Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Glossary

A Regular

A regular is a person who meets the requirements of an IQ test, and as such is permitted to reproduce according to the law.

A Special

A special is a person who does not meet the requirements set by an IQ test. By failing the test, a person is classified as a special, and therefore can not marry or emigrate.


An andy or android is a robotic life form that is designed to look and act like a human being. There are only subtle differences between androids and humans, the most obvious of which is that humans can feel empathy, while androids do not.

Animal Row

This area of town is where animal dealers often sell real animals to consumers. Rick goes to this area to window shop. It is here that he sees the ostrich and buys his goat.


A binary is a set of opposing principles. Many of the major themes in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep attempt to blur the lines between the strict opposition of values.

Boneli Reflex Arc Test

A test used to determine if a living being is a human or an android- focusing on reactions in the spinal cord.

Bounty Hunters

A bounty hunter is a person hired to retire (kill) androids.


A chickenhead is A Special with diminished mental faculties.


A conapt is a name for an apartment building.


The dust is the radioactive substance that descended on society after World War Terminus.

Electro-Spark Machine

Seemingly like a defibrillator, an electro-spark machine is used to shock people back to life after they suffer cardiac arrest.

Empathy Box

A tool used by those that practice Mercerism, an empathy box allows a user to tap into the minds of other Mercerites. When a Mercerite holds onto both handles of the empathy box, he or she is transported into the body of Wilbur Mercer, climbing up a mountain with no foreseeable peak. The user can tap into the feelings of other Mercerites struggling to climb the mountain.


An artificial or substitute form for the actual substance. For example, ersatz animals are mechanic.


The act that a person partakes in while using his or her empathy box, bringing individual emotions into the collective. Therefore, by "fusing with Mercer" a sad person can commiserate with others, and an overjoyed person could share the excitement to cheer up those who are down.

Hover Car

A hover car is the main means of transportation. It is a flying car that can cover large distances very quickly.

Infinity Key

A key that can analyze and open any lock.


Kipple is clutter and useless material that just builds up and seems to reproduce on its own. If a space has been kipple-ized, then it has been overrun with kipple.


The religion followed by most of the book's characters, the basic tenet of which requires a conscious understanding of the collective and an empathetic world view.


A follower of Mercerism.

Mood Organ

This device is used by humans to manipulate their moods. The user dials in a code which correlates with a specific emotion, mood, or desire.

Nexus-6 Android

The newest and most sophisticated form of android, the Nexus 6 androids are the most difficult to detect.

Nondirectional Penfield Wave Transmitter

A weapon which can be set to freeze everyone within the vicinity.

Peace Officer

A peace officer is a member of the police force who is responsible for keeping order within his or her precinct.

Poop Sheet

This sheet provides information about suspected runaway androids. Bounty hunters use them to find the androids. These are also referred to as onionskin carbons or carbon sheets.

Pre-colonial Fiction

These are stories written about space travel before space travel was in existence.


A trash collector.


The Sidney's catalog lists the market prices for live animals.

Sine Wave

The wave dispels lasers so that they appear as normal light.

Synthetic Memory System

Also called a false memory system, this device allows androids to have memories of a childhood, upbringing, etc. Such a system often convinces androids that they are human.

The Killers

The Killers are a faceless group of persecutors of Mercer.

The Magic Flute

The Magic Flute is an opera by Mozart that depicts modernist and Enlightenment ideas about the ascendence of human society. This is the opera being performed by Luba Luft.

Time-Reversal Faculty

Time-Reversal Faculty is the process of bringing the dead back to life. Such a process is illegal.

Tomb World

The tomb world is a graveyard of bones that a person experiences when using the empathy box. Nothing changes in the tomb world, and things just slowly decay. People can climb out of the tomb world or Mercer tends to lift people out.


An invention that allows callers to see each other on screens while they speak to each other from their homes, workplaces, or vehicles.

Voigt-Kampff Empathy Test

The Voigt-Kampff (as it is sometimes called), is a system of examining reactions to stimuli in order to determine if the subject being tested is human or an android. The test focuses on gauging empathy.

World War Terminus

The nuclear war that left Earth as a pile of radioactive dust, causing most of Earth's residents to emigrate to other planets.