kipple n.

useless or unwanted (household) objects; junk; rubbish

[Introduced by Ted Pauls as the title of the fanzine Kipple. Pauls later claimed that the ‘junk’ definition was created by prominent fan Terry Carr, in reference to an old joke having the general form ‘Are you fond of Kipling?’ ‘I don’t know, I’ve never kippled’ (see the Quote Investigator entry for the history of the joke). Popularized outside of West Coast fanspeak by its appearance in the 1968 Philip K. Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?.]

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  • 1960 T. Pauls (title of fanzine) 10 May page image

    Kipple I.

  • 1963 B. E. Pelz in Ankus (#8) Aug. 4 page image Bruce Pelz

    The Emperor’s desk was described as just about that messy. Though no apple core was specifically mentioned, there was a half-eaten sandwich among the kipple.

  • 1968 P. K. Dick Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1981) vi. 77 Philip K. Dick bibliography

    Kipple is useless objects, like junk mail or match folders after you use the last match or gum wrappers or yesterday's homeopape. When nobody’s around, kipple reproduces itself. For instance, if you go to bed leaving any kipple around your apartment, when you wake up the next morning there’s twice as much of it.

  • 1981 ‘J. Tiptree, Jr.’ Lirios in Asimov’s Science Fiction Sept. 153 page image James Tiptree, Jr.

    The trash-line was different…. No basura, no kipple at all—just a little natural tar, and weed and sea-fans.

  • 1988 P. J. McAuley Transcendence in Amazing Stories Nov. 60 page image Paul J. McAuley bibliography

    His files…had been filled to overflowing: appeals from UFO cultists…, jargon-riddled letters from space freaks, political appeals…. He couldn’t be bothered to wade through all the kipple to find the updates.

  • 1994 P. Di Filippo On Books in Asimov’s Science Fiction Dec. 161/2 page image Paul Di Filippo

    The props burdening the characters are the everyday kipple and kitsch one hardly notices anymore: souvenir plastic tomahawks and melmac cups.

  • 2005 N. Gaiman Different Kinds of Pleasure in Locus Feb. 9/1 page image Neil Gaiman bibliography

    If one wasn’t an author one would be a really boring person filled with peculiar bits of trivia…. For an author, all of this ‘white knowledge’, the kipple in the back of your head, no longer is old keys and broken batteries, abandoned buttons, forgotten paper clips; it’s actually useful!

  • 2012 K. S. Robinson 2312 546 page image Kim Stanley Robinson bibliography

    Rock scattered everywhere, rubble, kipple, ejecta.


Research requirements

antedating 1960

Research History
We would like to verify the P. K. Dick cite from an earlier edition of "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?".

Last modified 2021-08-31 15:59:49
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.