Eminem’s hit 2000 track “Stan” told the story of a dangerously obsessed fan who takes some of Eminem’s more violent lyrics literally and decides to kill himself and his pregnant girlfriend when the rapper fails to respond to his letters fast enough—complete with an awful, tortured coda where Eminem finally writes back only to realize that he was too late. The song isn’t very good and its message seems to be “don’t make Eminem feel bad,” but it became a massive hit thanks to the fact that it used a sample from Dido’s catchy “Thank You” as a hook. In the years since, the name “Stan” has become synonymous with the sort of extremely dedicated fan who would murder their pregnant girlfriend for their favorite celebrity, and now the Oxford American Dictionary has decided to make it an official word.
This comes from Vulture, which says the word “stan” is now defined as “an overzealous or obsessive fan of a particular celebrity,” and it specifically cites the Eminem song as the word’s origin. The world can also be used as a noun and a verb, with Oxford listing “he has millions of stans who are obsessed with him” and “y’all know I stan for Katy Perry” as examples. Interestingly, the word “stan” doesn’t seem to have the negative connotation it should from the Eminem song, since saying that you “stan for Katy Perry” should mean that you’d kill your pregnant girlfriend for her, but such is the beauty of language or whatever.