Klaatu borada nikto

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The three little words that saved the world from destruction by Gort, the robot, in the 1951 movie The Day the Earth Stood Still. (The film was based on a Harry Bates story, "Farewell to the Master," which appeared in Astounding in October 1940.) Patricia Neal just barely got them out in time (actually, she said, "Gort, Klaatu borada nikto," which is four words, but why quibble?) to prevent him from burning her, followed by the rest of the world, to a crisp, and instead sent him out to pick up and revive the recently killed Klaatu (Michael Rennie).

Although stfnal, the allusion is used across the macrocosm. In the early 1950s, "Klaatu Borada Nikita" was used a few times as an interlineation, a reference to then-USSR Premier Nikita Kruschev.

It's used metafictionally in several films. As a bit of in-group humor, in Army of Darkness, the protagonist is supposed to say the words "Klaatu borada nikto" before picking up The Nekronomicon (another allusion, this one to Lovecraft) — and his failure to remember the correct words when the time comes unleashes an army of undead to fight against him and his allies. It's also used in the UFO send-up movie, Out There; when one of the human-looking aliens admits to being an alien, smiles, gives the Vulcan salute and says, "Klaatu borada nikto."

From Fancyclopedia 2 ca 1959
The three little words that saved the world. In The Day The Earth Stood Still they prevented Gort, the atomic robot, from devastating the planet.



Fanspeak Reasonator 1951
This is a fanspeak page. Please extend it by adding information about when and by whom it was coined, whether it’s still in use, etc.