stan

[stan]

What does stan mean?

Do you really, really, really like something? Then you might be a stan for it.

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Stan is slang for someone who is a very zealous fan of a celebrity or fictional character. The act of such fandom is called stanning.

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Examples of stan

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Examples of stan
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It’s funny how harmonizers are always coming for little mix, it’s like they don’t have a girl band to stan... oh wait they don’t 🤷
@jerrieslm, September, 2018
But the Internet has allowed fans to organize and act together, and in doing so, wrestle some power from the usual gatekeepers — label employees, publicists, managers. Stans aren’t just cheerleaders. At times, they resemble public-relations experts, media organizations, consultants, and activists. And there are a lot of them.
Nolan Feeney, Entertainment Weekly, November, 2017

Where does stan come from?

The origin of stan, now widely used in fandom culture, may be surprising. In 2000, rapper Eminem released the single titled “Stan. The song and video are about a young man, named Stan, who is dangerously obsessed with Eminem. Stan displays his obsession in various ways, including adopting the rapper’s look, confessing to self harm, and recording his eventual death with the intention to send it to Eminem.

One early person to use stan for an obsessed fan was the rapper Nas in a 2001 track where he raps: “You a fan, a phony, a fake, a pussy, a Stan.”

An Urban Dictionary entry describing stan for intense fandom was added in 2006, and one of the first tweets using stan as a verb for greatly liking someone came in 2008.

The slang spread online in the late 2000s and early 2010s, with stans of different fandoms arguing for the superiority of their interests. In 2010, the website Stan Wars launched because of these online arguments.

Who uses stan?

Stan can be used as a verb or a noun. If you really like a certain celebrity, someone could call you a stan, or say that you stan them. It has a slightly negative connotation, although there are those that proudly call themselves stans and revel in their obsessive fandom.

True to Eminem’s song, stans have a reputation of being overzealous and spending a lot of time talking about the objects of their affection, especially during their teen years. Stranger Things actor Finn Wolfhard has responded to stans getting upset that they weren’t properly acknowledged outside press events.

There’s a trend of stans adopting nicknames for their collective fandoms. One of the first to name their stans was Mariah Carey, dubbing them her lambs. If you stan popstar Justin Bieber, as another example, you’re a Belieber. If you stan the girl group Fifth Harmony, you’re a Harmonizer.

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