Sally M (sallymn) wrote in 1word1day,
Sally M

Sunday Word: Handwavium

handwavium [hand-wav-eeum]
(informal, fiction) Any hypothetical but unobtainable material with desirable engineering properties


It’s a great movie, as long as you’re willing to swallow all of the slick handwavium that injects things like human-computer “brainjack” interfaces and human bodies functioning as (spoiler alert!) high-output electric generators into a generically futuristic science-fiction setting. (Nathan Kimpet, Seven Films That (Mostly) Get IT and Computers Right, GoCertify, November 2019)

Join us for an improv-technology panel – where the audience asks us to design a SFnal device, and the panelists have 5 minutes to come up with our best 'non-handwavium' answers. (Cory Doctorow, Come see me at the Edinburgh Festival and/or Worldcon!, boingboing, August 2018)

It's not often I read urban fantasy that tackles "big" questions. Generally there's some handwavium about magic or viruses or secrets and tah dah we have werewolves on we go. (The Devil You Know - reviews, LibraryThing)

And just for fun... this T-shirt

(click to enlarge)


hand waving and the chemical element suffix -ium. (Your Dictionary)

Tags: h, informal, noun

  • Wednesday Word: Frustum

    Frustum - noun. Another lovely and unique word from the math and science world. Simply put, a frustum (plural frusta or frustums is a cone or…

  • Sunday Word: Voluptuary

    voluptuary [v uh- luhp-choo-er-ee] noun: a person whose life is devoted to luxury and sensual pleasures adjective: of, relating to, or…

  • Wednesday Word: Alla prima

    Alla prima - noun. If you want to sound sophisticated at an artsy gathering, you may want to brush up on (no pun intended) alla prima works such…

  • Post a new comment


    Comments allowed for members only

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded