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Shipping is the act of creating fanfiction, fanart, fanvideos, and other fan-media for a fan's favorite romantic relationship, or "ship". It can also refer to engaging in meta and discussion/promotion of that ship, both in person at conventions, in correspondence with TPTB, or in debates/discussions on the internet.

Shipping can include any kind of relationship. From whats considered cannon or unofficial, to the blatantly unrealistic or obscure. Shipping can sometimes get very intense and lead to kerfluffles within a fandom where there may be several competing, popular 'ships. This can even lead to Shipping wars. Fandoms where intense shipping kerfluffles have occurred include Doctor Who, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, Pokemon, Xena: Warrior Princess, Roswell, and Harry Potter.


Historical Definitions

The following definition dates to March 2007 in the Pokemon fandom:

shipping - "Shipping" is short for "relationshipping," or the fan-pairing of two people from an original work. For example, writing a story about Ash and Misty falling in love would be considered "shipping," or "writing a ship." Ships are usually defined in the form of *shipping, such as Pok├ęshipping (Ash and Misty), Advanceshipping (Ash and May), and so on. However, many of the more obscure ships do not have widely-recognized names, so the author of this guide recommends the use of the *x* format (see below). Shipping is discussed in more detail in CHAPTER. [1]

Related Terminology

  • Ship - Short for "relationship". It is a fan made term in reference to relationships between characters or real people.
  • Shipper - a person who supports a particular relationship.[2] This term may have originated in X-Files fandom.
  • Slasher - a person who supports homosexual pairings in a fandom.


  • Het - A term for pairing that is heterosexual.

Shipping is not limited to heterosexual relationships. There are other terms to denote the non-conventional kinds of shipping.

  • Slash and Femslash (Saffic) - Are terms for homosexual pairings.
  • Yaoi and Yuri - Are borrowed Japanese terms for homosexual pairings, particularity used in Anime or Game fandoms.
  • Crack!ship - An obscure pairing or relationship where fans must be high on crack to support.
  • Genderswap - Switching the gender of characters involved, generally used in Crack!fic.
  • Chan - A reference to fic with a relationship between an adult and some one under the age of 18.


There are many types of notation that fans of different fandoms use to refer to a pairing. The most common are:

  • (/) A slash between the characters involved.
  • (x) The letter X between the characters involved.
  • Creating a portmanteau from the names of the characters involved. Commonly used within fandoms of anime.

Some fandoms have there own specific notation for ships.

Examples needed here.


This section needs more information.


This section needs more information.

External Links

See also

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