somewhen adv.

in time-travel contexts: another time; in or to another time

Also as n.

In standard contexts, OED records the sense ‘At some (indefinite or unknown) time; sometime or other’, with one quote from the thirteenth century and then quotes from 1833 onwards with the note ‘Common in 19th cent.’

Time Travel

  • 1894 H. G. Wells Refinement of Humanity in National Observer 21 Apr. 582/1 page image H. G. Wells bibliography

    ‘But,’ said the medical man, ‘even if man in the future no longer need [sic] strength to fight against other men or beasts, he will still need a sufficient physique to resist disease.’ ‘That is the queer thing,’ said the Time Traveller; ‘there was no disease. Somewhen between now and then your sanitary science must have won the battle it is beginning now. Bacteria, or at least all disease causing bacteria, must have been exterminated. I can explain it in no other way.[’]

  • 1934 P. Nowlan Time Jumpers in Amazing Stories Feb. 111/2 page image Philip Francis Nowlan bibliography

    ‘Well, Ted, at least your machine goes somewhere! This looks like a deserted part of the Jersey coast to me.’ ‘You’ll find we’ve gone somewhen as well as somewhere,’ I replied.

  • 1941 ‘C. Saunders’ Elsewhen in Astounding Science Fiction Sept. 114/1 page image Robert A. Heinlein bibliography

    When he ‘landed,’ it was not in the world of the future he had visited twice before. He did not know where he was—on earth, apparently, somewhere and somewhen.

  • 1953 ‘A. Boucher’ Other Inauguration in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Mar. 7 page image Anthony Boucher bibliography

    Mei-Figner’s experiment with nuclear pile 1959. Nobody knows what became of M-F. Embarrassing discovery that power source remained chronostationary; poor M-F stranded somewhen with no return power.

  • 1961 ‘˜G. Whitley’™ All Laced Up in New Worlds Science Fiction Nov. 70 page image A. Bertram Chandler bibliography

    On Thursday you might admire a terrace house with something especially elegant decorating its balcony, and on Friday that same terrace house will exhibit a glassed-in balcony and that balcony will look as though it’s been there for years. And you’ll have the uneasy feeling that there’s something wrong somewhere, or somewhen, and then decide that your memory is playing tricks on you.

  • 1968 A. McCaffrey Dragonrider in Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact Jan. 150/2

    We went somewhere—somewhen, that is, for we are still here now.

  • 1973 R. A. Heinlein Time Enough For Love (1975) 374 Robert A. Heinlein

    If history says that a battle took place at a given location on a particular day, then I’ll be somewhere—”or somewhen—”far away, sitting in a tavern, drinking beer and pinching the barmaids.

  • 1978 A. B. Chandler Doggy in the Window in Amazing Science Fiction Nov. 31/1 page image A. Bertram Chandler bibliography

    Mayhew had fallen into (?), through (?) the... altar (?), plunging to... somewhere (?), somewhen (?). Clarisse, Mayhew’s wife and fellow psionicist, had followed him. [...] We had rescued them but, in the process, seemed to have dredged up the remote Past. Or had we dragged ourselves back in Time?

  • 2000 D. Eddings & L. Eddings Redemption of Althalus 542 David Eddings Leigh Eddings bibliography

    Everything in the world’s always moving, since the world’s part of the sky, and the sky moves all the time. When we talk about miles, what we're really talking about is hours—how long it takes to get from here to there. I think that might be why nobody can see Emmy’s House, since, even though it’s always here, Emmy can make it be here somewhen else.

  • 2014 R. Riggs Hollow City iii. 64 page image Ransom Riggs bibliography

    ‘See?’ Emma said, grinning. ‘We’re somewhen else!’ And just like that, we’d entered a loop—abandoned a mild morning in 1940 for a hot afternoon in some other, older year, though it was difficult to tell just how much older, here in the forest, away from the easily datable cues of civilization.

Research requirements

antedating 1894

Earliest cite

H. G. Wells, The Time Machine serialization

Research History
Ralf Brown submitted a cite from a 1987 reprint of Robert Heinlein's "Elsewhen"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1941 first appearance.
Imran Ghory submitted a 2000 cite from David and Leigh Eddings' "The Redemption of Althalus".
Mike Christie submitted a cite from a 1975 reprint of Robert Heinlein's 1973 "Time Enough For Love".
Katrina Campbell submitted a cite from a reprint of George Whitley's "All Laced Up"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1961 first magazine appearance.
Michael Dolbear submitted a cite from a 1970 reprint of Ann McCaffrey's "Dragonflight", which Mike Christie verified in the 1968 first publication.
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 1978 cite from A. Bertram Chandler.
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2014 cite from Ransom Riggs.

Last modified 2021-11-01 14:13:16
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.