Transhuman Space (THS) has its own terminology, and some of these terms may be unfamiliar to the reader. Some of the sourcebooks have a glossary section, but one sometimes encounters a term that is defined in another title. Currently I do not have time to collate a THS dictionary.
This post was inspired by the observation that THS lacked a specific term for a cybershell or other device that was controlled remotely, rather than hosting an infomorph. (The term “drone” has become rather ambiguous.)
I have thrown in some other terms that may be useful, some of my own invention, some homages to other sci-fi or borrowed from cyberpunk.
This page does not generally contain terms already included in the glossaries in THS GURPS books.
I will be updating this page as new ideas occur, so check the version number occasionally.
3D5S : “Three dimensional, Five senses.” Taken from a nomenclature used to describe interface systems. VVI offer 3D5S experience. Wearables are usually 3D2S. VR suits usually 3D3S. Conventional television screens are 2D2S. Slinkies are sometimes described as 3D6S since they also render emotional impressions.
Ares : Pertaining to Mars. Study of the planet is Areology.
Armbot : A robotic system that resembles a mechanical arm. Often such systems are static and installed in workshops or factories.
Arpeevi : A remotely piloted vehicle or remotely operated cybershell or bioshell. Derived from “RPV”.
Blank : Someone attempting to live outside official records or databases.
Boarding Torpedo : A boarding pod or Microgravity Assault Vehicle (MAV), specifically one that rams a vessel to create its own entrance. High acceleration flight and impact stresses mean such vessels invariably only carry military cybershells.
Bookscreen : Alternate name for a “book” aka “book computer”. (THS Broken Dreams p.130)
Breaching Pod : Alternate name for a boarding pod or Microgravity Assault Vehicle (MAV), specifically one that creates its own entrance.
C/Si, C/Si culture : pronounced “see-sy” or “see-sai”. Irrelevantly pronounced “sea-si”. A descriptor for the integration of biological (carbon or “C”) and electronic (silicon or “Si”) life or systems working together or in the same environment. The older term “C/Fe” (see-fee) may still be encountered.
Choom/Choombah/Choombatta: (Cyberpunk slang) Chum, friend, buddy, family member. Often used ironically.
“Choom” is also Australian and New Zealand slang for an Englishman. Both uses have spread through the Pacific Rim Alliance and neighbouring areas, to the annoyance of some English visitors.
Commonwealth, The : (aka “The/British Commonwealth of Nations” or “British Commonwealth”) A voluntary association of states, many (but not all) former territories or colonies of the British Empire.
The Commonwealth is primarily a means of cultural exchange. In recent years Canada has taken an increasingly central role in Commonwealth administration.
Membership includes nations that are part of the Caribbean Union, European Union, Indian Bloc, Pacific Rim Alliance, Southern African Coalition and a number of unaligned nations including Canada, Gabon, Belize and Pakistan.
The Commonwealth has often proved a useful intermediary between nations and alliances. It’s influence is resented by some factions in Washington.
Comp-panion : An alternate term for an AI companion, as found in a VII or WVI.
Corpsicle : Someone in stasis or suspended animation.
Counterstriker : An active defence system against missiles.
Courier : See “Packet”.
Cytherea : Pertaining to Venus. Study of the planet is Cytherology.
Demeter : Pertaining to Ceres. Study of the dwarf planet is Demeterology.
Dimestick/Dimedart : A 15mm micromissile. Term chiefly used in the USA or by Americans.
Dirty Belter : Someone from the outer edge of the asteroid belt, particularly from those settlements that use D-T fusion reactors for power (hence “dirty” as opposed to “clean” He3). Term may or may not be derogatory, depending on context and speaker.
Duster : (slang) Martian.
Dynamite : (slang) Term used for any explosive device using a length of lit fuse. Also used for explosive devices with a friction igniter initiated by a pull-cord or loop. Such ignition systems are used on many of the homemade grenades and pipe-bombs used by American insurgents.
Edge, The : Metaphorical edge of society, outskirts. Has a meaning similar to Fringe.
Edgerunners : An alternate, more glamourous, self-promoting term for fringers or marginals.
Eight-Block/8-Blok : A unit of PX-8 explosive. Due to the historical influence of the US Military, most manufacturers produce PX-8 in 450 gram units.
El/El-Train : Elevated railway. Public transport system used in many cities.
Eris : Pertaining to Eris. Study of the dwarf planet is Eridology.
Eunice : (slang) Uranus, or pertaining to Uranus. Sometimes preferred to the correct name by the prudish.
Evakuitorie : Facility previously referred to by vague or inaccurate euphemisms such as toilet, lavatory, refresher, personals, latrine, head, can, restroom, benjo, powder room, washroom, bathroom, comfort station, etc.
