Full record for space v.

Definition to put someone out into space without a spacesuit as a method of execution
OED requirements antedating 1952
Earliest cite R. Heinlein 'The Rolling Stones'
Comment Mike Christie found a citation in a 1978 reprint of Robert Heinlein's "The Rolling Stones"; Andrew Dalke confirmed this cite in the 1952 original and provided another cite from the same source.

Dan Tilque submitted a 1990 cite from Lois McMaster Bujold's "The Vor Game". Edward Bornstein submitted a cite from a reprint of Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle's 1974 "The Mote in God's Eye". Katrina Campbell submitted a cite from a 1991 reprint of Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Moon's 1990 "Sassinak". Dan Tilque submitted a cite from a reprint of Joe Haldeman's "The Forever War"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1975 original magazine appearance. Malcolm Farmer submitted a cite from a 2002 reprint of David Weber's 2001 "Ms. Midshipwoman Harrington."

Last modified 31 July, 2019

Citations for space v.

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1947 B. I. Kahn Command in Astounding Sci. Fiction Jan. 121/2 He well remembered, when he was a junior officer, how the sight of a well dressed, impeccably neat commanding officer, no matter how long they had been spacing, maintained the enthusiasm, confidence and morale of the officers and men.
1952 R. A. Heinlein Rolling Stones 49 ‘Grandpa?how would you like to be spaced?’‘No future in it. Thin stuff, vacuum. Low vitamin content.’
1952 R. A. Heinlein Rolling Stones 244 Sound effect of blow with blunt instrument, groan, and the unmistakable cycling of an air lock–Castor: ‘Sorry, folks. My assistant has just spaced Mr. Rudolf.’
1956 R. A. Heinlein Time for Stars 44 They know we want to space. If they don't let us do this, we'll do it any way we can. If we joined your corps, we might come home on leave–but not often. If we emigrate, we might as well be dead; very few emigrants make enough to afford a trip back to Earth, not while their parents are still alive, at least.
1972 ‘J. Tiptree’ Milk of Paradise in H. Ellison Again, Dangerous Visions 748 His dear old chum-scout Timor's son, saved from the aliens. Your father and mine spaced together–you'll get all that when you're back.
1974 L. Niven & J. Pournelle Mote in God's Eye 485 ‘Curse. And how many Mediator pups when they returned?’‘I had four sisters.’‘Curse!’ Mediators identified with Masters. They held the usual Master emotions about children. Though sterile from an early age, Ivan was not immune to those emotions; but he knew. The children should have been spaced.
1975 Analog Sci. Fiction/Sci. Fact Jan. 77 Besides, they'd just space me for desertion. So why bother.
1982 C. Yoke From Alienation to Personal Triumph in T. Staicar Feminine Eye (1982) ix. 116 He convinces Siamang to abandon Mythili on the planet's surface rather than ‘spacing’ her on the way home.
1989 Omni Aug. 4/2 Wage-earning mothers, assured of the health of the children they already have, also welcome the idea of spacing pregnancies at least two years apart.
1990 A. McCaffrey & E. Moon Sassinak (1991) 242 In the end they'd won–though they'd had to space most of the trader's original crew–and she had brought the ship in whole.
1990 L. M. Bujold Vor Game 171 Oser?studied Miles in silence for a full minute. At last one hand fell open, to point at the guard, who straightened attentively. ‘Space them,’ Oser ordered.
1992 V. Vinge Fire upon Deep i. vii. 44, I was lucky they didn't space me.
2001 D. Weber Ms. Midshipwoman Harrington in D. Weber & E. Flint Changer of Worlds (2002) 86 She remembered all the times she and Academy friends had teased one another, humorously threatening to ‘space’ someone for some real or imagined misdeed, and it was no longer funny.