From earth + -ling (suffix indicating a resident); earth is ultimately derived from Proto-Indo-European *h₁er- (“earth”). Old English ierþling (“farmer, husbandman, ploughman”, literally “one of the earth”) is formed from the same roots but generally did not outlive Old English; all modern uses are historical: see earthling.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈɜːθlɪŋ/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈɝθlɪŋ/
Audio (AU) (file)
- Hyphenation: Earth‧ling
Earthling (plural Earthlings)
- An inhabitant of Earth, as opposed to one of heaven. [from 16th c.]
- 1593, Tho[mas] Nashe, Christs Teares Over Ierusalem. […], London: […] Iames Roberts, and are to be solde by Andrewe Wise, […], OCLC 846581854, folio 60, verso:
- VVe (of all earthlings) are Gods vtmoſt ſubiects, the laſt (in a manner) that he bought to his obedience: ſhal we then forgette that vvee are any ſubiects of hys, becauſe (as amongſt his Angels) he is not viſibly conuerſant amongſt vs?
- (chiefly science fiction) An inhabitant of Earth, as opposed to one of another planet; specifically, a sentient member of any species native to Earth. [from 20th c.]
- (archaic) A person who is materialistic or worldly; a worldling. [from 17th c.]
- Earthling on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
- James A. H. Murray [et al.], editors (1884–1928), “Earthling”, in A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles (Oxford English Dictionary), London: Clarendon Press, OCLC 15566697, page 13, column 3.