50 Terms You Know Because Of Star Trek

To mark the end of Star Trek's 50th anniversary, let's look at 50 phrases that you know because of Gene Roddenberry's iconic science fiction universe.

1. "Space: the final frontier."

For over half a century, Star Trek has made an incredible impact on popular culture, scientific aspirations, and the world at large. But just how much has it influenced our daily lives and modern lexicon?
As it turns out, quite a lot! In celebration of Star Trek's 50th anniversary, we're taking a look at 50 lines, terms, and phrases you now know thanks to Gene Roddenberry's bold vision of the future.

Take "Space: the final frontier," for example. In addition to being one of the most iconic phrases in all of Star Trek, it's also the opening line of Kirk's title theme speech at the start of each Original Series episode. It was also used by Picard in The Next Generation.

Stream all-new episodes of Star Trek: Discovery Sundays at 8:30 PM ET / 5:30 PM PT, exclusively on CBS All Access.

2. "Live long and prosper."

Who said it: Mr. Spock
A formal Vulcan greeting and farewell, usually accompanied by the Vulcan salute. This phrase is most commonly associated with Mr. Spock, who is also Vulcan.

3. "Make it so."

Who said it: Captain Picard
One of Captain Picard's catchphrases, used to confirm a suggestion from another officer.
U.S.S. Enterprise

4. U.S.S. Enterprise

The flagship of the United Federation of Planets. The name "Enterprise" has a long history with the British Royal Navy dating back to before the 18th-century. Since then, the title has been given to numerous starships within Starfleet and remains popular among seafaring vessels today.

5. "Belay that order."

Who said it: Various
A formal way of saying, "Stop what you're doing" or "Don't carry out that order."

6. "Computer..."

Who said it: Various

Star Trek's version of talking to your smartphone or enabled household device. Essentially, this is an officer's way of getting the on-board computer's attention, and the technique is familiar if you ever say say "Hey Siri..." or  "OK Google..." or "Cortana..."

7. "On screen."

Who said it: Various
Another way of saying, "Put it on the main viewer," which is usually on the bridge of a starship.
Vulcan mind meld

8. Vulcan mind meld

A telepathic link between two individuals, typically initiated by a Vulcan. During the ritual, the initiator is able to probe the receiver's mind or exchange thoughts, memories, and even personality traits.

9. "Dammit, Jim, I'm a doctor, not a _______!"

Who said it: Dr. McCoy

Bones' catchphrase, used when Kirk asked him to do pretty much anything other than treat people.

10. "Captain's Log, Stardate..."

Who said it: Various
This is how captains begin their spoken log entries, essentially Star Trek's way of documenting notable events as they unfold and sending pertinent information back to Starfleet Command.

11. "Shut up, Wesley!"

Who said it: Captain Picard
In the Next Generation episode "Datalore," Data met his evil counterpart, Lore, who came aboard the Enterprise and wreaked havoc as Data's doppelgänger. The young Wesley Crusher caught on to this and protested—multiple times—to Picard, who didn't believe him.
This eventually led to Picard's infamous line, "Shut up, Wesley!" in response to the ensign's niggling.

12. "Set phasers to stun."

Who said it: Various

"Stun" is one of two settings on Federation-issue phaser guns (the other, obviously, being "kill"). As Starfleet officers only use deadly force as a last resort, stunning the enemy is preferred.

13. "Resistance is futile."

Who said it: The Borg
A repeated mantra of the Borg, who have one, singular goal: assimilate every life form into their Collective. "Resistance," they say, "is futile."

14. "Engage."

Who said it: Captain Picard

Another one of Picard's catchphrases. This is basically Star Trek's version of "let's go" or "punch it."

15. "I'm giving her all she's got, Captain! She cannae take anymore."

Who said it: Montgomery Scott
Scotty's oft-quoted retort to Captain Kirk, used when he's done all he can to maximize the Enterprise's efficiency.

16. "Highly illogical."

Who said it: Mr. Spock
Perhaps Spock's most frequent remark. Vulcans value logic above all, so it makes sense that the half-Vulcan first officer would embrace that concept.

17. "Shields up!"

Who said it: Various
A command said in anticipation of taking fire. Raising deflector shields activates a type of force field that surrounds a starship, space station, or planet.

18. "Tea, Earl Grey, hot."

Who said it: Captain Picard
Picard's favorite beverage. The unique wording, "Tea, Earl Grey, hot," is the phrase he used for the matter replicator.

19. "Beam me up, Scotty."

Who said it: Captain Kirk (but not really)

This quote is often attributed to Captain Kirk, but he never actually said it. The more common saying was "Energize," or "[One, Two, etc.] to beam up."

20. Redshirt

A term used by Star Trek fans to refer to bit-part characters in red Starfleet uniforms. More often than they not, these day players were expendable and/or killed off on away missions.
Warp drive

21. Warp drive

The Federation's faster-than-light spacecraft propulsion system. Many sci-fi properties feature warp drive technology, but Star Trek was arguably the first to do so.

22. "Fascinating."

Who said it: Mr. Spock
Another of Spock's common phrases, often said in response to uniquely human behavior. (Related: Lt. Data had his own version of this when learning something new about humans: "Ah!")

23. "Open hailing frequencies."

