fan

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fair-weather fan

A person who is supportive of and enthusiastic about a sports team only when that team is performing well. I've been rooting for the home team in their playoff run, but I'll admit I'm just a fair-weather fan.
See also: fan

fan dance

1. Literally, a striptease or exotic dance employing the use of large fans to conceal, suggest, or slowly reveal the nudity of the performer. While striptease is often relegated in the public imagination to seedy bars and desperate women, the fan dances performed in this club are truly beautiful.
2. By extension, any incremental exposure or divulgence of information, especially that which is tantalizing or of great interest. The filmmaker has been doing something of a fan dance over the past few weeks, offering tiny bits of information about who will be in his upcoming blockbuster.
See also: dance, fan

fan out

1. To spread out over a certain area. Fan out and search the entire neighborhood!
2. To spread something out. Fan out all the pages so that I can figure out what's missing.
See also: fan, out

fan the flames

To do or say something to make an argument, problem, or bad situation worse; to further incense an already angry person or group of people. The debate was going poorly for the senatorial candidate, and his strikingly uncouth comments simply fanned the flames. Revelations of the CEO's massive retirement package fanned the flames for consumers already furious over the company's dubious financial dealings.
See also: fan, flame

hit the fan

To become a significant or more widely known issue. Once this scandal hits the fan, all of our investors are liable to pull out of our company.
See also: fan, hit

*fan of someone

to be a follower of someone; to idolize someone. (*Typically: be ~; become ~.) My mother is still a fan of the Beatles. I'm a great fan of the mayor of the town.
See also: fan, of

fan out

Fig. to spread out over a wide area. The searchers fanned out, looking for the child lost in the woods. Let's fan out and search a wider area.
See also: fan, out

fan out (from some place)

to spread outward from a particular area. The paths seem to fan out from the wide trail that starts at the house. The trails fanned out and soon we were all separated.
See also: fan, out

fan something out

to spread something out so that all parts can be seen better. (As one opens a wood and paper fan.) Todd fanned the cards out so we could see which ones he held. He fanned out the cards.
See also: fan, out

fan the breeze

Fig. to chat or gossip. We're just fanning the breeze, so you didn't interrupt anything. Stop fanning the breeze and get to work.
See also: breeze, fan

fan the flames (of something)

Fig. to make something more intense; to make a situation worse. The riot fanned the flames of racial hatred even more. The hostility in the school is bad enough without anyone fanning the flames.
See also: fan, flame

hit the fan

Inf. Fig. to become publicly known; to become a scandal. (From the phrase when the shit hit the fan.) I wasn't even in the country when it hit the fan. It hit the fan, and within ten minutes the press had spread it all over the world.
See also: fan, hit

when the shit hits the fan

Sl. when all the expected trouble materializes. When the shit hits the fan, you had better be prepared to support those of us who are involved in this mess.
See also: fan, hit, shit

fan the flames

Intensify or stir up feelings; exacerbate an explosive situation. For example, She already found him attractive, but his letters really fanned the flames, or His speech fanned the flames of racial dissension.
See also: fan, flame

shit will hit the fan, the

Also, when or then the shit hits the fan . There will be major trouble, often following the disclosure of a piece of information. For example, When they find out they were firing on their own planes, the shit will hit the fan. This idiom calls up the graphic image of feces spread by a rapidly revolving electric fan. [ Vulgar slang; c. 1930]
See also: hit, shit, will

fan the flames

COMMON If something that someone says or does fans the flames, it makes a bad situation worse. There are several specific and new issues that are fanning the flames in this dispute. Lee's latest film, based on the life of Malcolm X, is set to fan the flames of controversy even higher. Compare with add fuel to the fire. Note: To fan flames means to make them burn more strongly by waving a fan or other flat object next to them.
See also: fan, flame

the shit hits the fan

INFORMAL, VERY RUDE
If the shit hits the fan, serious trouble suddenly starts. If I was them, I'd be planning to pull out before the shit hits the fan. Then Gene heard about the matter and the shit really hit the fan. Note: People sometimes replace shit with a less offensive word. Tom visited us in Canada shortly before the stuff hit the fan.
See also: fan, hit, shit

when the shit hits the fan

when a situation becomes critical; when the disastrous consequences of something become public.
See also: fan, hit, shit

fan the ˈflames (of something)

make a feeling such as anger, hatred, etc. worse: His writings fanned the flames of racism.
See also: fan, flame

(when) the ˌshit hits the ˈfan

(taboo, slang) (when) somebody in authority finds out about something bad or wrong that somebody has done: When the committee finds out what actually happened, the shit will really hit the fan.
See also: fan, hit, shit

fan out

v.
1. To move or project outward from a central source or point: The troops landed on the beachhead and fanned out.
2. To lay out or place something in a fanlike shape: I fanned the cards out on the table. They fanned out the photos on the desk so we could see them.
See also: fan, out

fan

tv. to ignore someone or something; to cut a class; to blow someone/something off. (Fan = blow as in blow someone off. Fan, from fanatic meaning “devotee” or “admirer” is very old and is Standard English.) You have to meet with your teacher? Oh, fan that. It doesn’t matter.

fan the breeze

tv. to chat or gossip. We’re just fanning the breeze, so you didn’t interrupt anything.
See also: breeze, fan

hit the fan

tv. to become publicly known; to become a scandal. (From the phrase when the shit hit the fan.) It hit the fan, and within ten minutes the press had spread it all over the world.
See also: fan, hit

when the shit hits the fan

tv. when all the expected trouble materializes. (Usually objectionable.) When the shit hits the fan, you had better be prepared to support those of us who are involved in this mess. We had one hell of an afternoon around here. Where were you when the shit hit the fan?
See also: fan, hit, shit

hit the fan

Slang
To have serious, usually adverse consequences.
See also: fan, hit

when the shit hits the fan

When the situation goes awry; when trouble starts.
See also: fan, hit, shit
References in classic literature ?
He was fanning himself slowly with a piece of paper, the telegram he had so violently intercepted.
Daisy turned away from Winterbourne, looking at him, smiling and fanning herself.
The wind burst forth with frightful violence in this burning atmosphere; it twisted the blazing clouds; one might have compared it to the breath of some gigantic bellows, fanning all this conflagration.
A minute more and a breath of real live air was fanning us.
Then he flew gently round the bed, fanning the boy's forehead with his wings.
heaven knows when and where she had learned it) she talked with her partner, fanning herself and smiling over the fan.
She was fanning herself languidly, but her eyes were fixed upon the two men.
Kwaque possessed a jews' harp, and, whenever the world of the Makambo and the servitude to the steward grew wearisome, he could transport himself to King William Island by thrusting the primitive instrument between his jaws and fanning weird rhythms from it with his hand, and when he thus crossed space and time, Michael sang-- or howled, rather, though his howl possessed the same soft mellowness as Jerry's.