The phrase we stan is an increasingly prominent slang word among Gen Z and Millenial people used to indicate strong agreement or approval of something (e.g. we stan this band). It's thought to trace to a 2000 hip hong song by Eminem called Stan, which was about an extremely obsessive fan called Stan. The next recorded usage is from a 2001 diss track by rapper Nas, where he used it as a synonym of words like "phony" and "fake". For a while, the proper noun was negative and associated with overzealous people, but eventually it came to be viewed in a better light. It was first recorded on Urban Dictionary in 2006, first used as a verb in a 2008 verb, and, according to Google Trends, has been steadily increasing in usage since. The plural form emerged to imply that many people support the viewpoint.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a senior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.