The term “evakuitorie” has been promoted to reduce confusion by those with different languages or cultures.
Fifteeny : A 15mm micromissile. More generally, any 15mm munition such as rounds for AMR or recoilless guns.
Firedart : Variant of 15mm micromissile. Used for sabotage and destruction of materials. The firedart has a thermite warhead that burns with intense heat. It also has an incendiary tracer element that will ignite inflammable gases or vapours the dart passes through. Firedarts can be identified by their magnesium outer casing and light-red body colour with a blue and light-blue ring.
First Wave : Toffler's First Wave of Civilization is the settled agricultural society which prevailed in much of the world since the Neolithic Period, replacing hunter-gatherer cultures. Some parts of the Earth in 2100 are still predominantly First Wave.
Fission : (slang) Bad, disastrous, particularly if involving a break-up or destruction in some form or context.
Flats : (slang) 2D videos, usually vintage movies and shows from the 20th and early 21st century. eg: “They found him watching an old Bruce Lee flat”.
FLIP : Free-Living Intelligent/Independent Program.
FOBO : Fear of Being Off-line.
Fringe: The social edge of society.
Fringers : occupants or residents of the Fringe.
Gaia : Pertaining to Earth. Study of the planet is Geology.
Ghost : In Transhuman Space. a ghost is a mind emulation program of an uploaded (human) personality.
In Ghost in the Shell, the word “ghost” is slang for an individual's consciousness or “soul”, that which differentiates a human being from a biological robot .
Gonk : (slang) n. An idiot, dummy, “wally” or fool. Originally British slang, but widely used. Term is also used for decoy or dummy ammunition.
v. to fool, to deceive.
Greyhound : See “Packet”.
Hades : Pertaining to Pluto. Study of the dwarf planet is Hadeology.
Hard-Xoxnap : A xoxnapping made by brainpeeling or other destructive means to create a ghost. Fatal for the victim.
Hermes : Pertaining to Mercury. Study of the planet is Hermology.
Hive Bomb/Hive Warhead : Warhead containing a swarm of microbots or small robotic systems. Also known as “swarm” or “cyber-cargo” rounds.
Hive Bot : Robot with the primary or additional function of hosting, and possibly controlling, microbot swarms. Some military models take the form of compact, heavily armoured vehicles or walkers.
Inner : (slang) Of, or from, the inner worlds, specifically Mars, Luna or Earth.
Input : (slang) A sexual partner, with the implication that they are the submissive or penetrated element. See Output.
Jack : (slang) v. a sex act, to have sex, or to have sex with. May be used as an interjection or to express displeasure or dismissal: “Jack hir and hir stupid rule!” See Input and Output.
Jenny/Joey : (slang) Jupiter, or pertaining to Jupiter.
Joat : A generalist in a particular field of study or knowledge. (Etymology: derived from “
Jack of All Trades”)
Jovic : Lifeform of a Jovoid planet (hypothetical in THS).
Joytoy : (slang) A sexworker. Derived terms include “Joyboy” and “Joygirl”. May also be used for a sexbot, bioroid used for sexual purposes or for an inanimate sex-toy.
Knob-Twiddler : A job that requires the worker to be physically present at the place of work. A worker performing such a task.
Kronos : Pertaining to Saturn. Study of the planet is Kronology.
Lander : A space vessel used for moving between surface and orbit. Generally this term is reserved for craft that do not make major use of aerodynamic lift and control surfaces. Landers are often encountered on moons and planetoids with little or no atmosphere, but may be used for transit through atmospheres.
Lev : (slang) Maglev train system. Often incorrectly used for any monorail or elevated railway.
Limpet Pod : Alternate name for a boarding pod or Microgravity Assault Vehicle (MAV), specifically one that attaches to the hull of a vessel rather than ramming.
Loony/Lunie : (slang) Luna, or pertaining to the Moon.
Louie : (slang) Luna, or pertaining to the Moon.
Marginals : A term often with a similar meaning to “fringers”. In some societies marginal has more of an implication of criminality or deviancy.
Mayfly : One-use orbit-to-surface cargo transport spacecraft. Link
Meme Bomb : A constructed rumour. A “mind grenade” (Toxic Memes 3e p.61).
Mercy~ (Mercy-Boy/-Girl/-Men) : A mercenary or gun-for-hire.
Micky/Mickey/Mickie : (slang) Martian, or pertaining to Mars
Microbot : In common usage “microbot” is used as a generic term for any small robot or cybershell. In more technical context the term is specific for a robot with characteristic dimensions of less than one millimetre (0.1 cm). “Microbots” in a cyberswarm may in actuality be microbots, millibots or smallbots.
