The suffix "ling" is very rarely used to denote a diminutive form of an English noun. This particular usage was probably popularised in 50s sci-fi. While it doesn't exactly fit the pattern of duckling, sapling and underling, it really has no other siblings in English.

Usage of "ling" as a diminutive suffix comes from German, where it's equivalent - "lein" - is still quite common.

If anyone knows anything about this Drummond chap mentioned in Webster's writeup, please message me.

David Bowie album released in 1997 on Virgin Records. Earthling is Bowie's attempt at a technoish album, which some fans weren't impressed with. Nevertheless, the album is enjoyable (if you like electronica to a degree, that is). It certainly isn't mindlessly repetitive (as some techno out there is) and incorporates guitars and other traditionally non-techno instruments in the music as well. All the lyrics were written by Bowie. The music was written by Bowie and various others (usually Reeves Gabrels and Mark Plati).

"I'm Afraid of Americans" (music written by Bowie and Brian Eno) is probably the most famous song from the album. One of the remixes done by Trent Reznor has received quite a lot of radio play and a limited edition six-song EP of remixes, now out of print, was released. The songs "Little Wonder," "Seven Years in Tibet," "Dead Man Walking," and "Telling Lies" were released as singles.

The design of the sleeve, while undoubtedly übercool, does make it a bit hard to see who exactly is credited for what. Forgive any errors here (and /msg me with corrections if there are any). The album was produced by Bowie, Plati, and Gabrels. Bowie's band for this album consisted of:

Track list:

  1. Little Wonder (6:02)
  2. Looking for Satellites (5:21)
  3. Battle for Britain (The Letter) (4:48)
  4. Seven Years in Tibet (6:22)
  5. Dead Man Walking (6:50)
  6. Telling Lies (4:49)
  7. The Last Thing You Should Do (4:57)
  8. I'm Afraid of Americans (5:00)
  9. Law (Earthlings on Fire) (4:48)

Earth"ling (?), n. [Earth + -ling.]

An inhabitant of the earth; a mortal.

Earthings oft her deemed a deity. Drummond.


© Webster 1913.

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