antedates for 'alien' to mean "intelligent extraterrestrial creatures"

Fred Shapiro fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Mon Apr 10 21:26:06 UTC 2006

On Mon, 10 Apr 2006, Geoffrey Nunberg wrote:

> Noun use:
> The Weapon Makers A. E. van Vogt. Exciting story of a man who dared
> pit himself against both the greatest powers of his universe and the
> aliens of outer space. NY Times Display Ad, 3/2/52
> Adjectival use:
> In view of our sad inability even to unite mankind, it seems
> extremely unlikely that man in his present state would succeed in
> cooperating with alien races on other planets." Man's Trip to Other
> Planets in Few Decades Predicted, LA Times, 10/11/48

The OED science fiction citation web site indicates that they have noun
cites from 1820 and 1935, and adjectival cites back to 1926.

Fred Shapiro

Fred R. Shapiro                             Editor
Associate Librarian for Collections and     YALE BOOK OF QUOTATIONS
   Access and Lecturer in Legal Research     Yale University Press,
Yale Law School                             forthcoming
e-mail: fred.shapiro at     

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