ship [verb and noun]

Discussion in 'Dictionary Additions' started by primadonna, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. primadonna

    primadonna Senior Member

  2. Cagey post mod (English Only / Latin)

    English - US
    This is an interesting and curious use of 'ship'. Do you have any more examples of its use on other websites, or from other sources?
  3. primadonna

    primadonna Senior Member

  4. Cagey post mod (English Only / Latin)

    English - US
    Thank you for the added context.
    They make the meaning clearer to me: To claim two people are in a relationship.
    The meaning and use make sense.

    Thank you for you contribution. :)
  5. stormwreath Senior Member

    English - England
    I don't think "to claim two people are in a relationship" is really the meaning of the word - or at least not the primary meaning.

    To ship
    (a couple) means that you are a supporter of their relationship; you like the fact that they're together - or alternatively, you wish they were together. You think they're cute, you think they are (or would be) a lovely couple.

    It's almost always used in the context of fictional characters, in books, films and TV shows. People who are fans of a particular relationship between two characters, or who wish that they would start a relationship, are said to ship them.

    "I ship Romeo and Juliet" means that you like the fact that they fall in love in the play; "I ship Romeo and Mercutio" would mean you think it would have been a better play (for certain values of 'better') if Shakespeare had written about Romeo falling in love with Mercutio instead of Juliet.

    Etymology: It's derived from an abbreviation of relationship, and in fact is sometimes written with an apostrophe, as 'ship.

    Variants: To ship is a verb, a described above. Ship can also be a noun, with the basic meaning of 'relationship' but encompassing the idea of being popular with fans: for example, "Romeo/Mercutio is my ship" means that it's a relationship you're particularly emotionally invested in talking about (or creating fanart or writing fanfiction about).

    Shipping is the phenomenon of becoming emotionally invested in a particular (fictional) relationship.
    Shipper is a person who ships. "She is a Romeo/Mercutio shipper, but he is more conventional and ships Romeo/Juliet".
  6. superflashyhexagon New Member

    English - British
    It can also be used as a noun, e.g. "I sail on the ship X/Y" (where X/Y are the names of the couple).

    It seems to be used predominantly in fan fiction (such as Harry Potter fan fiction) where the relationship does not exist in the literary canon, but the fan fiction writer is wistful about it occurring in future fiction written by the author. I agree that the best definition is showing support for a relationship.
  7. JustKate

    JustKate Moderate Mod

    I have often thought of posting this particular meaning of ship as well - I hear it a lot during various interactions on social media. I've only heard it and seen it in relation to fictional couples or would-be couples, e.g., "I ship Spock/Uhura!" or "Not me. I ship Kirk/Spock." Is it used for real-life couples, too? If so, I've never run across it. It's always been in relation to a particular fandom such as Star Trek, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and so on.
  8. _rukshiaaa_ New Member

    English - England
    I ship a lot of people from Youtube and books as well, and I've also used it in real life with my friends
  9. DrewD New Member

    Florida, US
    English - United States
    I hear this word (and sometimes use it, I'll admit) with other young people. It applies to both fictional and real people, though the use with fictional people is older, I assume, and more prevalent. Also, people can still be shipped even if they actually are in a relationship (in this case, the ship is said to be "canon", even in real life). I agree with stormwreath's definition: supporting the idea of a relationship.
  10. sandpiperlily

    sandpiperlily Senior Member

    Chiming in to say I have never seen "ship" used to refer to real people. I have also hardly ever heard it used in real life -- only on the internet.
  11. Zmapper New Member

    English - United States
    Website is where I've seen "ship" used in this context, and may possibly be where the definition originated.
  12. sambullock002 New Member

    I've been seeing the word "ship" in many forums, mostly anime forums and also among fan fiction sites. Fans use the word to support the relationship between two characters. But I haven't encountered "ship" in this context in dictionaries either.
  13. cossack5 Senior Member

    I think this word deserves to be added into the dictionaries but with a "slang" note / annotation.

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