I’ve finally seen a Dalek! These supposedly most frightening of aliens and supreme adversaries of Dr Who are an excellent example of how, despite ten years in a country, you can still miss out on major cultural references. I had never seen any of the old episodes of Dr Who (the latest season was aired in 1993) and was very curious to discover the creatures who most of my friends seem to remember with horror. I was quite disappointed, as they resemble an elongated and spotted R2-D2 with weapons including a whisk and a plunger.
But anyway, the object of this entry was to check what a friend told me about the origin of the word Dalek. Terry Nation, who invented them, claimed that he had named his creatures "Dalek" after one of the volumes of his encyclopedia, whose spine showed DAL-LEK. Answers.com tells us that he, in fact, admitted later that he made this story up (sorry Alan!), but that, interestingly enough, he "was pleasantly surprised to discover that in Serbo-Croatian the word ‘Dalek’ means ‘far and distant thing’".