pp. Putting up emotional defenses when a relationship becomes too intimate.
I love you. I love you. I love you. No, just kidding. I'm not even going to call. Talk about your Batmobiling and your general lack of commitment.
—Gordon Macmillan, “Love bug brought on an irony attack,” Campaign, May 12, 2000
Meredith (Gillian Anderson) is a frosty, uptight theatre director being romanced by an architect (John Stewart), but she is, as we say in the 90s, batmobiling; her defenses are up.
—Peter Bradshaw, “Sex in the windy city,” The Guardian, August 06, 1999
1995 (earliest)
Putting up an emotional shield just as a relationship enters that intimate, vulnerable stage. Refers to the retractable armor covering the Batmobile.
—Gareth Branwyn, “Jargon Watch,” Wired, July 01, 1995
This word comes from the shield that protects the Batmobile, the vehicle used by comic book hero Batman. This word first started appearing in print in 1996 as part of various slang collections. These collections, so beloved by lazy journalists and editors everywhere, are almost always words that appeared originally in Gareth Branwyn's "Jargon Watch" column in Wired magazine (although they appear in print without attribution). This word is one of those "Jargon Watch" refugees.