News: The 28 Best and Worst Definitions of Steampunk

The 28 Best and Worst Definitions of Steampunk

Ever since the mid-2000s, there's been a lot of bandying back and forth on the Internet over what exactly Steampunk is. Some people think it's one thing, others another thing, and some think that it shouldn't be defined at all.

To hell with all of that!

I polled some Steampunks on Facebook (here and here) about what they thought Steampunk is, and included below are 28 of the best and worst definitions of Steampunk that I've ever seen! They range from tongue-in-cheek to serious, and from cynical to ridiculous. Enjoy!

In No Particular Order, What Is Steampunk?

  1. When Johnny Rotten does his ironing
  2. When goths discover brown
  3. When sepiapunks discovers color
  4. A Dieselpunk's parents' home movies
  5. That thing Justin Bieber does on his video
  1. Victorian Science Fiction
  2. What happens when fanboys finally bathe
  3. Hipsters for the 1890's
  4. Dorks in moth-eaten garb with things hot-glued to them
  5. When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie...with gears on it
  6. It's taking the past and the future and making something not quite as good as either.
  7. Men in Brown
  8. If you don't clank when you walk, it isn't steampunk
  9. What the 21st century thinks that the Victorians thought the 21st century would be like
  10. The strangest group of welders I've ever seen...
  1. If the mad hatter was a mad clockmaker instead
  2. A mix between Batman and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
  3. When you push modern or future technology/elements into the Age of Steam
  4. An informal competition to wear as many shades of brown and tan at the same time as possible
  5. Jules Verne? There ya go
Image via
  1. The way people in the 1880s would have imagined the future
  2. A re-imagining of Victorian-era science fiction
  3. Victorian with a twist
  4. Victorian Science Fiction come to life
  5. An ongoing techno-victorian costume party
  6. Mark Twain and His Death Ray
  7. Science Fiction about the Industrial Revolution

and lastly...

  1. Just Google it!

Photos from CSDS, Doctor Grymm, Steampunk Tribune, Daniel of Steam Crow

Just updated your iPhone? You'll find new features for Podcasts, News, Books, and TV, as well as important security improvements and fresh wallpapers. Find out what's new and changed on your iPhone with the iOS 17.5 update.


My personal favorite is 4. =)

I like that one, too! I found it to be remarkably insightful. =)

Kind of fond of 26...

Me, too! Honestly, I was really impressed by the definitions that were at once funny but also very accurate.

Part of the reason why I love the Steampunk subculture so much is because of how creative everyone is. =)

Oh geez they're all good but 10, 14, & 16 stand out for me. I went back and read them again and got a kick out a few which went over my head the first 4

Glad you enjoyed! I wish I could say that I came up with all of them myself, but I'm just not that creative. =)

And yeah, 4 is definitely my favorite!

the best one I head was "Steampunk is Yesterday's Tomorrow"

That's a pretty good one, though it's one of the least-specific ones I've heard.

Exactly very well said.

I've heard it described as "crafting for adults"

Share Your Thoughts

  • Hot
  • Latest