Trivia

Hard

Now A Sci-Fi Staple, The Term “Earthling” Originally Referred To?

Burrowing Snakes
Yams
Earth Worms
Farmers
A wood-cut carving depicting a medieval farmer plowing a field.
Public Domain/Wikimedia

Answer: Farmers

Read the word “Earthling” and you most likely think of sci-fi movies and alien beings talking about their domination of the Earthlings or similar matters. Long before the term was bandied about in B-movies, however, it was an Old English word.

In Old English, the terms yrþling, ierþling, and eorþling meant “one of the Earth” literally, but ploughman or farmer in daily use. The term wasn’t used in the sense that Earthlings were inhabitants of the Earth until the late 16th century, and even then, it was in a religious context—as in we humans did not inhabit the celestial sphere, but the earthly one, and therefore were earthlings.

It wasn’t until around four centuries later that the term was applied to the inhabitants of Earth. One of the founding fathers of modern sci-fi, Robert A. Heinlein, put the term on the sci-fi map in his 1949 novel Red Planet. Its use grew from there until by the 1960s, everyone understood that “Earthling” was the term an alien race would use to refer to us.

The term “Earthling” doesn’t have a monopoly on the concept in sci-fi, however, as some sci-fi franchises such as Star Trek and Doctor Who have made an earnest effort to popularize other terms like “Terran” and “Tellurian”, respectively, to refer to humans.

Trivia

Hard

Which Video Game Maker Issued Gaming Gloves In Response To A Lawsuit?

Trivia

Hard

In 1999, The UN Proposed Taxing What Computer-Related Thing?

Trivia

Very Hard

In 2013 Motorola Revealed An Unconventional Authentication System Built Around A?

Trivia

Hard

The Hubble Telescope Runs Off Which Of These CPUs?

Trivia

Hard

The Name Of Japanese Crime Syndicates, the Yakuza, is derived from?

Trivia

Easy

Which Computer Keyboard Key Is An Archaic Reference To Its Original Mechanical Function?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Iconic Video Games Originally Ran On HyperCard?

Trivia

Very Hard

The Only Bird Species Known To Prey On Humans Is The?

Trivia

Hard

Highlighting Missing Children On Milk Cartons Gained Traction After The Abduction Of Two?

Trivia

Hard

In Back To The Future, The Time Machine Was Originally Slated To Be A?