Fictitious critters featured on Star Trek, both in the old series and DS9. While they may appear to be sickeningly cute and psychotically addictive furry balls, they are also voracious consumers of anything edible who multiply at a fantastic rate, kinda like the rabbits of earth. If you find one, kill it quick.

They're fine as long as you don't feed them. The Klingons had gotten rid of all of them sometime between the original series and Deep Space Nine, but then when the Defiant went back in time, they brought some back with them. The tribbles did help Captain Kirk find out that the quadrotriticale was poisoned, though.

Tribbles are now sold by pocket books in various colors. If you squeeze them, they make tribble sounds. And Quark came out with a pet-owner's guide. But luckily, these tribbles don't reproduce. They don't eat, either. I took one to school and found out which people among us are Klingons (i.e. they inexplicably and immediately dislike the small, furry creature) and which are not, but rather, tribble-loving, huggable people.

Star Trek's rip-off of the Martian flat cats from Robert A. Heinlein's The Rolling Stones.

Heinlein's book, published in 1952, featured an encounter between the Stone family and a species of fuzzy, purring, ever-hungry, ever-breeding beasties known as flat cats. While stopping at Mars en route to the Asteroid Belt, the teenage Stone twins picked up a flat cat as a pet. When they discovered that, given food, it would breed, they thought to sell the pleasantly-buzzing critters to Belter miners as pets. Soon, however, the expanding fuzzball population threatened the food supply on the family's spaceship, and they were forced to stuff the "pets" into a hold and freeze them all into hibernation.

Charles Simmons, in his novel, Powdered Eggs, defines a tribble as "...a young man with three empty testicles, all mothers like tribbles, they know that their daughters are safe with them."

Simmons' epistolary novel about a young writer's romantic tribulations was published in 1964 (predating David Gerrold's use of the term "tribble" as a name for throbbing, fuzzy little balls in his teleplay for The Trouble with Tribbles) and won the William Faulkner Foundation Award. The first paperback edition of Powdered Eggs was published in 1967, the year in which the "tribble episode" of Star Trek was written.

Trib"ble (?), n. Paper Manuf.

A frame on which paper is dried.

Knight.

 

© Webster 1913.

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