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Shipping, initially derived from the word relationship, is the desire by fans for two or more people, either real-life people or fictional characters (in film, literature, television etc.) to be in a romantic relationship. It is considered a general term for fans' emotional involvement with the ongoing development of a relationship in a work of fiction. Shipping often takes the form of creative works, including fanfiction and fan art, most often published on the internet. However, shipping can involve virtually any kind of relationship- from the well-known and established, through the ambiguous or those undergoing development, and even all the way to the highly improbable and the blatantly impossible. It can be used as a friendship term.

Etymology[]

Template:Original research section

The activity of fans creating relationships for fictional characters far predates the term. The first "ship" that became widely popular and accepted was the characters Kirk and Spock from the television show Star Trek. This began in the mid-1970s,[1] and was often referred to as Kirk/Spock, and later "K/S". This is why relationships between two men are now often referred to as "slash".

The actual term "shipping" saw its origin around 1995 by internet fans of the TV show The X-Files, who believed the two main characters, Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, should be or were engaged in a romantic relationship.[2][unreliable source?] They called themselves "relationshippers," at first;[3][4] then R'shipper,[5] 'shipper, and finally just shipper.[6]

The oldest uses of the noun ship (according to this definition of the word) and the noun shipper, as recorded by the Oxford English Dictionary, date back to 1996 postings on the Usenet group alt.tv.x-files; shipping is first attested slightly later, in 1997[7][8][9] and the verb to ship in 1998.[10]

References[]

  1. Verba, Joan Marie (2003). Boldly Writing: A Trekker Fan and Zine History, 1967-1987, 2nd edition. pp. 18–19. http://www.ftlpublications.com/bwebook.pdf. 
  2. "shipper". Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc.”. February 14, 2018. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/shipper?s=t. 
  3. alt.tv.x-files Her *name* is *Bambi*? (use of 'relationshipper')”. January 7, 1996. http://groups.google.com/group/alt.tv.x-files/browse_thread/thread/b5f02b7d9aadb6c8/187e82cecf8c0ad9?hl=en&q=Her+*name*+is+*Bambi*%3F+group:alt.tv.x-files.*#187e82cecf8c0ad9. Accesat la September 29, 2011. 
  4. alt.tv.homicide Expunge cleverness (use of 'relationshipping')”. January 6, 1996. http://groups.google.com/group/alt.tv.homicide/browse_thread/thread/2444de0d8d13fee1/366a65bae6750109?hl=en&q=relationshippers#366a65bae6750109. Accesat la September 29, 2011. 
  5. alt.tv.x-files.creative NEW: TITLE 17 [1/1 (use of "R'shipper")]”. April 20, 1996. http://groups.google.com/group/alt.tv.x-files.creative/browse_thread/thread/4c49a70b5ff0c28d/9456888de5caebd6?hl=en&q=shipper+group:alt.tv.x-files.*#9456888de5caebd6. Accesat la September 29, 2011. 
  6. alt.tv.x-files My problem with 'anti-relationshippers'.... (use of 'shipper' in post 85)”. May 19, 1996. http://groups.google.com/group/alt.tv.x-files/browse_thread/thread/d17887f9dbb1ffa6/6c39bb1b7ef2bfe0?hl=en&q=files+shipper&lnk=ol&. Accesat la September 29, 2011. 
  7. "ship, n.3". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  8. "shipper, n.2". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  9. "shipping, n.2". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  10. "ship, v.2". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
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