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"Somebody Else's Problem", an effectively-magical field that obscures things you think aren't relevant to you, such that even though you see them (or hear them or read them) you don't actually *notice*, and quickly forget.

More generally, the phenomenon that causes people to ignore issues that they know about but think of as either not something they can do anything about, or not personally relevant to them right now. This can result in something that's very important to a group of people being ignored by every individual member of that group.

Popularized by Douglas Adams in the "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" series, in which Ford Prefect describes it as:

"An SEP is something we can't see, or don't see, or our brain doesn't let us see, because we think that it's somebody else's problem.... The brain just edits it out, it's like a blind spot. If you look at it directly you won't see it unless you know precisely what it is. Your only hope is to catch it by surprise out of the corner of your eye."

In that series, a strange object can be effectively hidden from view while out in plain sight, by an "SEP field", which "relies on people's natural predisposition not to see anything they don't want to, weren't expecting, or can't explain."
It's just been sitting there all day, hundreds of people have walked by, and nobody said anything or even turned to look! It's like it's got an SEP field around it.
by my name is Cos July 10, 2008
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2
Basic reference to "somebody else's problem".Origin has been traced to the Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy.
In that frame of reference it was expanded to include groups,events or seemingly random occurrence(s). Now
very common usage to brush off a current or very bothersome situation,such as in work or breaking up with a
personal relationship.
So how are you and " " getting along?I know you two were having a tough time recently.
No man,it's done.I pulled the plug on the deal to save myself-and she is Totally gone SEP!!
by oldee worldee June 30, 2019
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4
Arthur looked dilligently across the cricket field. Just then, it was there. Ford jumped in mid-air. "THERE IT IS, ARTHUR!! the S.E.P.!!"
by planarianzero April 18, 2003
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5
when your out eating with friends or doing any activity costing money, paying separately or individually; not paying together.
waiter: "can i ring you guys up?"

group: "yes, but we'd like to pay seps if possible"
by jay moody March 23, 2011
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6
The nickname for a person named "Septimus"
Jenna: Sep, wanna go to the tower?
Septimus: i wish i could but i got an exam i have to study for.
by 123123sora November 26, 2010
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7
Literally, "Some Else's Problem," as coined by Douglas Adams in Life, the Universe and Everything, the third book of the The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series.
Your website is offline? Sorry, that's an SEP.
by dwardio July 29, 2008
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