Foundation Vocabulary 📝

‘Foundation’ featured the articulation of real-world political concepts, the creation of unique expression-rich vocabulary, and the introduction of naturally inclined characters.


Isaac Asimov

‘Foundation’ features a unique-worded rich story that gives the novel its sense of expressionism. From the naming of characters to that of planets and scientific concepts, the novel is regarded as one of the first science fiction books to pay attention to the intricate details of its story.

Foundation by Isaac Asimov Vocabulary

Character Nomenclature

A noticeable feature of ‘Foundation’ is its characters. From Hari Seldon to Hober Mallow, the use of unique words trails the character names Isaac Asimov uses. Though some characters had conventional names, many had uniquely tweaked names. Isaac Asimov’s naming strategy for the novel created a futuristic atmosphere for its story and set a new style in science fiction writing.

In ‘Foundation,’ Isaac Asimov used the idea of intentionally interchanging the letters in the name of his characters to create unique names that had never gotten used by anyone before. From names like Hari Seldon to Jorane Sutt, Isaac’s unique naming style made his novel unique.

Though many characters from the novel had specially designed names, some featured conventional names. For characters like Hardin and Theo, Isaac maintained the natural order for spelling. However, other characters like Tomaz had their names altered to fit into Isaac Asimov’s world.

Unique Words

Apart from the unique nature of the character names present in ‘Foundation,’ Isaac Asimov featured new words to define the fictional concepts in his story. Isaac Asimov used new words to tell the story of the Galactic empire.

Here is a list of some unique words used by Isaac Asimov:

  1. Psychohistory: Psychohistory was a model theory that could predict the future of Empires. In ‘Foundation,’ psychohistory could only be understood by mathematicians of high intellectual capabilities.
  2. Galactic Empire: The Galactic Empire is an interstellar Empire that governed all of humanity for 12,000 years before its decline. The Empire fanned out across the Milky Way Galaxy and controlled everything related to humankind.
  3. Terminus: Terminus is a planet on the outer Periphery of the galaxy. After Hari Seldon theorized the idea of the Encyclopedia Galactica, he and his followers got exiled to Terminus.
  4. Encyclopedia Galactica: The Encyclopedia Galactica is a term used to describe the compendium of human knowledge. Hari Seldon proposed the Encyclopedia Galactica as the solution to the Galactic Empire’s fall.
  5. Anacreon: Anacreon is a planet on the outer end of the Periphery. It became an independent kingdom after the Galactic empire began falling.
  6. The Periphery: The Periphery is a term used to describe the far end region of the galaxy. Housing planets such as Anacreon, Santanni, and Terminus, the Periphery became a political hotbed involving the Foundation.
  7. Santanni: Santanni is a planet located in the Periphery. After the Foundation rises to become a powerhouse, Santanni becomes one of its trading partners.
  8. Scientism: Scientism is the name given to the religion created by the Foundation. Realizing that science could get made into a faith weapon, Salvor Hardin invented the idea of scientism. Soon, the planets in the Periphery began heeding the words of scientism prophets ordained by the Foundation.
  9. Trantor: Trantor is the capital planet of the Galactic Empire. The planet got described as a gigantic powerhouse with forty billion humans.
  10. Korell: Korell is a planet that opposes the Foundation after it tried expanding.
  11. Siwenna: Siwenna was the Normannic capital of the Galactic Empire. However, after the fall of the Empire, the planet became a desolate wasteland as an atomic blast killed most of its population.
  12. Foundation Era: Foundation Era was a term used to define the calendar year after the Encyclopedists landed on Terminus.
  13. Smyrno: Smyrno is a planet located in the Anacreon province. After the Galactic Empire began declining, Smyrno became an independent kingdom.
  14. Hyperspace: Hyperspace is a region of unimaginable properties. In ‘Foundation,’ Hyperspace enabled faster-than-light travel and formed the basis of transportation in the Galactic Empire.
  15. Commdor: Commdor is the title that got given to the leader of the Korellian Republic.

Vocabulary’s Influence on Story

‘Foundation’ used its unique vocabulary to tell its story. The new words invented by Isaac Asimov gave authenticity to the characters and dialogues as they set the futuristic tone the novel required. With his originality in word creation, Isaac Asimov created unique words that found their way to the real world.


What is the Encyclopedia Galactica in Foundation?

The Encyclopedia Galactica is a compendium of encyclopedias that contains all the knowledge humankind has ever discovered and created. The term got used by Hari Seldon when he convinced the commission of public safety that the only way to save humanity was to build the Foundation.

How old is the Galactic Empire in Foundation?

During the time of Hari Seldon, the Galactic Empire had stood for more than 12,000 years. Because of the Empire’s age, humankind lost the story of its origin as it expanded across the galaxy.

How unique are the words in Foundation by Isaac Asimov?

In ‘Foundation,’ Isaac Asimov used unique words for characters and concepts. A distinct feature of his naming included intentionally misspelling and switching the order of words to give something new.

What are some unique words used in Foundation by Isaac Asimov?

There are many unique words used in ‘Foundation.’ The most popular word used in the novel is psychohistory, a concept that involves the combination of statistics and psychology to predict the future of a massive population.

Joshua Ehiosun
About Joshua Ehiosun
Joshua is an undying lover of literary works. With a keen sense of humor and passion for coining vague ideas into state-of-the-art worded content, he ensures he puts everything he's got into making his work stand out. With his expertise in writing, Joshua works to scrutinize pieces of literature.
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