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

Sunday Word: Handwavium

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

Examples:

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)

Origin:

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


Tags: h, informal, noun
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