spaceman n.

a person who travels in space, an astronaut; (also) a person or being from another planet

  • 1932 R. Z. Gallun Revolt of Star Men in Wonder Stories Quarterly Winter 238/1 page image Raymond Z. Gallun bibliography

    I too was dumbfounded when, some five Earth years ago, I first ran across the Space Men out there. (He waved his hand toward the west away from the sun.) But after I had studied them for a time, I knew that there was really nothing very remarkable or impossible about the nature of their living. It is actually quite similar to our own.

  • 1932 R. Z. Gallun Revolt of Star Men in Wonder Stories Quarterly Winter 238/1 page image Raymond Z. Gallun bibliography

    Why couldn’t these polar fish survive the cold of space? Simply because the protoplasm of their tissues, based on water, would instantly become solid, and in solids as I have said, there can be no real life except perhaps in the form of suspended animation. The Space Men face no such danger, for first, their bodies are protected by this heat-resisting outer covering; and second, the liquid in their veins freezes only at absolute zero, and since it is radio-active—producing heat from within itself—it cannot get that cold even in the void. And that, friends, is the whole stupendous simple explanation.

  • 1933 C. L. Moore Shambleau in Weird Tales Nov. 536/1 C. L. Moore

    She pattered along a pace or two behind him, making no effort to keep up with his long strides, and though Smith—as men know from Venus to Jupiter’s moons—walks as softly as a cat, even in spaceman’s boots, the girl at his heels slid like a shadow over the rough pavement, making so little sound that even the lightness of his footsteps was loud in the empty street.

  • 1937 E. E. Smith Galactic Patrol in Astounding Stories Nov. 145/1 Edward E. Smith

    Helmuth knew now that it was not superstition that made spacemen shun Arisia.

  • 1958 R. Silverberg Invaders from Earth (1987) v. 53 Robert Silverberg

    At the moment the only human beings on Ganymede are a couple of dozen Corporation spacemen and scientists… Where’s the human interest in that?

  • 1976 C. Holland Floating Worlds (1977) 20 Cecelia Holland bibliography

    These spacemen are crazy.

  • 1981 F. Vrazo Tigers in Orbit in O. Davis Omni Book of Space 341

    A ‘spaceman’ wanders in from stage right.

  • 1990 B. Shaw Orbitsville Departure 103 Bob Shaw

    The spaceman, helmet in one hand, was shading his eyes from the sun’s vertical rays with his free hand while he scanned the horizon.


Research requirements

antedating 1932

Earliest cite

Raymond Z. Gallun, Revolt of the Star Men

Research History
Daniel Frankham submitted a cite from a 1982 reprint of C.L. Moore's "Shambleau"; Alistair Durie verified this in its 1933 original appearance in "Weird Tales".
Jeff Prucher submitted a 1940 cite from Eando Binder's "Gem of Life".
Dan Tilque submitted a cite from a reprint of E.E. Smith's "Galactic Patrol"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1937 first magazine appearance.
Fred Galvin submitted cites for "space man" from Raymond Z. Gallun's "The Revolt of the Star Men (1931)

Earliest cite in the OED: 1942.

Last modified 2021-01-05 19:51:31
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.