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A fan, sometimes also called aficionado or supporter, is a person with a liking and enthusiasm for something. Fans of a particular thing or person constitute its fanbase or fandom. They may show their enthusiasm by being a member of a fan club, holding fan conventions, creating fanzines, writing fan mail, or by promoting the object of their interest and attention.



Paul Dickson, in his Dickson Baseball Dictionary, cites William Henry Nugent's work that claims it comes from fancy, a 19th century term from England that referred mainly to followers of boxing. According to that unsupported explanation, it was originally shortened to fance then just to the homonym fans. However, Merriam-Webster, the Oxford dictionary and other recognized sources define it as a shortened version of the word fanatic, and the word did first become popular in reference to an enthusiastic follower of a baseball team. (Fanatic itself, introduced into English around 1550, means "marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion". It comes from the Modern Latin fanaticus, meaning "insanely but divinely inspired". The word originally pertained to a temple or sacred place [Latin fanum, poetic English fane]. The modern sense of "extremely zealous" dates from around 1647; the use of fanatic as a noun dates from 1650.) However, the term "fancy" for an intense liking of something, while being of a different etymology, coincidentally carries a less intense but somewhat similar connotation to "fanatic". The word emerged as an Americanism around 1889.

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