1. p.n., in the Hitchhiker’s novels of Douglas Adams, a tiny fish that, when placed in one’s ear, gives one the ability to understand any spoken language.
2. in gamerese, any cheat that allows players to understand foreign languages. Ex: GM: “The dragon demands all of your gold, ‘ere you may leave.” Player: “How can I understand it? I don’t speak Dragon.” GM: “You have a frickin’ Babel Fish in your ear. Now, you gonna pay up or not?”
‘Now it is such a bizarrely impossible coincidence that anything so mindbogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as a final and clinching proof on the nonexistence of God.
‘The argument goes something like this: “I refuse to prove that I exist,” says God, “for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.”
‘”But,” says Man, “the Babel fish proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments you don’t. QED.”
‘”Oh dear,” says God, “I hadn’t though of that,” and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.
‘”Oh that was easy,’ says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing.
‘Most leading theologians claim that this argument is a load of dingo’s kidneys, but that didn’t stop Oolon Colluphid making a small fortune when he used it as the central theme of his best-selling book, Well That about Wraps It Up for God.
‘Meanwhile, the poor Babel Bish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation.’”
– Douglas Adams, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy”