi. 83 page image Chris Hebron bibliography

    The camera swung to show Alfred seated in the familiar posture, quite still, then went back to Sonia. At one stage she glanced to one side. Alfred, on screen again and motionless, got up suddenly and moved over to the pantry, opened the door, took out two onions, brought them across to her. ‘You esped him at that point, I think, didn’t you?’ said Caradoc. ‘Yes,’ said Sonia. ‘Yes, I did.’ She fell quiet, watching.

  • 1976 Giaconda Caper in Cosmic Kaleidoscope (1977) 115 page image Bob Shaw bibliography

    I began to get impatient. ‘All I want from you, Mario, is some information.’ The gleam of avarice in the waiter’s eyes was quickly replaced by a look of wariness. ‘How did you know my name?’ ‘I have ways of knowing things,’ I told him mysteriously. Actually, I wasn’t sure whether I has esped his name or whether it was the only Italian one I could think of on the spur of the moment.

  • 1984 M. Z. Bradley World Wreckers 22 Marion Zimmer Bradley bibliography

    We have no legal proof and there’s no law against esping a machine to win.

  • 1999 P. Gotlieb Violent Stars vii. 248 page image Phyllis Gotlieb bibliography

    ‘You’d better tell me all of it.’ ‘I thought you’d have esped me enough to know it.’ ‘Rummaging around in anyone’s mind is no pleasure, Gattes, and I would rather not do it unless it is necessary.’

  • 2006 D. Greenburg Dude, Where’s My Spaceship? i. 3 page image Dan Greenburg bibliography

    She used E.S.P. to send a thought message directly to her big brother’s mind: Did you remember to turn on the anti-gravs, Klatu? she esped. Of course I turned on the anti-gravs, Klatu esped back. I am not stupid, Ploo. When Ploo wasn’t looking, Klatu reached over and turned on the anti-gravs.

  • 2012 S. Isaacs Goldberg Variations vii. 69 page image

    She wasn’t crazy about the hyphen either, thought it an affectation... not that she said it openly, but she and I always ESPed each other. When she first saw his name written out, she’d said ‘Hyphen Cruz?’ Puerto Ricans were less enamored of apellidos compuestos, two surnames linked by hyphen, than other Latinos.

Research requirements

antedating 1949

Earliest cite

Eric Frank Russell, 'Postscript'

Research History
Katrina Campbell submitted a cite from a 1964 reprint of Eric Frank Russell's "P.S."; Mike Christie verified the cite in a 1958 version, and Rick Hauptmann subsequently verified the cite in the 1953 original magazine appearance, under the title "Postscript".
Malcolm Farmer submitted a cite from a reprint of George O. Smith's "Highways in Hiding"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1955 original magazine appearance.
Enoch Forrester submitted a cite from a reprint of Robert Sheckley's "The Lifeboat Mutiny"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1955 original magazine appearance.
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1954 reprint of Eric Frank Russell's "The Glass Eye", which Mike Christie verified in its 1949 first publication.
Fred Galvin submitted a 1952 cite from Mark Clifton's "Star, Bright".
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a wide range of cites.

Last modified 2021-10-17 19:49:30
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.