The Shipper Glossary
If it feels like shippers speak their own language, it’s because they do. Here we run down the key phrases to understanding the wacky, weird world of shipping
Shipper Derived from the word relationship, a fan who’s deeply invested in the romance — or the possibility of romance — between two characters. Shipping runs the gamut between ”just having fun” and ”scary-stalker serious.”
Noromos Dating back to the days of The X-Files, these are fans who oppose the idea of romance between characters. (Get it? No romance.) They’re often hardcore geeks who think the mushy stuff gets in the way of more interesting things, like investigating mysteries, flying spaceships, or killing monsters.
Shipper War Conflict between rival shipper groups. The battleground: website message boards. See below.
Stelenas vs. Delenas Shippers of The Vampire Diaries are typically divided into two camps: those who want to see Stefan and Elena hook up, and those who want to see Damon and Elena hook up.
Smooshing That annoying thing where people cook up nicknames, like Stelena and Delena? That’s smooshing.
Fanfic Short for fan fiction, a very popular, creative way for shippers to express themselves.
Crossover Shippers who forge an imaginary coupling between characters from different pop culture properties — say, Princess Leia and Harry Potter.
Mary Sue When fans write fanfic that includes an idealized character clearly based on themselves, that character is called a Mary Sue. (Mary Sues often get romantically involved with the fan’s favorite character.)
Slash A type of shipper — or subgenre of shipper fanfic — that advocates for a relationship to blossom between two same-sex characters.
Wincesters The out-there group of Supernatural fans who fantasize about romance between the show’s heroes, brothers Sam and Dean Winchester. Yes, we said brothers.
Thank you Entertainment Weekly, but remember that Time actually wrote an article in their magazine on the effect of fanfiction.