The conventions used are:
Nanobot/nanorobot: characteristic dimensions of one micrometer or less (0.0001 cm). May also be used for larger robots designed to handle materials of 1 to 1,000 nm dimensions.
Microbot/microrobot: size between one micrometre and one millimetre (0.1 cm).
Millibot/millirobot: between one millimetre and 1 centimetre (1 cm) in size.
Minibot/minirobot: between 1 cm and 1o centimetre (10 cm) in size.
Smallbot/small robot: between 10 cm and 1 metre (100 cm) in size.
Minnie/Hot Minnie : (slang) Mercury, or pertaining to Mercury.
Nester or Nessie : Colonist of the asteroid belt. “Dirty nester” is an alternative to “dirty belter” (qv).
Nina : (slang) Neptune, or pertaining to Neptune.
Output : (slang) The dominant or penetrating element of a sexual encounter. See Input.
Packet : High-speed space vessel used for the transportation of small, valuable or high-priority cargo. Also known as a “courier” or “greyhound”. Link
Palmscreen : Alternate name for a hand-held. (THS Broken Dreams 3e p.130)
Penunimate : The time before the final one percent of an operation completes. May be several hours in duration.
Plate-Scraper : A job that requires the worker to be physically present at the place of work. A worker performing such a task.
Poke : v. To inject. To take a drug, not necessarily by injection. n. A dose of a drug.
Poseidon : Pertaining to Neptune. Study of the planet is Poseidology.
PX-8 : Plastic explosive made with octonitrocubane. Often referred to by the nickname “C8” or “Charlie-eight”.
Retread : a (usually) vintage media created as a new version with different (usually deceased or long-retired) artists, using their voices, images or even eidolons (THS Deep Beyond 3e p.120). Example include “Dirty Harry” staring Clark Gable, “Demolition Man” with John Wayne and Jackie Chan, Elvis singing “Wonder Wall”, or The Mommas and the Papas singing “Cruel Summer”. Some retreads are created on demand by a computer system. Some such creations have seen widespread success and circulation.
Rick’s Law : (aka “Robinson’s First Law of Space Warfare”) “An object impacting at 3 km/sec delivers kinetic energy equal to its mass in TNT” Link.
Roblock : (slang) Malfunction caused by conflicting instructions or data. Derived from “robot-blocked”.
Sally/Sammy : (slang) Saturn, or pertaining to Saturn.
Scraps : A term with a similar meaning to “fringers”. Scraps are seen as the discards of society, mainly living by scavenging.
Screw-turner : A job that requires the worker to be physically present at the place of work. A worker performing such a task.
Second Wave : The Second Wave of Civilizations was the Industrial Revolution or Industrial Age. Alvin Toffler defined this as beginning at the end of the Seventeenth Century until 1955.
Selene : Pertaining to Moon. Study of the satellite is Selenology.
SEV : Space Exploitation Vessel. Military space vessel of similar size to an SCV or SDV. Has a large number of multi-role cargo holds. By varying the contents of these holds the SEV can serve as an SCV, SDV or a variety of other missions. As of 1/1/2100 no SEVs are officially in service. In certain circles it is believed that over half a dozen are already operating in the outer system, serving with several space forces.
Soft-Xoxnap : Xoxnapping using non-destructive methods. The usual form of xoxnapping.
Teleshell : A cybershell (or bioshell) that is operated remotely.
Terry : (slang) Terran, or pertaining to Earth.
Third Wave : The Information Age, defined by Alvin Toffler as beginning around 1955. Since the Second Wave depends on territory gain, market expansion and other finite resources, transition into a post-industrial society is inevitable. This has resulted in various changes in trade, work and social structures.
Toffler, Alvin : Author of “The Third Wave” (1980).
Twen-Cen : “Twentieth Century”. Pertaining to old/ Second Wave, often obsolete thoughts, practices, values or memes.
Twisted : To be under the influence of a drug. To be not one’s normal self.
Uranus : Pertaining to Uranus. Study of the planet is Uranology.
Vinny : (slang) Venus, or pertaining to Venus.
VTSweaty : Sweatshop where unskilled labour assemble items guided by V-tags.
A worker that assembles items guided by V-tags (“Freehand”).
Usually associated with the developing world, they are disturbingly common in parts of the USA.
Whaup : An explosive or chemical bomb that externally resembles a golf-ball. Usually activated by the act of driving the ball. Link
WVI : Wearable virtual interface. More commonly just called a “wearable”. Usually 3D2S interface.
Zeus : Pertaining to Jupiter. Study of the planet is Zenology.