Klaatu barada nikto

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From the 1951 film The Day the Earth Stood Still. An alien named Klaatu tells an earthwoman a code phrase for his robot Gort. See first citation.

Phrase[edit]

Klaatu barada nikto

  1. A stock science fictional phrase, typically used as a code or shibboleth. There is no actual meaning.
    • 1951, The Day the Earth Stood Still:
      If anything should happen to me you must go to Gort, you must say these words, 'Klaatu barada nikto', please repeat that.
    • 2002, Jack Womack, Going, Going, Gone, Grove Press, page 160:
      When I tried to make out the lingo I felt like a missionary among the heathen chinee. ¶ 'Interavesting per sliptimper transgratisfy allayvoo —' ¶ 'Not the old klaatu barada again,' I said ....
    • 2003, Paul McAuley, Whole Wide World, Macmillan, page 215:
      He glared down at me and said, "On your way, fella. This is a legitimate club." ¶ "Klaatu barada nikto," I said, but it went straight past him.
    • 2004, James Hold, Out of Texas, iUniverse, page 56:
      The Systems Analysis department featured a clock with only one hand and the motto Klaatu barada nikto, which, roughly translated, means: "IF IT AIN'T BROKE, JUST GIVE ME TIME."
    • 2012, Terry Bisson, Any Day Now, Penguin, page ??:
      It looked like something from Arthur C. Clarke, a space station that had ... fallen to earth .... ¶ "Klaatu barada nikto," he muttered.