Full record for BEM n.

Definition abbreviation for bug-eyed monster
OED requirements antedating 1940
Earliest cite in Thilling Wonder Stories
Comment According to an entry in Richard Eney's Fancyclopedia II, submitted by Leah Zeldes, this was used in the August 1939 issue of Thrilling Wonder Stories by Martin Alger. Jeff Prucher located this letter; it contains a longer abbreviation that includes "BEM": SFTPOBEMOTCOSFP which stands for Society For The Prevention Of Bug-Eyed Monsters On The Covers Of Science-Fiction Publications.

Frank Robinson submitted a cite from the January 1941 Thrilling Wonder Stories by Martin Alger. David Tate located and Mike Christie confirmed a 1949 cite from Fredric Brown's "All Good Bems". Jeff Prucher submitted a October 1940 cite from a letter by Parmer Farrell in Thrilling Wonder Stories. It seems likely that this is the first independent use of the abbreviation outside "SFTPOBEMOTCOSFP" (see above).

Last modified 31 July, 2019

Citations for BEM n.

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1949 F. Brown in Thrilling Wonder Stories Apr. 125/2 B-bems??. You mean you are b-bug-eyed monsters? That's what Elmo means by Bems, but you aren't.
1949 F. Brown in Thrilling Wonder Stories Apr. 128/2 They were really Bems, by the way. Two heads apiece, five limbs–and they could use all five as either arms or legs–six eyes apiece, three to a head, on long stems. You should have seen them.