You may be a fan of Keanu Reeves, but what if you don’t know how you will while away the time until John Wick 3? Maybe you are more than a fan – you are a “stan”. This tasty bit of celeb-culture slang became prominent in 2018 but is already 19 years old. Owing to rhetorical inflation driven by overuse of the word “fan” (short for “fanatic”), we came to need a new word for obsessive fanning. “Stan” boasts a retroactively imposed etymology (appropriately, “stalker” plus “fan”), but it was originally taken from the 2000 Eminem song about a deranged admirer of the narrator’s.
It’s OK to call oneself a “stan”, though, because such usage, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is “self-deprecating”. Enjoyably, “stan” can also be a verb. The only drawback? The unfortunate effect on artists named Stan. Can you stan Stan?