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I was looking up on the web but the best antonym of fad that I could find was 'standard'. It is close but not quite accurate in my opinion. Any other suggestions? For instance, what would be the most appropriate last word in the following sentence:

Are fidget spinners just a fad or _____.

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    Tradition. – Dan Bron Jul 18 '17 at 14:38
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    There is a degree to which 'fad' is applied preemptively on the assumption that something is going to fade away after a brief period of popularity, or it is just applied retrospectively, 'who knew that google glasses would turn out to just be a fad?'. A near synonym for 'fad' would be 'craze', again dependent on assuming the temporary nature of the popularity. So if you are talking about a current craze or fad, you'd need to find a way to express 'likely to become a permanent fixture in our culture'. – Spagirl Jul 18 '17 at 14:53
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    Which part of "fad" are looking for the opposite of? The short duration, or the popularity? – HopelessN00b Jul 18 '17 at 18:02
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    @DanBron "Are fidget spinners just a fad or tradition"? – vijrox Jul 18 '17 at 21:16
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    @DanBron: Calling something a fad (present tense) makes assumptions about the future (it will not last). Calling something tradition (present tense) makes a statement about its past (it has already lasted). – Flater Jul 19 '17 at 7:30
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As the other answers suggest there are several ways of saying what you want to say, but in the context of the sentence that you provided, I would suggest "here to stay."

"Are fidget spinners just a fad, or here to stay."

If something is here to stay, it has stopped being unusual and has become generally used or accepted:
Blogging is here to stay.

Reference: Cambridge Dictionary

  • Thank you. This phrase sounds the best and I can use in my presentation. – mkc Jul 18 '17 at 17:06
13

Sometimes a classic is the opposite of a fad or fashion:

This plain black cardigan is a classic piece that will be useful in your wardrobe for years.

From m-w.com

Definition of classic 1 a : serving as a standard of excellence : of recognized value classic literary works a classic case study on hysteria b : traditional, enduring classic designs c : characterized by simple tailored lines in fashion year after year a classic suit

  • Even though we might think something is "here to stay", until it's actually stayed long enough, it isn't a classic yet. – Monty Harder Jul 19 '17 at 18:15
12

You might consider staple

  1. A basic or essential supply.

    Rice is a staple in the diet of many cultures.

  2. A recurring topic or character (in creative works).

or perennial.

  1. Continuing without cessation or intermission; perpetual; permanent; unceasing; never failing.
  2. (figuratively) Enduring; lasting; timeless.
11

Often, the opposite of a fad is described as a classic (or, in its adjective form, a classic [whatever]). This usage is especially common in fashion, but I think can be applied in other industries. The general definition, from Oxford Dictionaries:

ADJECTIVE

  1. Judged over a period of time to be of the highest quality and outstanding of its kind.

    1.1. (of a garment or design) of a simple, elegant style not greatly subject to changes in fashion.

NOUN

  1. A work of art of recognized and established value.

    1.1 A garment of a simple, elegant, and long-lasting style.

And some further explanation of the fad-trend-classic gamut, from the world of fashion (in this case, jewelry, but very similar discussions are found in other sub-genres of fashion; all bolding added):

Typically, fads last for a total of one season, but they can also last less than a month.
. . .
Trends have a much longer lifespan than fads. . . . The primary difference between a trend and a fad is that trends have the potential to be long-term influencers on the market.
. . .
Classics are forever.

"Fad, Trend, or Classic: What's the Difference?", MarkSchneiderDesign.com, 2014

While you will (most?) often see these distinctions discussed in the realm of apparel, they are also very often used in other areas.

Some relevant examples:

Note that it's really hard to judge something a "classic" before at least some time has passed, even if we think it is headed in that direction. So if you are wondering whether fidget spinners are going to be here-and-gone or will be around for a very long time, you could say:

Are fidget spinners just a fad or are they destined to be a classic (toy)?

A slightly more concise way to say this would be to use the term "new classic", a slightly-oxymoronic phrase meant to suggest that some new thing has all the hallmarks of a classic. So:

Are fidget spinners just a fad, or are they a new classic?


I note that another answer suggesting "classic" has been posted while I've been writing this; I'm going to go ahead and post it anyway for its examples, and also upvote that answer.

  • If the formatting in this post looks weird, it might be because I played around with formatting of quotations and citations. I'm aiming for a bit of visual distinction between quotations of definitions, example quotations, and suggested sentences based on the OP's example. I also want to strike a balance between links that look good and links that are useful for TTS users. Any comments or suggestions on that are very welcome. – 1006a Jul 20 '17 at 5:53
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Something that is tried and true is the opposite of a fad.

Phr. tried and true, proved reliable by experience. (OED).

e.g.

1979 Tucson (Arizona) Mag. Apr. 47/1 A beautifully made ‘period’ movie, written and directed by tried-and-true Michael Crichton.

Also, if something is going to be around for awhile it has staying power.

staying power n. in a race or other contest (hence also gen.), power to ‘stay’ or continue in action for a long time; power of persistent effort. (OED).

e.g. 1880 G. Duff in 19th Cent. No. 38. 661 The Greek is no doubt the higher civilisation, but the Bulgarian has more ‘staying power.’

Is the fidget spinner just a fad or does it have staying power? Time will tell if it becomes ranked among the tried and true products of our day.

  • 1
    Though the same thing could be both depending what period of time you look at them from. I'm sure the bicycle was once regarded as a fad, when it was new, but it is hardly that now. – Spagirl Jul 18 '17 at 14:45
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Something that remains fresh and interesting might be called an evergreen (M-W), or a perennial favorite (same source)

1

A trend is an evolving shift, neither a fad nor a standard yet. It may even look like a fad, but it increases in acceptability rather than fading.

Fax machines were considered a fad until they reached a sweet spot -- the critical mass of businesses that bought them set the trend that made buying them worthwhile.

The general direction of something: the river's southern trend. - American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Ed.

To borrow from @Spagirl, before we know for sure that a shift is not fleeting, we can call it a trend if we believe it is "likely to become a permanent fixture in our culture." We can also look back and say something was a trend and not a fad because it became a permanent fixture.

  • Today fax machines are fast becoming obsolete, so I don't think this is a good comparison at all, between ten and fifteen years ago fax machines enjoyed a trend (= boom). Trends by the their very nature are fickle and volatile. – Mari-Lou A Jul 20 '17 at 4:28
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    I would say "an enduring trend". – Rob K Jul 20 '17 at 17:31
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Possibly useful also is the word constant, defined in one sense of its meaning as "occurring continuously over time".

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Many of the terms here my benefit from amplification with an adjective indicating permanence.

"... or an enduring classic?"

"...or a lasting trend?"

"...or a permanent fixture?"

Of the three, I like "enduring classic" as the most positive, which would be ideal for an advertising puff-piece about fidget spinners.

In comparison the accepted answer "here to stay" feels far more neutral and unbiased, which would definitely be preferable in sober reportage.

protected by Community Jul 20 '17 at 21:51

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