And when I say hero, I mean like, anachronistic, fairy tale, knight in shining armor, fighting dragons, chivalric romance, kind of hero.

I need the word for a title for a piece of content that I made for game, (Dungeons & Dragons if you must know, though I don't think that has much to do with the question at hand) which I'd like to share with others in the gaming community I participate in. The title is the only thing I have to work with to get people's attention and communicate the theme without the audience actually clicking the link. (It will just appear as a single word in a massive list of other stuff other people have made) The name I give it is the only marketing tool I've got, so it's important that the word be accurate, or people will pass it over or click on it out of misunderstanding.

An example would be a person who idolizes Ghandi, and decides to model their values and life off of his actions, by becoming a civil rights activist. They don't dress like Ghandi, or use all of the same methods as him, or even necessarily agree with all of his ideas in detail, but they do pattern their life after his achievements. The example I was planning on using in the text is Don Quixote, despite him being fictional, delusional, and more than a little extreme.

Imitator and copycat give a juvenile impression- like a 6-year-old acting like his older brother. That would be thematically inaccurate.

I also do not want a word with religious overtones like idolator, zealot, or fanatic, as these would be misleading, giving the implication that the game element would make their character a cultist of some sort. (Cultists are a regular theme as enemies in these games, so it's not much of a leap.)

Romantic seems close, but with the contemporary common usage of that word, just seems off.

I am not sure if this word even exists. I think it does. It feels like it's on the tip of my tongue, but I've been thinking about it for two months now with no luck.

  • 2
    Hero worship seems to come closest.
    – Bookeater
    Sep 10, 2016 at 8:44
  • Imitate in what way? perform the same actions as the hero? dress and talk like the hero? Sep 10, 2016 at 16:36
  • Hero worship is the correct description of the behavior, but what would that person be called? A hero-worshiper? Kind of a construction rather than an actual title. Also, it contains that religious sentiment. I'll edit my post with an example. Sep 10, 2016 at 17:46
  • 1
    If you know who the hero is you might add -ian, such as Ghandian or Quixotian in your example. Then it can subsequently mean whatever you want it to mean.
    – Jim
    Sep 10, 2016 at 18:34
  • If you're referring to this person, note that the spelling is "Gandhi".
    – Kaz
    Dec 11, 2018 at 2:49

4 Answers 4


How about disciple?

disciple: one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another; a convinced adherent of a school or individual [Merriam-Webster]

disciple: person who is a pupil or an adherent of the doctrines of another; follower [Dictionary.com]

disciple: one who embraces and assists in spreading the teachings of another [The Free Dictionary]

disciple: a person who believes in the ideas and principles of someone famous and tries to live the way that person does or did [Cambridge]

disciple: a follower or student of a teacher, leader, or philosopher [Oxford]

I can easily imagine using disciple in a video game. I like it better than sidekick. :-)

  • Dang, you hit the nail on the head! I knew it was a real word! Sep 11, 2016 at 11:15
  • @JAMalcolmson Glad to be of assistance. And glad you were right about it being a real word. Sep 11, 2016 at 11:58

Perhaps a follower.


1b : one that follows the opinions or teachings of another

1c : one that imitates another


When you emulate someone, you imitate them, especially with the idea of matching their success. When someone is impressive because of their great skills, brains, strength, or accomplishments, other will emulate. To emulate is to imitate and model yourself after someone.

Merriam-Webster defines the word thus:

em·u·late: \ˈem-yə-ˌlāt, -yü-: to try to be like (someone or something you admire)

Full Definition transitive verb

1 a : to strive to equal or excel b : imitate; especially : to imitate by means of an emulator

2 : to equal or approach equality with

Other forms: em·u·lat·ed; em·u·lat·ing


She grew up emulating her sports heroes.

artists emulating the style of their teachers

Origin: Latin aemulatus, past participle of aemulari, from aemulus rivaling.

First use: 1582



American Heritage:

  1. One who aspires to a role or position.

  2. One who imitates the behavior, customs, or dress of an admired person or group.

  3. A product designed to imitate the qualities or characteristics of something. adj. Wishing or aspiring to be; would-be.

Definition 2.

  • Ooh... that word... what about aspirant? Sep 11, 2016 at 11:13
  • @JAMalcolmson - That word? Wannabe? It can be kind of funny when you juxtapose it with something unrelated to modern popular culture. Sep 12, 2016 at 4:23
  • No. aspires. I forgot that word has a noun form. Sep 12, 2016 at 9:14
  • @JAMalcolmson - I'm lost. Can you explain in a complete sentence, please, what you meant when you wrote "Ooh... that word..."? Sep 12, 2016 at 15:00

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