Idioms about fan
Origin of fan1
OTHER WORDS FROM fanfanlike, adjectivefanner, nounun·fanned, adjective
Words nearby fan
Other definitions for fan (2 of 3)
Origin of fan2
Other definitions for fan (3 of 3)
BEHIND THE WORD
Where does fan come from?
Is the word fan, as in a device with rotating blades, related in any way to a fan, as in an enthusiastic devotee? Whether in cooling a room or cheering for a team, both fans do move a lot of air, as it were. But no, these senses of fan come from very different—though equally fantastic—roots.
Fan, the device
Let’s start with fan in the sense of “any device for producing a current of air.” This fan is very old, recorded in English before 900. It comes from the Old English, fann, directly from the Latin vannus, a “winnowing basket.”
Winnowing basket? This calls for a lesson in agricultural history. A winnowing basket is a type of broad, shallow basket used to winnow, that is, to free grain from lighter particles of chaff, dirt, and the like. This can be done, as shown in the video below, by tossing the grain, allowing the wind or a forced current of air to blow away the chaff and any impurities.
A winnowing basket is what fan originally meant in English. The word fan expanded to refer to other kinds of devices used to blow away chaff. By association with the movement of air involved in winnowing, fan further expanded to name various devices for generating currents of air, especially for cooling and ventilation.
Fan, the devotee
Now, onto to that other fan, the kind that fills arenas for sporting and music events. This fan is “an enthusiastic devotee, follower, or admirer of a sport, pastime, celebrity, or similar.” It was shortened from fanatic, “a person with an extreme and uncritical enthusiasm or zeal, as in religion or politics.”
A fan is passionate, yes, but compared to a fanatic, the connotation of the word fan is generally much less extreme and uncritical. Fan was first recorded in American English around 1885–90. Early uses of fan refer to baseball die-hards before spreading to all sorts of other ardent followers.
The word fanatic has an interesting origin of its own. Entering English around 1515–25, fanatic derives from the Latin fānāticus, “pertaining to a temple.” Fānāticus came to refer to people seen as “frantic” and “enthusiastic”—people thought to be inspired by a divinity or orgiastic rites. Fānāticus is based on the noun fānum, “temple, sanctuary.” Discover more at profane.
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How to use fan in a sentence
In his statement, Stepien called the Big Ten’s decision “huge news, not just for college football fans, but for all Americans looking for key indicators that we can reopen our society and our economy, and do so safely.”Trump contradicts CDC director on vaccine; Biden says Americans shouldn’t trust Trump|Colby Itkowitz, Felicia Sonmez, John Wagner|September 16, 2020|Washington Post
With fans unable to experience in-venue activations, many sponsors have also ramped up their activations on social media.‘We are permanently in beta’: European sports broadcasting is still in a coronavirus-forced state of reinvention|Lara O'Reilly|September 15, 2020|Digiday
Even though they make money off the service through sponsorships and donations from fans, they make sure not to get too attached.What’s Oracle? TikTok users react to proposed Oracle deal|Danielle Abril|September 15, 2020|Fortune
Most chips today are cooled by using thermal materials to transfer heat from components to a large metal heat sink that dissipates the energy to the air, possible with the help of a fan.This Microchip Has Its Own Built-In Cooling System|Edd Gent|September 14, 2020|Singularity Hub
Suffice it to say Strzok is not a fan of the 45th President of the United States.
We haven't had any real fan reaction yet, but our collective fingers are crossed.‘Archer’ Creator Adam Reed Spills Season 6 Secrets, From Surreal Plotlines to Life Post-ISIS|Marlow Stern|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Why do you think you were “an asperg-y movie fan…a jabbering repellent acolyte?”Patton Oswalt on Fighting Conservatives With Satire|William O’Connor|January 6, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Replying to a fan, she wrote, “Anthony Goldstein, Ravenclaw, Jewish wizard.”
Comments like that are designed to stoke the fires of fan-passion—and it works beautifully.All Your Internet Boyfriends Are Taken: Gosling, Cumberbatch, and now Joseph Gordon-Levitt|Melissa Leon|January 3, 2015|DAILY BEAST
It is the most animated this Downton Abbey fan has ever seen Lady Grantham.The Real-Life ‘Downton’ Millionairesses Who Changed Britain|Tim Teeman|December 31, 2014|DAILY BEAST
She took the fan from Madame Ratignolle and began to fan both herself and her companion.
She bathed Madame Ratignolle's face with cologne, while Robert plied the fan with unnecessary vigor.
Rarely, sodium urate occurs in crystalline form—slender prisms, arranged in fan- or sheaf-like structures (Fig. 32).A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis|James Campbell Todd
She opened a large black fan and moved it slowly while looking intently at her son's bent profile.Ancestors|Gertrude Atherton
In one, which occurs not infrequently, a thickened arm is made to expand into something like a fan-shaped hand, as in Fig. 18.Children's Ways|James Sully
British Dictionary definitions for fan (1 of 2)
- any device for creating a current of air by movement of a surface or number of surfaces, esp a rotating device consisting of a number of blades attached to a central hub
- a machine that rotates such a device
- a kind of basket formerly used for winnowing grain
- a machine equipped with a fan for winnowing or cleaning grain
- to fire (an automatic gun) continuously by keeping the trigger depressed
- to fire (a nonautomatic gun) several times by repeatedly chopping back the hammer with the palm
Derived forms of fanfanlike, adjectivefanner, noun
Word Origin for fan
British Dictionary definitions for fan (2 of 2)
Word Origin for fan
Other Idioms and Phrases with fan
In addition to the idiom beginning with fan
- fan the flames
- shit will hit the fan