There’s no doubt that Doctor Who has made its mark on television history. But did you know about its impact on our language, too?
Ahead of the show’s triumphant return to our screens tonight, we have some very unexpected news to share. Later this year, “sonic screwdriver” will enter the Oxford English Dictionary! Or do we mean Doctionary…?
Doctor Who terminology already exists in the OED, with entries for TARDIS, Dalek and cyberman. But we’re sure you’ll agree it’s about time for some more! And what better than The Doctor’s very own “multipurpose tool and get-out-of-jail-free card”?
This word (sorry, compound noun) will enter the OED when the adjective “sonic” is revised in June 2017. But thanks to the joys of time travel, we can see a sneak preview right now!
The iconic “electronic device which uses sound waves” has been part of Doctor Who lore since 1968 when it first appeared in Second Doctor story Fury from the Deep. Back then, it actually looked a lot more like a screwdriver! Now it’s The Doctor’s go-to tool for pretty much everything. Arguably it’s used too much of a deus ex machina at times – but we just couldn’t imagine the show without it!
We’ve seen a number of different sonic screwdriver designs over the years. Some have been sleek and simple, others have been multi-pronged and flashy. Whatever your preference, they’re all the same software – just a different case! Series 9 (2015) even introduced us to the sonic shades – although we doubt they’ll be entering the dictionary any time soon…
Peter Capaldi’s shiny new sonic screwdriver – first seen in Hell Bent – will be back for more action throughout Series 10. And, even though Capaldi himself will be leaving at Christmas, we’re sure the sonic won’t be going anywhere just yet…