Theme: Words coined in science fiction
verb tr.: To understand deeply and intuitively.
Coined by Robert A. Heinlein in his science-fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land. Earliest documented use: 1961.
In Stranger in a Strange Land, Heinlein describes grok as a Martian word meaning “to drink”. That’s the literal meaning; however, figuratively it means to understand something in a profound way. To grok something is to be one with it in a way that the observer and the observed become merged.
“Any first-time Apple user immediately groks the nature of the device.”
noun: A device for manipulating objects by remote control, for example, a remotely-operated arm.
After Waldo F. Jones, an inventor in a science-fiction story by Robert A. Heinlein
Modern applications of waldo as a remote manipulator are in surgery, space, and in working in hazardous conditions, such as those involving radiation.
“I stuck my hand back into the waldo … The remote arms peeled back the thin metal of the gondola.”
1. A time machine.
2. Something that is much bigger than it appears from the outside.
From TARDIS, a time machine in the British science-fiction TV series, Doctor Who.
In the Doctor Who television show, the title character, known simply as the Doctor, travels through time and space in TARDIS that looks like a police call box from the outside. It’s much bigger on the inside though, and includes a swimming pool, a library, and more. The name TARDIS is explained as an acronym for Time and Relative Dimension in Space.
4. triffid(TRIF-id, TRY-fid)
noun: An out-of-control plant that overruns everything around it. Also, anything that behaves in this manner.
“Ecologists reckon that triffid weeds, Monterey pines, and dozens of other invasive plants already extend over one-twelfth of South Africa.”
1. A creation that gets out of control and brings harm to its creator.
2. One who creates something that brings ruin to himself.
3. A monster having human appearance.
“The Talos-state is no longer a servant of society; it has been transformed into a Frankenstein that is about to move against his inventors.”