A fan is a mechanical device that moves air around. Fans have many uses, the most popular one being ventilation, of course. Removing hot air from computer enclosures is very important. A ceiling fan over your head in the summer can keep you comfortable at a higher room temperature than without, which saves on air conditioning costs.

fall through = F = fandango on core

fan n.

Without qualification, indicates a fan of science fiction, especially one who goes to cons and tends to hang out with other fans. Many hackers are fans, so this term has been imported from fannish slang; however, unlike much fannish slang it is recognized by most non-fannish hackers. Among SF fans the plural is correctly `fen', but this usage is not automatic to hackers. "Laura reads the stuff occasionally but isn't really a fan."

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

Every so often, I'm puzzled by the things people have as decor. Miniature straw hats, for instance. Since in the Summertime, I usually wear a straw hat, usually decorated with whatever seasonal/whimsical/topical tidbits I can find (feathers, silk or real flowers, loops of ribbon - especially blue or red-- etc.), hey, I've Got Eye and Skin Problems, this helps... I found the idea of decorating with nonfunctional, small straw hats somewhat odd...kind of like decorating with tiny dresses.

"Well, I'd like to wear a hat like that, but it just doesn't go with my present lifestyle."
"You go outdoors, don't you?"
"Yes, but...I mean, I'm not a hat person...What happens if I drive my car? It brushes on the roof."
"You either leave it on, and drive, or you take it off."
"What about the office? I wouldn't look professional."
"Take it off. Then, put it back on for lunch, and when you leave. Most people know that."
"No one else has one."
"Their loss. Most people think mine is great."
"So, I have to keep putting it on and taking it off?"
"I do."
"I really don't have time to do all that."
"It's a lot more aesthetic than that baseball cap you have, that you don't take off, ever."

Much the same goes, exponentially, with my fan. I learned to open a fan when I was about four or five (my mother being Hispanically-oriented, helped), and have carried one every place and time I've been predictably overheated, that is, when I was in Study Hall in High School, as a dancer, in church in the Summer, and so on, and so on. It's part of my summer EveryDay Carry, and should be, for anyone who doesn't want to rely on electricity to take the heat off.

Not that this hasn't been met with some puzzlement. In Study Hall, most of the kids thought I was a weirdo (but wanted to sit by me, nonetheless). Black kids axed me why I didn't have one of those battery-operated dinguses. Smart-alecky men asked me if my effort fanning myself wasn't making me even hotter. A photographer thought that my carrying a fan (I was dancing at Punk Rock festival) wasn't the meeting of two worlds, the punky and the ultra-feminine: I replied that I was carrying a rather soberly-toned fan, with a pine-tree motif -- it was the closest to being butch, in fan language, that I could possibly be! (Also, it looked quite fetching with my outfit, which was kind of Molly Millions-like, except that it was a couple of years before Neuromancer.Meow!) Since then, I've had to deal with Pier One "no longer carrying fans as an item", mall stores carrying fans of every length except a practical one, and the dissolution of my mother's collection.

So, let's get started on being a fan person.

The ideal fan for you is something that you can hold in your hand, with ribs that reach to the crook of your arm. Any longer, and you won't be able to maneuver it properly, any shorter, and it's not going to be practical. It should have a good balance: if you hold the fan correctly (in the hollow of your hand) and make the gesture of snapping your fingers, with a twist of the wrist, and a slight throwing motion, the fan should fall open. If nothing of the sort happens, smile graciously, and start chatting up the shop owner. They may demonstrate. If they claim they can't get a fan that works like that, smile again, and leave, preferably for a shop in a more Asian-based (I was about to say 'oriented') neighborhood. According to Victorian etiquette, men shouldn't carry them, if you are male, lean rather on Georgian, French, or Japanese manners instead. (In other words, if it wouldn't look good in the hand of Larry Ellison or Anderson Cooper, or isn't dark, text-based, or masculine-toned, forget it).

Fanning yourself should be an easy gesture, just turn your wrist, and you have a breeze. You can do it quickly or slowly, and, if you don't call too much attention to what you're doing, you have a friend for life, for all those little moments, when the a/c conks out, outdoors, when you need to buy a little time, to calm down, as an effective, but easily carried weapon, on the often overheated floor of a computer trade fair (I used the blank surface of my fan to take notes, to the high acclaim of many Asian attendees) and, last but not least, you can send messages. (Which is what I did a lot when I was supposedly a 'butch' punk rock dancer....)Not bad for five bucks, I'd say. And, you'll literally outcool everyone....Now let me tell you about my parasol...

Fan (?), n. [AS. fann, fr. L. vannus fan, van for winnowing grain; cf. F. van. Cf. Van a winnowing machine, Winnow.]


An instrument used for producing artificial currents of air, by the wafting or revolving motion of a broad surface

; as: (a)

An instrument for cooling the person, made of feathers, paper, silk, etc., and often mounted on sticks all turning about the same pivot, so as when opened to radiate from the center and assume the figure of a section of a circle.

(b) Mach.

Any revolving vane or vanes used for producing currents of air, in winnowing grain, blowing a fire, ventilation, etc., or for checking rapid motion by the resistance of the air; a fan blower; a fan wheel.


An instrument for winnowing grain, by moving which the grain is tossed and agitated, and the chaff is separated and blown away

. (d)

Something in the form of a fan when spread, as a peacock's tail, a window, etc.


A small vane or sail, used to keep the large sails of a smock windmill always in the direction of the wind.

Clean provender, which hath been winnowed with the shovel and with the fan. Is. xxx. 24.


That which produces effects analogous to those of a fan, as in exciting a flame, etc.; that which inflames, heightens, or strengthens; as, it served as a fan to the flame of his passion.


A quintain; -- from its form.



Fan blower, a wheel with vanes fixed on a rotating shaft inclosed in a case or chamber, to create a blast of air (fan blast) for forge purposes, or a current for draft and ventilation; a fanner. -- Fan cricket Zool., a mole cricket. -- Fan light Arch., a window over a door; -- so called from the semicircular form and radiating sash bars of those windows which are set in the circular heads of arched doorways. -- Fan shell Zool., any shell of the family Pectinidae. See Scallop, n., 1. -- Fan tracery Arch., the decorative tracery on the surface of fan vaulting. -- Fan vaulting Arch., an elaborate system of vaulting, in which the ribs diverge somewhat like the rays of a fan, as in Henry VII.'s chapel in Westminster Abbey. It is peculiar to English Gothic. -- Fan wheel, the wheel of a fan blower. -- Fan window. Same as Fan light (above).


© Webster 1913.

Fan (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Fanned (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Fanning (?).] [Cf. OF. vanner, L. vannere. See Fan, n., Van a winnowing machine.]


To move as with a fan.

The air . . . fanned with unnumbered plumes. Milton.


To cool and refresh, by moving the air with a fan; to blow the air on the face of with a fan.


To ventilate; to blow on; to affect by air put in motion.

Calm as the breath which fans our eastern groves. Dryden.


To winnow; to separate chaff from, and drive it away by a current of air; as, to fan wheat.

Jer. li. 2.


To excite or stir up to activity, as a fan axcites a flame; to stimulate; as, this conduct fanned the excitement of the populace.

Fanning machine, ∨ Fanning mill, a machine for separating seed from chaff, etc., by a blast of air; a fanner.


© Webster 1913.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.