“Stan” Added to the Oxford English Dictionary Thanks to Eminem
By the early 2000s, Eminem had already altered the rap and pop culture landscape forever. Now, he's officially done the same with the English language. Recently, the Oxford English Dictionary added the term "Stan" to its hallowed database, citing Slim Shady as its likely originator.
The Oxford English Dictionary's entry for "Stan" used as a noun reads, "An overzealous or obsessive fan of a particular celebrity." The dictionary's entry for "Stan" used as a verb reads the same. Below the definitions of the term, the Oxford English Dictionary offers up the term's origin.
"Early 21st century: probably with allusion to the 2000 song 'Stan' by the American rapper Eminem, about an obsessed fan," reads the dictionary. Chances are they say it's "probably" an allusion only because they have to, though. One of their examples for "Stan" being used in a sentence features a reference to Eminem.
For those of you who don't remember, "Stan" is a song from Eminem's seminal The Marshall Mathers LP. Featuring UK-based singer Dido and a 45 King instrumental that probably feels more haunting now than it should, the song finds Em rapping from the perspective of "Stan," an amalgam of all his craziest, most obsessive fans in the world. In the song, Stan loves Em more than his own girlfriend and writes Eminem letters constantly without a response. Eventually, he kills his pregnant girlfriend out of frustration with Em not responding to his many letters (Marshall eventually responds, but it's too late).
In the years since, the term "Stan" has been used to describe any fan who's unreasonably infatuated with a celebrity. Recognizing the term's ubiquity, the folks responsible for the Oxford English Dictionary said they'd be adding the term to it "shortly" two years ago. Now, they've finally done it.
Shout out to Eminem for making history yet again. If you missed it, he recently revealed that The Truman Show helped inspire The Eminem Show.
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