AskDefine | Define trekker

Dictionary Definition

trekker n : a traveler who makes a long arduous journey (as hiking through mountainous country)

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

(Star) Trek + -er

Pronunciation

Noun

  1. A fan of the TV science fiction series Star Trek.

Synonyms

Usage notes

See Trekkie

Extensive Definition

Trekkie (or Trekker) is a term used to describe a fan of all or part of the Star Trek fictional universe.

Origins

In the late 1960s, science fiction editor Art Saha applied the term "trekkies" when he saw a few fans of the first season of Star Trek wearing pointy ears at a science convention. He used the term in an interview with Pete Hamill that Hamill was conducting for TV Guide concerning the phenomenon of science fiction.
The Trekkie phenomena did not catch on with general public consciousness until years after the show was cancelled in 1969. The show began syndication in reruns during the early 1970s and the first fan convention devoted to Star Trek opoened in 1976 in New York.

Trekkie v. Trekker

Some Star Trek enthusiasts prefer the term "Trekkie", while some others self-identify as "Trekker". Self-identification as a "Trekkie" became even less popular after a famous national television parody in 1986 (see Parodies below); several self-described "Trekkers" were quoted as saying they "had a life" (contrasting themselves from "Trekkies").
In the 1991 TV show Star Trek: 25th Anniversary Special, Leonard Nimoy attempts to settle the issue by stating that the term 'Trekker' is the correct one.
In the documentary Trekkies, Kate Mulgrew stated that Trekkers are the ones "walking with us" while the Trekkies are the ones content to simply sit and watch Star Trek.
The issue is also shown in the film Trekkies 2, in which a Star Trek fan recounts a supposed incident during a Star Trek convention where Gene Roddenberry used the term "trekkies" to describe fans of the show, only to be corrected by a fan that stood up and yelled "Trekkers!" Gene Roddenberry, allegedly, responded with "No, it's trekkies. I should know, I invented the thing."

Other names

Star Trek fans who believe Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is the best series of the franchise adopted the title of Niner following the episode "Take Me Out to the Holosuite", in which Captain Benjamin Sisko formed a baseball team "The Niners".

Activities

Trekkies often own memorabilia such as replica props or blueprints and (pseudo-)technical manuals from the shows.
There are many Star Trek fan clubs, among the largest currently being STARFLEET International and the International Federation of Trekkers.
Some Trekkies regularly attend Star Trek conventions (called "cons").
There is a persistent stereotype that amongst Trekkies there are many speakers of the constructed Klingon language. The reality is less clear-cut, as some of its most fluent speakers are more language aficionados than people obsessed with Star Trek. Most Trekkies have no more than a basic vocabulary of Klingon, perhaps consisting of a few common words heard innumerable times over the series, while not having much knowledge of Klingon's syntax or precise phonetics.

Trekkie in the news

During the 1996 Whitewater controversy, a bookbindery employee named Barbara Adams served as an alternate juror. During the trial Adams wore a Star Trek-inspired black and red Starfleet Command division uniform, including a badge, a phaser, and a tricorder.
Adams was dismissed from the trial for conducting a sidewalk interview with the television program American Journal. Although nothing was deemed as a trial enclosure violation, the rule was clearly stated: no juror was to communicate with the press in any manner.
Adams stated the judge at the trial was supportive of her. She said she believed in the principles expressed in Star Trek and found it an alternative to "mindless television" because it promotes tolerance, peace, and faith in mankind. At one point, he asked Jon Lovitz' Trekkie character, whom he assumed to be almost 30 years old, if he had ever kissed a girl, at which the character sadly hung his head.
Trekkies have been parodied in several films, notably Galaxy Quest, a science fiction comedy very obviously modeled on the Star Trek franchise. The main character Jason Nesmith, representing William Shatner, repeats Shatner's 1986 statement when an avid fan asks him about the operation of the fictional vessel.
One episode of Futurama called "Where No Fan Has Gone Before" was dedicated to parodying Trekkies. It included a history whereby the Church of Star Trek had grown so strong that it needed to be abolished from the Galaxy and the words "Star Trek" were even outlawed.
The 1998 film Free Enterprise chronicled the lives of two men who grew up worshipping Star Trek and emulating Captain Kirk. Most of the movie centers on William Shatner, playing a parody of himself, and how the characters wrestle with their relationships to Star Trek.
The Broadway musical Avenue Q partially parodies Trekkies through the inclusion of a character named, appropriately enough, Trekkie Monster. This character is not a Trekkie, however, and is addicted to internet pornography.
A Trekkie featured in one episode of the television show The West Wing, during which Josh Lyman confronts the temporary employee over her display of a Star Trek pin in the White House.

Well-known Trekkies/Trekkers

References and footnotes

trekker in German: Trekkie
trekker in Spanish: Trekkie
trekker in French: Trekkie
trekker in Italian: Trekkie
trekker in Dutch: Trekkie
trekker in Japanese: トレッキー
trekker in Norwegian: Trekkie
trekker in Norwegian Nynorsk: Trekkie
trekker in Portuguese: Trekkie
trekker in Russian: Треккеры
trekker in Swedish: Trekker
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