Galaxies far, far away. Extraterrestrial lifeforms. Extraordinary futures for humanity, brimming with impossible-seeming technologies, from space travel to artificial intelligence. These are the dazzling, dizzying, reality-defying worlds of science fiction.
But, for as much as science fiction stretches our imagination, the genre is more down-to-earth than you may realize. Many of its writers created or helped popularize originally far-out words that have become part of our daily vocabulary—words based on ideas that are much older than you may think.
What’s more, many of the ideas these sci-fi terms name have since become science fact! Well, we’re still working on that whole time travel thing, but that term is a great place for us to start in our roundup of 10 words we owe to the science fiction universe.