[Ads-l] Antedating of "Robot"

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Mon Mar 8 01:27:45 UTC 2021

robot (OED 1922, Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction 1922)

1920 Karel Capek  (title) R.U.R.: Rossum's Universal Robots.

NOTE:  It may be objected that this is from a Czech-language publication, and that Capek's robots were not made of metal, but these objections are not valid: the subtitle is clearly in English, and both OED and the Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction include a 1923 citation from Capek's play, in the same sense as the 1920 citation, in their respective entries for "robot."

Fred Shapiro

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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