5

While Urban Directory is by no means a reliable source, I see the word shipped used in the sense they describe:

the strong desire for 2 or more fictional characters to be in a romantic relationship.

For example, https://twitter.com/PANDAEMONlUM/status/743419040337661953

i always shipped tom hiddleston and emma watson

Or check https://www.reddit.com/r/zootopia/comments/4m08f0/the_reason_why_people_love_to_ship_nick_and_judy/

Everyone says they ship Judy and Nick because of their amazing chemistry.

This is obviously slang and new slang at that but where does it come from?

  • 2
    Relationship. – Dan Bron Jun 16 '16 at 19:48
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    I'm too lazy to add an answer with sources/corroboration, but you have my unqualified blessing to self-answer based on my comment (so long as your answer has sources!). I'll upvote you. – Dan Bron Jun 16 '16 at 19:53
  • @DanBron I've never met anyone like you! :) – NVZ Jun 16 '16 at 20:16
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    @chx take this too, to your answer. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shipping_(fandom) – NVZ Jun 16 '16 at 20:18
7

TVtropes has some ideas on where the phrase could come from:

  1. ostensibly derives from "Relationship" (though it might as well be "Worship"; in some fandoms, it's Serious Business) — was originally coined by fans of The X-Files, who were divided between "relationshippers" pushing for romance and "noromos" who would rather have No Hugging and No Kissing.

  2. the Pokémon anime's fandom who rooted for Jessie and James (of Team Rocket) to get together and decided to call themselves "Rocketshippers"

A note on the side: Guy Deutscher: The Unfolding Of Language says one of the primary ways a language evolves is via shortening words and here it is, apparently in the 1990s "relationshipping" (or perhaps rocketshipping and worshipping, at the same time) lead to just 'shipping'.

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