flying saucer n.

any of various unidentified disc- or saucer-shaped objects reported as appearing in the sky, presumed to be of extraterrestrial origin

  • 1947 Albuquerque Jrnl. 27 June 1 (headline)

    Flying saucer mystery deepens as eyewitness descriptions increase.

  • 1969 M. Z. Bradley Brass Dragon (1980) v. 85 Marion Zimmer Bradley bibliography

    That made sense, of course. And yet it seemed to leave no alternative except Win’s little green men and their flying saucer.

  • 1993 Omni Oct. 88/3

    Go with this super nifty swell ability that gullible idiots and flying saucer assholes have been trying to prove exists for at least fifty years.

  • 1995 C. Carter Truth is out There: Official Guide to The X Files The Episodes: Season 1 102 Chris Carter

    Later they see two darting lights in the night sky, then go to the Flying Saucer Cafe—looking for ‘UFO nuts’—where Mulder sees a picture of a UFO that looks uncannily like a shot supposedly taken in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947.

  • 2014 S. Coonts Saucer: Savage Planet vii. 108 Stephen Coonts bibliography

    The air force reports that a flying saucer went into orbit from central Missouri ten minutes ago.


Research requirements

antedating 1947

Research History
Kenneth Arnold's sighting of 24 June 1947 is said to have led to the coinage of the term 'flying saucer'; The earliest cite in the OED was from 8 July 1947, and we requested cites from between these two dates: Roberto Labanti sent in cites from various US local newspapers, two from 28 June and one from 29 June 1947. Jonathan Lighter found a citation from 27 June 1947, in an AP dispatch. We would now be interested to see any cites from before 27 June 1947.

Last modified 2021-02-04 18:25:51
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.