Trekkies v. Trekkers

When Star Trek was new, we fans of the series were called Trekkies. Sometime during the late '70s, I was informed (by another fan) that “Trekkie” was out, and I should call myself a Trekker.

Is there any good reason why this happened? I just like the show. Am I implying anything more than that if I call myself a Trekkie?

My understanding:
“Trekker” = regular fan of Star Trek, basically normal
“Trekkie” = obsessed unhealthily

Call yourself whatever you want. However, you better refer to other Star Trek fans as “Trekkers.”

If they prefer “Trekkie,” they’ll either let it slide, or correct you without animosity.

On the other hand, if you use the term “Trekkie” for someone who styles himself a “Trekker,” the result will be anything from a patronising lecture to a spittle-flinging rant.

I think, as said, that “Trekkie” just acquired a negative connotation among those who didn’t watch the show. To call yourself a “Trekker” also denotes that you are “part of the scene” of Star Trek, since “Trekkie” is the term familiar to laymen.

“Trekkie” is derived from “Trek” + “-ie” [as in “yippie” or “hippie”] and as such had from the beginning a negative connotation. This was the late 1960s, after all, and Mr. and Mrs. Average American didn’t have all that high an opinion of any of those “long-haired freaky people.”

“Trekker” was coined as the preferred “insider” term as it derives from “trek” + “-er” [as in “traveller” or “soujourner”] and connotes one who is on the trek themselves.

I describe myself as “someone who enjoys the shows and most of the movies.” I have attended exactly one convention, and that for only about 30 minutes, just long enough to pick up a book I couldn’t find anywhere else at the time. I walked out just as they were introducting George Takei, IIRC.

“Trekker” is what trekkies call themselves so they don’t feel so bad about obsessing over a TV show.

That’s always been my suspicion. The other theories all sound like folk etymology to me.

The Trekkie-hippie connection does sound plausible, though. Perhaps it explains my preference, considering that I think of myself not only as an unrepentant Trekkie, but also as a someone who never got over the '60s.

Just call them trekkies. If they start a screaming rant that its trekkers, not trekkies, then you know they’re trekkies, as per ElvisL1ves’s definition.


“Have a Great Fun” – want ad for Kogakusha English School.

If they start a screaming rant about it, just call them an incredible loser.

Sorry, had to be said.

I’ve watched since the early 70s and have seen most of them several times. I’ve never been to a convention, but wouldn’t be embarrassed to be at one. When I’m in a Star Trek mood, I’ll refer to myself as a Trekkie. People who are offended at being called Trekkie’s are Trekkers, and seem to be much more involved in it. You know, the ones that actually speak Klingon. As long as it isn’t insulting or blasphemous, let’s call people what they want. As James Doohan has observed, these are some of the nicest, sweetest, most idealistic and generous people you are ever likely to meet.

Too bad they came along too late, slangwise, to be called Trekniks.

That’s what you call Walter Koenig fans.

One guy in the movie ‘Trekkies’ called himself a ‘Trekken’. That just throws the whole thing for a loop, doesn’t it?

When Star Trek VI came out the local paper had a bit on how the city had declared a “Star Trekker Day.” The article went on to say that the mayor was concerned about the whole thing being seen as cornball until he had the following explained to him:

Trekkies are just your average fan.
Trekkers are people committed to exemplifying the high social ideals exemplified in Star Trek (no world hunger, no racial tension, etc.)

I’ve watched every show and been to a convention. I don’t call myself either name… It’s just to geeky. I love the show but I don’t define myself by a TV show. I might go to another convention again, as there are some really interesting people to meet, but hell there are some people there that frankly scare me.

Couldn’t have expressed it better myself. We love you, you big old phenisciform bird from the austral regions, now get out of here.

If I recall correctly, Gene preferred “Trekker” over “Trekkie”.

Suits Me. :slight_smile:

Trekkies v. Trekkers: The biggest slap-fight of the century.

I don’t get it. What’s wrong with calling them “nerds?”

How about “Treknik”? For Mr. Chekov.