skin job n. 2

a robot that has skin; (spec.) an android that cannot easily be distinguished from a human

Chiefly associated with the 1982 film Blade Runner.

  • 1981 H. Fancher & D. Peoples Blade Runner (film script, 23 Feb.)

    I got five skin jobs walking the streets. Ibid. A big fucking skin job put the smash on me, wrecked me up!

  • 1992 N-Force Nov. 21/3 page image

    Well in fact he’s never been away cos this is Arnie’s first outing on the SNES as a T800 Cyberdine Systems series 101 infiltration unit (skin job to you guys).

  • 2002 P. Howell in Toronto Star 26 Apr. D3/2

    As the character Pete, a TV cameraman from (where else?) New York who first annoys and then charms Jolie, he exhibits so few genuine human emotions it’s clear he’s just a skin job from some other Edward Burns movie.

  • 2006 B. Thompson & D. Weddle Downloaded (Battlestar Galactica episode) (transcript) 24 Feb.

    This is a risky operation just to nail a couple dozen skin jobs. I mean, we can’t kill them. They’ll just download into a new body.

  • 2008 M. Angeli Six of One (Battlestar Galactica episode) (transcript) 11 Apr.

    He was with one of those skin jobs, the one they call D’Anna.

  • 2017 K. Taylor Globe & Mail (Toronto) 6 Oct. (electronic ed.)

    In the first scenes [of the movie Blade Runner 2049], K hunts one such model and kills him. Back at LAPD headquarters, the cops discuss the dead target; a technician dismisses him as a run-of-the-mill ‘skin job’ before mumbling sorry to another colleague who happens to be a replicant, too—just the way any office worker might apologize for a racist or sexist quip.

Research requirements

antedating 1981

Earliest cite

Blade Runner

Research History
Suggested by Bill Mullins

Last modified 2021-08-09 15:05:04
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.