Help Us Keep Reporting. Donate to Detroit Metro Times.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Will the real Slim Shady please stan up? Merriam-Webster adds Eminem-inspired word

Posted By on Tue, Apr 23, 2019 at 5:05 PM

click to enlarge Eminem finally writes back his crazed fan in 2000's video for "Stan." - SCREENGRAB/YOUTUBE
  • Screengrab/YouTube
  • Eminem finally writes back his crazed fan in 2000's video for "Stan."

Queue up some Dido, Eminem has a stan in Merriam-Webster's dictionary. Well, sort of.

Not only did Detroit's Slim Shady celebrate 11 years of sobriety this week, but he has also, indirectly, been immortalized in the annals of the online word authority. Merriam-Webster's dictionary on Tuesday announced the addition of 640 new words.

While the word "stan" has been a fixture in the cultural lexicon, it now has an official definition: an overzealous or obsessive fan of a particular celebrity. To use it in a sentence, Merriam-Webster provides the following example: "He has millions of stans who are obsessed with him and call him a rap god." The word can also be used as a verb, as in, "Y'all know I stan for Katy Perry, so I was excited to see the artwork for her upcoming album."

For the lesser initiated stans, the word originates from Eminem's 2000 tragic pen-pal meta ballad "Stan," during which an obsessed fan named Stan makes countless attempts to make contact with Em in hopes of getting an autograph for his little brother. But before the rapper can respond, fictitious Stan drove off a fictitious bridge with his fictitious pregnant wife in the trunk. Thus, stan was born.

The word stan is in "swole" company, as words garbage time, screen time, gender nonconforming, on-brand, buzzy, unplug, and, yes, swole — as in "extremely muscular" — were among the dictionary's latest additions. A few old words received new meanings, like snowflake, which now is used to describe someone who is overly sensitive, and the word peak, which was metaphorically extended to mean “being at the height of popularity, use, or attention." In other words, "We are experiencing peak stan-dom."

During a 2013 interview with Rolling Stone, Em was shocked to learn that stan had taken on a life of its own. "Wow, that's crazy. Oh, that's funny," he said.

He added that it's sort of twisted, considering the character Stan was so unhinged.

"Stan's dead!" Em said. "He actually died on that record. But I always had his little brother in the back of my mind. He just needed time to grow up. And come and kill me."

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

Tags: , ,

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

May 27, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2020 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation