I’m not kidding. As if the Stans of the world weren’t already excited, the Oxford English Dictionary has officially recognized the word “stan” as English-enough to make it into the dictionary. They certainly took their sweet time. If you’re not familiar with the word it comes from Eminem’s 2000 hit single of the same name. There’s a good chance if you’ve heard Dido, you’ve heard “Stan.” The official definition is “an overzealous or obsessive fan of a particular celebrity.” Yep. That’s Stan, all right. It’s going to be very weird if my parents start using this word in their daily lives. I can already hear my mom saying something like “This spinach and artichoke dip has garlic and dill in it. I’m sort of a garlic stan.”
This might not seem like a big deal, but think about it. If Eminem had never released his “Stan” song it wouldn’t be in the dictionary. It would never be anything more than a dude name outside of hip-hop and internet culture. This is just another example of how hip-hop has influenced the English language. Remember when “YOLO” made it in? Pretty soon these words are going to be tested on schoolchildren. Revisit the song that started it all below.