groundhog n.

a person who does not regularly travel in space

[extended from the aviation sense ‘a person who has never been in an airplane’ (1926 in OED)]

  • 1940 N. S. Bond Beyond Light in Planet Stories Winter 54/2 page image Nelson S. Bond

    The simple truth is…that you’re a groundhog and a damned poor son-in-law for a spaceman.

  • 1942 ‘A. MacDonald’ Waldo in Astounding Science-Fiction Aug. 18/2 page image Robert A. Heinlein Anson MacDonald bibliography

    Stevens streaked in after him, displaying a groundhog’s harmless pride in handling himself well in space conditions.

  • 1942 ‘A. MacDonald’ in Astounding Science Fiction Aug. 19/1 page image Robert A. Heinlein Anson MacDonald bibliography

    It is hard for a groundhog to dismiss the notion of weight.

  • 1976 J. Varley Bagatelle in Galaxy, Incorporating Worlds of If Oct. 10/1 John Varley bibliography

    What are you…get your hand off me you…you groundhog.

  • 1983 M. McCollum Life Probe i. 16 Michael McCollum bibliography

    Spacers pick up careful habits…if they live long enough. Where a groundhog would have left the record for later, Brea always checked and double checked everything.

  • 1994 G. Benford Sleepstory in Matter's End (1996) 59 Gregory Benford bibliography

    Even after the human race had moved into the near-Earth orbits, scattering their spindly factories and cylinder-cities and rock-hopping entrepreneurs, the human race was dominated by nay-saying groundhogs.

  • 1999 J. L. Chalker Priam’s Lens ii. 17 Jack L. Chalker bibliography

    Sharing birth years was an old sport among spacers, although not between them and the groundhogs.

  • 2010 V. Vinge Preliminary Assessment of the Drake Equation in Year’s Best SF 16 (2011) page image Vernor Vinge bibliography

    ‘Somebody scare up a definition of the Drake equation and let’s supply some answers.[’] Now if we’d been back on Earth, I’m sure everyone would’ve had that definition instantly. Groundhogs don’t appreciate the solitude of deep space. In deep space, you don’t have an instant link to the Internet. It can take hours or days to get home. I take considerable satisfaction from this fact.

Research requirements

antedating 1940

Earliest cite

Nelson S. Bond in Planet Stories

Research History
Mike Christie submitted a 1942 citation from Robert Heinlein's "Waldo".
Malcolm Farmer submitted a cite from a 1996 reprint of Gregory Benford's 1994 "Sleepstory".
Douglas Winston submitted a cite from a reprint of John Varley's "Bagatelle"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1976 first magazine appearance.
Douglas Winston submitted a cite from a 1990 reprint of Michael McCollum's "Life Probe".
Douglas Winston submitted a cite from a 1992 reprint of John Barnes' "Orbital Resonance".
Douglas Winston submitted a 1999 cite from Jack L. Chalker's "Priam's Lens".
Jesse Sheidlower submitted a 1940 cite from Nelson S. Bond in Planet Stories.
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2010 cite from Vernor Vinge.

Last modified 2021-10-15 19:37:02
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.