Well, this is kinda cool! Merriam-Webster (yes, the dictionary) recently added some new words to their collection, and among them is — wait for it — “stan.”

That’s right, you guys! If you’re part of a fandom — Swifties, Arianators or otherwise — you probably use the word a lot, and odds are no one taught you how to use it. In fact, it’s more than likely you just picked it up in random conversation with some of your besties and rolled with it.

Now that it’s being regarded as a legitimate word by Merriam-Webster, though, you might be wondering what the word really means. You might also be wondering how it originated and how you would use it in a sentence. And if you’re not wondering these things, chances are your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles etc. need some help figuring it out, so of course, we have all the tea on the slang term to make it a little bit easier on you. Let’s dive right in, shall we?

What does “stan” mean?

After hearing the word “stan” in casual conversation, you were probably able to figure out its meaning based on the context clues. Now that it’s in the dictionary, though, it officially has a formal definition, and we’re kind of laughing about it.

By Merriam-Webster’s definition, when it’s used as a noun, it means, “an extremely or excessively enthusiastic and devoted fan.” As a verb, it means, “to exhibit fandom to an extreme or excessive degree: to be an extremely devoted and enthusiastic fan of someone or something.”

Yup! Sounds about right!

Where did the slang term “stan” come from?

So what’s its origin? Great question! Well, remember Eminem‘s song “Stan” from back in 2000? If you don’t, this will probably come as news to you, but that’s how the slang word first became popular! The song was about an obsessed fan named Stan who was distraught by the fact that the rapper didn’t respond to their fan mail, and voilà! “Stan” was born. You’ll also notice that the short word combines the words “stalker” and “fan,” which definitely isn’t a coincidence!

How is it used by fandoms on social media?

Since the word was popularized by fangirls everywhere, it’s used in abundance on Instagram, Twitter and just about every other social media platform out there. In fact, many could argue that the slang is overused on such platforms, but we won’t get into that because we don’t stan that opinion. Instead, we’ll just give you some examples:

“You know that new Ariana Grande song? I stan!”

“Are you a Shawn Mendes stan? Because SAME.”

Taylor Swift stans always show up to her concerts in such fun costumes, and we love it!”

As you can tell, there are several different ways to use the term, and we’ve only covered some of ’em! What do you think about Merriam-Webster’s decision to add the word “stan” to their dictionary? Do you stan?

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