Eminem's 'Stan' Added to Dictionary to Describe Fans - Rolling Stone
Home Music Music News

Eminem-Inspired Use of ‘Stan’ Added to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary

Title of rapper’s 2000 hit song with Dido has become shorthand to describe obsessive fans

Eminem, Marshall Bruce Mathers III2018 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival - Day 3, Manchester, USA - 09 Jun 2018

The Eminem-inspired use of the word "stan" to describe an obsessive fan has been added to Merriam-Webster's dictionary.

Amy Harris/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

The Eminem-inspired use of the word “stan” to describe hyper-devoted fans has been added to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary.

The casual use of “stan” famously comes from Eminem and Dido’s hit 2000 song of the same name, in which the rapper weaves a harrowing yarn about an obsessive fan trying to get his attention. Nas helped spread the term, rhyming in his 2001 diss track against Jay-Z “Ether,” “You a fan, a phony, a fake, a pussy, a Stan.” “His is the first recorded usage of ‘stan’ as a label (and a pejorative one) for an obsessive fan rather than the name of the fan himself,” as The Outline noted in 2017. Over the years, “stan” has morphed into a go-to slang term for diehard fans and was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2017.

Merriam-Webster have now entered the word into their dictionary as both a noun and a verb. As a noun, “stan” is defined as “an extremely or excessively enthusiastic and devoted fan,” while as a verb it’s defined as “to exhibit fandom to an extreme excessive degree.”

As an example of how the word can be used, Merriam-Webster’s even plucked a line from a piece written by Rolling Stone‘s Alan Sepinwall: “On the drama side, Game of Thrones returns after its own year off, but for an abbreviated season that even the most die-hard Westeros stans seemed lukewarm about.”

“Stan” was one of 640 new words added to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary this month. Other new entries include “EGOT” (“the accomplishment of winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award in one’s lifetime”), “on-brand” (“appropriate to, typical of, consistent with, or supportive of a particular brand or public image or identity”) and “swole” (“extremely muscular”)



Powered by
Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.