Full record for morph v.

Definition to change shape or form, in the manner of a shapeshifter
OED requirements antedating 1991
Earliest cite Terminator 2: The Book of the Film
Comment Imran Ghory submitted a 1995 cite from Doug Naylor's "Last Human". Malcolm Farmer submitted a cite from a 1999 reprint of Ian McDonald's 1998 "The Days of Solomon Gursky". Douglas Winston submitted a cite from a 1995 reprint of A.A. Attanasio's "Solis"; we would like to check the 1994 first edition. Rachel Flynn submitted a 2001 cite from K.A. Applegate's "Animorphs: The Sacrifice". Malcolm Farmer submitted a cite from a reprint of Iain Banks' "Look To Windward"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 2000 first edition. Malcolm Farmer submitted a 2001 cite from Julian May's "Sagittarius Whorl". Mark Bourne submitted a 1993 cite from his story "Being Human". Simon West submitted a 1991 cite from James Cameron and William Wisher's "Terminator 2: Judgement Day, The Book of the Film, An Illustrated Screenplay": we would like to verify the cite from the 1990 US first printing.

A number of people have suggested the animated modelling clay children's character "Morph" as a possible source of cites; his adventures were broadcast by the BBC from 1978 onwards, so we would be interested to see any pre-1991 cites from programme listings, books etc. that use "morph" to describe his shapechanging.

Damien Broderick suggested the novels "The Morphodite"(1981) and its sequel "Preserver" (1985) by M.A. Foster as possible sources for cites; we would like to hear from anyone with a copy of these books.

Last modified 6 July, 2008

Citations for morph v.

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1990 J. Cameron & W. Wisher Terminator 2: Judgement Day 239 It's changing, morphing, transforming into anything and everything it's ever been so rapidly the eye can barely follow.
1993 M. Bourne Being Human in Asimov's Sci. Fiction Dec. 94 When I opened my eyes, he had opened a big, brown pair of his own near the holoprint on the wall (a portrait of me before my morph. Red hair, toothy smile, astride my father's shoulders. My father never morphed, and never understood my choice of vocations.)
1993 M. Bourne Being Human in Asimov's Sci. Fiction Dec. 100 We're going to morph together into a single bioform and move into one of the hull casings.
1994 Interzone Nov. 38/1 It must be symptomatic that such a remarkably indifferent movie as The Mask can morph itself into a money farm out of all proportion to its modest actual merits.
1994 A. A. Attanasio Solis (1995) 93 Mei turns from the busy cityscape and zips open the sleeve seal of her flightsuit to reveal a swatch of nutriment patches. ‘I've been on these since my last assignment. They're good for a couple more sleep cycles.’‘Your alimentary tract doesn't mind the neglect?’ he asks. ‘I mean, you're not morphed for your work, so your bowels must need some input.’
1994 B. Sterling Heavy Weather 154 The critic's head was morphing like a barber pole on the slender pillar of her tanned and elegant neck.
1994 I. McDonald Necroville (1995) 88 Banco Nogidaches's corporate smiling Angeleño with halo of orbiting dollar bills spasmed and morphed into a carmine leer of La Miranda.
1995 D. Naylor Last Human 170 A symbiotic shape-shifter. Intuitively, they understand your needs and morph into the shape that most pleases you.
1996 SFX May 17/2 The actress who played Sil as a young girl had to do a lot of stuff where you see her face morphing into the creature's face.
1997 B. Hambly Star Wars: Planet of Twilight (1998) 237 Pain stabbed through her‥. The soft-bodied thing that had fallen on her morphed out grabbing legs, hooks that sank into her flesh as she cried out and tried to pull it loose.
1998 I. McDonald Days of Solomon Gursky in G. Dozois Mammoth Bk. Best New Sci. Fiction, 12th Coll. (1999) 241 The next morning they morphed the pod into an ash-runner and drove through the cindered forest.
2000 I. Banks Look to Windward 46 It wobbled very slightly as he stepped aboard. Seats morphed and rearranged themselves for the two non-human shapes.
2001 K. A. Applegate Animorphs: Sacrifice 19 ‘I personally have never known a falcon to throw up,’ I said. ‘But you might want to demorph just in case.’‘Yeah,’ Rachel said. ‘And then morph something big and mean. Something that will help us fight our way out.’
2001 K. A. Applegate Animorphs: Sacrifice 5 For purposes of combat, our tails are equipped with a deadly sharp blade. But it is our ability to morph, to transform into other creatures, that makes our species the envy of the galaxy.