Earthish n.

a universal language of Earth; = Earthian n. 2


  • 1956 J. Merril Homecalling in Science Fiction Stories Nov. 36/1 page image Judith Merril bibliography

    If she answered the silly questions right out loud, that was all right too, because they couldn’t understand her anyhow. How would they know Earthish?

  • 1958 C. V. De Vet & K. MacLean Second Game in Astounding Science Fiction Mar. 68/1 page image Charles V. De Vet Katherine MacLean

    When I say ‘yag loogt’ -n’balt’ what does it mean to you in Earthish?

  • 1964 M. Moorcock Shores of Death in New Worlds Science Fiction Nov.–Dec. 7 page image Michael Moorcock bibliography

    Sahaa the alien looked on politely. Although he could speak Earthish and understand it, much of what was said was well below his own sonic range.

  • 1984 S. H. Elgin Native Tongue xviii. 208 page image Suzette Haden Elgin bibliography

    ‘No Jovian?’ ‘Well, child…is there any such language as Terran? Or Earthish?’ ‘I suppose not. No, of course there isn’t.’ ‘Well, if our globe requires five thousand languages or more, why should Jupiter have only one?’

  • 1990 in R. Silverberg & K. Haber Universe 1 xiv (editorial introduction to K. S. Robinson’s Translator) page image

    The translation machine—that wonderful gadget that conveniently turns the gobbledegook spoken by alien life-forms into nice comprehensible Earthish, and vice versa—has been a staple concept of science fiction for decades.

  • 2015 S. Baxter Endurance 92 page image Stephen Baxter bibliography

    She grinned, showing good teeth, and said something in a liquid dialect that Stillich’s systems began to translate for him. He waved that away. ‘Speak Earthish,’ he snapped.

Research requirements

antedating 1956

Earliest cite

Judith Merril

Last modified 2021-03-02 10:43:23
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.