Full record for spacer n.

Definition =spaceman
OED requirements antedating 1940
Comment Imran Ghory submitted a cite from a reprint of Isaac Asimov's "Foundation"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1944 first magazine publication. Katrina Campbell submitted a cite from a 1973 reprint of Isaac Asimov's "The Callistan Menace", which Alistair Durie verified in the first publication (Astonishing Stories, April 1940)

Earliest cite in the OED: 1955.

Last modified 6 July, 2008

Citations for spacer n.

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1940 I. Asimov Callistan Menace in Astonishing Stories Apr. 71/2 I've read books about him. He was the greatest spacer there ever was.
1941 ‘S. D. Gottesman’ Dead Center in Stirring Science Stories Feb. 20/1 About them rose the gigantic ribs of the super-spacer that Angel Maclure had undertaken to build.
1942 C. Cartmill Some Day We'll Find You in Astounding Sci. Fiction Dec. 41/1 Why do you think Martians are barred from approaching spacers nearer than five hundred yards? You know they can copy anything once they nose around with their mind tendrils. Let one Martian into the control room of a spacer, and Trading Post's monopoly is broken.
1942 C. M. Kornbluth Crisis! in His Share of Glory (1997) 410 The first thing after the ultimatum he heard had called in all spacers except those related to navigation—fueling stations, etc. Venus retaliated in kind, and furthermore towed out the gigantic battle islands used to fuel fighting ships.
1944 I. Asimov in Astounding Sci. Fiction Aug. 9/1 My grandfather was a blood-poor son-of-a-spacer who died heaving coal at starving wages before the Foundation.
1946 G. O. Smith in Astounding Sci. Fiction Apr. 55/2 The sky was dark with their light spacers, landing, and the air was roiled mechanically with the landing craft that dropped from the spacecraft in never ending streams.
1947 J. Woods in Astounding Sci. Fiction Dec. 158/1 The illustrations continue to improve. Now if we could just eliminate that riveted spacer on the title page!
1951 F. Brown Something Green in S. Moskowitz Exploring Other Worlds (1969) 138 Only one spacer had landed here before McGarry's, as far as the records showed, and it had never taken off again. He was looking for it now; he'd been looking for it systematically for the five years he'd been here. If he found it, it might—just barely might—contain, intact, some of the electronic tubes which had been smashed in the crash landing of his own spacer.
1951 F. Brown Something Green in S. Moskowitz Exploring Other Worlds (1969) 142 A tiny black speck high in the violet. Moving. A spacer. It had to be a spacer. There were no birds on Kruger III. And birds didn't trail jets of fire behind them—
1957 P. J. Farmer Green Odyssey (1976) 154, I would like to know if you can pilot that spacer and if it's in operating condition.
1960 R. A. Heinlein All You Zombies— in E. S. Rabkin Sci. Fiction: Historical Anthol. (1983) 405 Same way today. A.N.G.E.L.S. marry spacers.
1972 I. Asimov Callistan Menace in Early Asimov 23 He was the greatest spacer there ever was.
1981 C. J. Cherryh Pride of Chanur (1991) vii. 105 The papers came back, plasticized and permanent with Tully's face staring back from them, species handwritten, classification general spacer, sex male.
1986 D. Brin & G. Benford Heart of Comet 90 Probably too late for me, though. I'll have to go live on Earth to have my babies, and no male spacer will give up the Black to stay dirtside with me.
1987 D. Brin Uplift War 306 Sam Tenance was a starship pilot who stopped at Garth every five years or so, one of Megan's three spacer husbands.
1988 C. J. Cherryh Cyteen 4 Emigration of scientists and engineers from Sol System was feeding the spacer cultures with the best and brightest and robbing Earth of its best talent.
1990 J. Tiptree, Jr. Color of Neanderthal Eyes 34 ‘And I think that will end the infection’, I tell him, putting away the universal antibiotic the spacers give us.
1992 P. David Imzadi iv. 28 You can take the man out of space, but you can't take the spacer out of the man, eh?
1992 V. Vinge Fire upon Deep i. xv. 113 You really were a Slow Zone spacer—probably two or three spacers, since none of the corpses were complete.
1992 L. A. Graf Ice Trap i.7 Better than a dozen people dressed in generic spacers' civvies were in attendance.
1993 A. C. Clarke Hammer of God 13 Above all, it was good to be so close to the ocean, for which all spacers had a deep-seated empathy.
1999 J. L. Chalker Priam's Lens ii. 17 Sharing birth years was an old sport among spacers, although not between them and the groundhogs.
2001 Locus June 35/3 An entertaining old-fashioned adventure full of familiar elements (obsessed scientists, jealous academics, over-eager military, independent spacers).
2006 Analog June 105/2 Helmut could have been in any of a dozen spacer dives in Valhalla City, any of hundreds around the solar system.
2006 Apex Science Fiction & Horror Digest Summer 32 The earliest scans were on the spacer Chickmanga bound for a station in Jupiter orbit.
2008 Asimov's Sci. Fiction Apr. 166 The old spacer's bar on Longbow Station is the only bar there that doesn't have a name.
2008 Asimov's Sci. Fiction Apr. 166 To get in, you need one of two special chips. The first is hand-held‥.The second is built into your ID. You get that one if you're a legitimate spacer, operating or working for a business that requires a pilot's license.
2009 Fantasy & Sci. Fiction Apr. 220 Slowly, he tilted his head in a spacer's negative.