I have now come across several attempts at stereotyping fans whose lives are judged (guessed at) in accordance to the tennis player they have chosen to support. Are Federer fans unsuccessful in life, needing his success to be lifted above the mediocrity of their own reality? Or is this just bogus bad loser rationalisation? Personally I think every fan looks to the sport and particular athlete for inspiration and positive emotions. Fan: Paul Dickson, in his Dickson Baseball Dictionary, cites William Henry Nugent's work that claims it comes from fancy, a 19th century term from England that referred mainly to followers of boxing. According to that unsupported explanation, it was originally shortened to fance then just to the homonym fans. However, Merriam-Webster, the Oxford dictionary and other recognized sources define it as a shortened version of the word fanatic, and the word did first become popular in reference to an enthusiastic follower of a baseball team. (Fanatic itself, introduced into English around 1550, means "marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion". It comes from the Modern Latin fanaticus, meaning "insanely but divinely inspired". The word originally pertained to a temple or sacred place [Latin fanum, poetic English fane]. The modern sense of "extremely zealous" dates from around 1647; the use of fanatic as a noun dates from 1650.) However, the term "fancy" for an intense liking of something, while being of a different etymology, coincidentally carries a less intense but somewhat similar connotation to "fanatic". The word emerged as an Americanism around 1889. Supporter is a synonym to "fan" which predates the latter term and as such is still commonly used in British English, especially to denote fans of sports teams. However, the term "fan" has become popular throughout the English-speaking world, including the United Kingdom. The term supporter is also used in a political sense in the United States, to a fan of a politician, a political party, and a controversial issue. Discuss.