Know Your Nerd: What Superfans Call Themselves
If it exists, someone is an obsessive fan of it.
Web2Carz Senior Writer
Published: August 12th, 2012
here was a time when nerds or, if you will, obsessive fans, were fairly easy to ignore. Their numbers were small and they kept to themselves. But now, with the population growing, and the number of TV shows, movies, comic books, and toys and collectibles available, nerd numbers are growing. There are so many in fact, and they are so diverse, that a whole classification system has arisen to identify them.
Perhaps the first people to be given their own appellation were the Star Trek fans. The term “Trekkies” was first used in 1967 to describe a group of Star Trek fans that was spotted at the 25th Word Science Fiction Convention sporting pointy Spock ears. But soon after, some fans began to see themselves as less “fanatical” than others, and so dubbed themselves “Trekkers,” which they considered more dignified (never mind that the word implies someone taking a trek, rather than someone watching a story about other people taking a trek).
The term "Trekkies" was first used in 1967 to describe a group of Star Trek fans that was spotted at the 25th Word Science Fiction Convention sporting pointy Spock ears.
Since then fans of various television show, movies, video games, and popular entertainers have given themselves titles to distinguish them from their equally obsessed (but with something different) brethren and sistren. Here is just a small sample of the vast “who’s who” of fandom.
Backies – Backies may refer to fans of the Back to the Future films, or to fans of the New Zealand TV show Back of the Y.
Batmaniacs – Fans of Batman. This term probably applies more to fans of the comic book and/or the original TV show than the subsequent films, although the term is broad enough to cover anyone. There is a subset of Batmaniacs called Baleheads, who have a preference for the recent Batman films starring Christian Bale.
Bronies – Male fans of the children’s cartoon My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Bronies consider themselves unique because the show is aimed at girls (brony is a conflation of the words “bro” and “pony.” There are enough Bronys to warrant a convention—Bronycon—that is held every three to five months in the New York area. A particularly perverse subset of bronies is known as “cloppers.” Cloppers are bronies who become sexually excited by characters from My Little Pony.
Buffistas – fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Many Buffistas are also fans of other Joss Whedon shows such as Angel, Firefly, and Dollhouse (although Firefly fans are known as Browncoats).
Foamers – People obsessed with railroads and trains. This term was coined by people in the railroad industry as a derogatory term, referring to people who practically foamed at the mouth when they saw a certain train. Fomers are also known as trainspotters.
Gleeks – Fans of the TV show Glee. A conflation of the words “glee” and “geek.”
Jonatics – Fans of the Jonas Brothers. A conflation of “Jonas” and “fanatic.”
Juggalos – Fans of the Insane Clown Posse (ICP). Juggalos attend ICP concerts in full clown makeup. They tend to be between 12 and 20 years old, although their average age is climbing as the number of new ICP fans is shrinking. Juggalos come together each year at the “Gathering of the Juggalos,” a three-day festival held in rural Illinois.
Little Monsters – Fans of Lady Gaga. This term was coined by Lady Gaga herself.
Maniloonies – Fans of Barry Manilow. Manilooniness is not yet recognized as a legitimate mental illness. Some Manilow fans prefer to be called "Fanilows."
Moonies – Fans of the Japanese manga series Sailor Moon, and all of its subsequent adaptations.
Ringers – Fans of the Lord of the Rings books, or any of the various adaptations.
Sherlockians – Fans of the Sherlock Holmes character created by Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlockians are perhaps the oldest-known obsessive fans. Sherlockians tend to refer to Holmes as a historical figure, rather than a fictional character.
Suicidalists – Fans of Detroit rapper Esham.
Team Breezy – Fans of R&B singer and accused spouse-abuser Chris Brown.
Tributes – Fans of the Hunger Games series of books and movies.
Twilighters (or Twi-Hards) – Fans of the Twilight series of books and movies.
Whovians – Fans of the British sci-fi TV show Doctor Who. Whovians are the contemporaries of Trekkers, as both Doctor Who and Star Trek debuted in the 1960s. However, the term Whovian did not come into use until the 1980s.
X-Philes – Fans of the X-Files TV show and subsequent films.