a person who illegally removes organs from people or corpses and sells them to use for transplantation
Associated chiefly with Larry Niven.
[< organ + bootlegger]
If the odds broke right, if the right people came down with the right diseases at the right time, the organlegger might save more lives than he had taken.
Jigsaw Man in H. Ellison Dangerous Visions 220
For instant replacement of your ruined digestive system, for a young healthy heart, for a whole liver when you'd ruined yours with alcohol—you had to go to an organlegger.
in Galaxy Jan. 142/1
You blew a hole in her head and sold her corpse to the organleggers and used the money to come to the Moon.
Wetware in R. Rucker Live Robots (1994) 185
Owen lay dead in the bloody snow, his noble body gashed and punctured in many places, and soaked in his own gore. And that was how the organleggers found him. In Mistport there was always a thriving business in spare parts for transplant surgery, in those long ago days.
Deathstalker Return vii. 404
Research HistoryBrian Ameringen suggested and Mike Christie located a cite from a 1969 reprint of Larry Niven's "The Jigsaw Man"; Suzanne Saunders verified the cite in the original 1967 publication in "Dangerous Visions". We suspect this is the first use, and would like to identify later usages by authors other than Niven.
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2004 cite from Simon Green.
Last modified 2021-11-18 16:51:01
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.