|See also:||fangirl, fanboy, fanboi, fanbrat, otaku|
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A fan (plural "fen" or "fans") is a person who displays an unusual degree of enthusiasm about a person, media text, genre, or activity. Someone can be a fan of a television show, film, book, game, musician, sports team, fandom itself, or something else. Originally, "fan" was a shortened form of "fanatic," but the meanings have diverged since. The plural "fen" is primarily used in Science Fiction fandom, while "fans" is more common in Media fandom and various kinds of fanworks-producing fandom with little or no connection to traditional SF fandom. The term otaku is used for some types of fans in Japan, and it has spread to some fandoms based on Japanese sources.
A fan is often described as being fannish about their preferred source of squee.
- "I like that show, but I'm not fannish about it."
- "I've been a fan my whole life, but I just discovered fandom yesterday!"
Nicknames for fans
Nicknames sometimes get attached to groups of fans of a particular thing. These nicknames may be adopted by some fans and not others, or only used by non-fans; if the latter, the nickname may be perceived as derogatory. (See, for example, the historical arguments over whether Star Trek fans ought to be called Trekkers or Trekkies.)
Fans also invent many descriptive terms for fans that have nothing to do with what media they consume; relevant information about a fan might include how long they've been in fandom, how popular they are, or whether they've had a break from reality.