Doctor Who’s Sonic Screwdriver added to Oxford English Dictionary

Ryan Leston
·UK Movies Writer
Peter Capaldi wields his sonic screwdriver - Credit: BBC
Peter Capaldi wields his sonic screwdriver - Credit: BBC

Doctor Who is great at making up science-sounding terms…

And now one of its classics is being added to the dictionary.

Celebrating the launch of the new series of Doctor Who, it looks as though the Oxford English Dictionary has added ‘sonic screwdriver’ to its pages. And let’s be honest – it’s the kind of thing The Doctor would be thrilled about.

“The OED can now give you a glimpse into its own future, when another of Doctor Who’s most iconic contributions to science fiction and British culture will be joining the Dictionary’s existing entries for TARDIS, Dalek, and Cyberman: the Doctor’s multipurpose tool and get-out-of-jail-free card: the sonic screwdriver.”

– Doctor Who Series 10 starts April 2017
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And here’s what the OED has to say about the sonic screwdriver:

“sonic screwdriver n. chiefly Science Fiction a (hand-held) electronic device which uses sound waves to perform various mechanical and technical functions.”

The OED sonic screwdriver entry - Credit: OED
The OED sonic screwdriver entry - Credit: OED

Hats off to the OED for that amazing description – after all, the sonic screwdriver is often pretty difficult to pin down due to its infinite different uses. We’ve seen it open doors, blow up landmines, transmit signals and even ignite clouds of marsh gas. Not to mention cutting and fusing metal, intercepting transmat beams and acting as a medical scanner.

It’s even a remote control, too.

An assortment of sonic screwdrivers - Credit: BBC
An assortment of sonic screwdrivers – Credit: BBC

Of course, it’s often criticised as a ‘get out of jail free’ card, but it’s nevertheless become one of the Doctor’s most impressive tools. And it’s now the fourth Doctor Who word to make it into the dictionary, following ‘TARDIS’, ‘Dalek’ and ‘Cyberman’.

And we even saw a neat collection of the Doctor’s old sonic screwdrivers in the first episode of the new series – a rather cool nod to all the Doctors who came before.

Doctor Who returns 22 April on BBC One.

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What do you think of the OED’s new addition? Which other Doctor Who words would you like to see in the dictionary? Leave your comments below… and follow Ryan Leston on Twitter, Facebook and Total Geeks for more on the latest TV shows.