Eminem’s Definition Of ‘Stan’ Added To Merriam-Webster Dictionary

by : Lucy Connolly on : 24 Apr 2019 20:14
Eminem definition of StanEminem definition of StanGetty/Aftermath Entertainment/Interscope Records

2000 marked the start of the new millennium, Big Brother hitting our screens for the first time, and the beginning of the world’s obsession with Brennifer.


All in all, it was an iconic year which also marked the start of the term ‘stan’, one we now come to associate with obsessive fans of particular celebrities.

Eminem’s incredible collaboration with Dido – Stan – was released that same year, solidifying Em’s status as a rap god and changing our perception of fandoms forever.

Take a look at the video below:


The song was told from a fan’s perspective, who it soon becomes clear is obsessed with the hip-hop artist when he fails to respond to any of his letters.

Rather than accept Eminem may be slightly busy with his hectic celebrity schedule, Stan’s letters get more and more aggressive until he eventually downs a bottle of vodka, ties his girlfriend up in the trunk of his car and drives off a bridge – killing both his girlfriend and himself.

Eventually, Em responds to the obsessive fan, apologising for his late reply and offering Stan advice with regards to his temper and his relationship. But as we all know, it’s too late.

m marshall mathersm marshall mathersPA

The song quickly became one of Eminem’s most popular, and ‘Stan’ has become synonymous with obsessive fans in the years since.

So much so that the Merriam-Webster Dictionary yesterday acknowledged the song’s influence and added ‘Stan’ to their database alongside 640 other new words.

As per the dictionary, the word can be used as either a noun or a verb. The noun refers to ‘an extremely or excessively enthusiastic and devoted fan’, whereas 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’.

In other words: she’s Ariana Grande’s biggest stan, or he stans Lewis Capaldi and everything he does.


The dictionary makers also acknowledge Eminem’s role in making the term come alive, writing: ‘from Stan, name of such a fan in the song ‘Stan’ (2000) by the American rap artist Eminem (Marshall Bruce Mathers III)’.

Imagine being so iconic that not only are you a global superstar with multiple Grammy Awards, but you’ve also contributed an entire new word to the dictionary.

Hats off to him, only Em could have such a massive influence on pop culture. We stan together.

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Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: Life, Dictionary, Eminem, Music, Pop Culture, Sound, Stan


  1. Merriam-Webster