Who said it: Various
An order meaning to send an upcoming communication across all appropriate channels.
Number One

24. Number One

A traditional term for "first officer," most commonly associated with Commander Riker. (However, there was another character in the Original Series episode "The Cage" who served under Captain Christopher Pike and whose only known alias was "Number One.")
Transporter room

25. Transporter room

A part of a starship or space station used to teleport life forms or objects to nearby locations, usually planets' surfaces.

26. Trekkie/Trekker

A fan of Star Trek. There is some (read: considerable) discrepancy between the two, but some feel that "Trekkie" can be a derogatory term while "Trekker" is preferred by many fans.
Prime Directive

27. Prime Directive

The guiding principle of the Federation, which dictates that Starfleet personnel will under no circumstances interfere with the natural development of alien civilizations, even if they are well-intentioned.

28. "Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra."

Who said it: Captain Dathon and Captain Picard
A phrase meaning "common enemy." In the Next Generation episode "Darmok," Picard became stranded on a planet with a Tamarian captain named Dathon, whose species only spoke in metaphors, and attempted to learn his language. "Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra" was the crux of their communication.
Tractor beam

29. Tractor beam

An energy beam used to carry objects or starships, or hold them in place.
Class M planet

30. Class M planet

A planet suitable for humanoid life and preferable for colonization. The "M" is short for "Minshara."

31. "Lay in a course for..."

Who said it: Various
A more concise way of saying, "Submit these spatial coordinates into the helm console."

32. "He's dead, Jim."

Who said it: Dr. Bones McCoy

One of Bones' catchphrases, commonly said to Kirk after he checked the life readings of a dead body.
Dilithium crystals

33. Dilithium crystals

A hypersonic element (also known as radan) used to control the warp speed of Federation starships.

34. "Things are only impossible until they're not."

Who said it: Captain Picard
One of Picard's many nuggets of wisdom, from the Next Generation episode "When the Bough Breaks."

35. Holodeck

Starfleet's holographic environment simulator, equipped with all sorts of entertainment, training, and investigative programs.

36. "My God, man!"

Who said it: Dr. Bones McCoy

Another phrase popularized by Bones, used to express shock or outrage.

37. "I don't need your fantasy women."

Who said it: Commander Riker
In the Next Generation episode "Déjà Q," the mischievous alien Q returned to the Enterprise after being cast out of the Q Continuum. After his omnipotence was returned to him, Q celebrates by conjuring up a mariachi band, cigars, and two buxom beauties for Riker. However, Riker was not amused.
Vulcan nerve pinch

38. Vulcan nerve pinch

A Vulcan technique used to render victims unconscious by pinching a pressure point at the base of their neck. Not to be confused with a Vulcan mind meld.
The Next Generation

39. The Next Generation

The term "next generation" or "next-gen" has been applied to many endeavors over the years, but it was popularized by Star Trek's sequel series Star Trek: The Next Generation.

40. Tribble

Round, furry, non-intelligent creatures with a penchant for reproducing. They are perhaps best known from the aptly titled Original Series episode "The Trouble with Tribbles."
Romulan/Klingon warbird

41. Romulan/Klingon warbird

A type of warship often resembling or featuring predatory birds. They are most commonly associated with the Romulan and Klingon species.


Who said it: Captain Picard
This line comes from the two-part Next Generation episode "Chain of Command," in which Picard was brutally tortured by the Cardassians. Attempting to break Picard, the Cardassians' interrogator shined four lights in the captain's face and demanded he say there were five—but Picard refused and was punished for it.

When he was finally freed, Picard shouted at the interrogator, "THERE! ARE! FOUR! LIGHTS!" as a way of letting him know that his mind game hadn't worked.

43. "Fire photon torpedoes!"

Who said it: Various
Matter/anti-matter projectile weapons commonly deployed from starships and starbases.
Shore leave

44. Shore leave

A naval term for personal time off on dry land (or in Star Trek's terms, solid ground). It is also commonly linked to the Original Series' episode "Shore Leave," in which the Enterprise crew took a break on a nearby planet only to be plagued by strange apparitions. In Bones' case, all's well that ended well.
Computer tablet

45. Computer tablet

Long before the iPad existed, Star Trek: The Next Generation featured touch-based computer consoles and, yes, portable tablets. In the show, they were referred to as PADDs (Personal Access Display Devices).

46. "You will be assimilated."

Who said it: The Borg
Another of the Borg's common sayings. To them, assimilating every living thing is inevitable, which is why they often say so.

47. "Ugly bags of mostly water."

Who said it: Crystals
A derisive term for humans, coined by the crystalline life form in the Next Generation episode "Home Soil."

48. Tricorder

A multipurpose portable device used for analyzing data and recording, among other things; commonly used during away missions.

49. "Let's see what's out there."

Who said it: Captain Picard
The very last line in the two-part Next Generation pilot—a kind of jumping-off point for the rest of the series.

50. "To boldly go where no man/one has gone before."

Who said it: Captain Kirk and Captain Picard
The coda to Kirk and Picard's "Space: the final frontier" speech. Between the two series, "no man" was changed to the more progressive and gender-neutral "no one," in keeping with Star Trek's forward-thinking sensibilities.

Watch every single episode of all five Star Trek series on CBS All Access, including:
Stream all-new episodes of Star Trek: Discovery Sundays at 8:30 PM ET / 5:30 PM PT, exclusively on CBS All Access.