Usage of the word "slash" and
the virgule "/" alone
No instances before 1980. This is a preliminary list of print citations;
please, please let me know
if you know of anything to add, in the way of positive or negative evidence.
1981: S & H Letterzine #18, February: letter:
the slash (/) relationship.
Actually, my main complaint about S/H is the term 'Starsky *stroke*
Hutch.' It is just too coy. I like *slash*.
It sounds so masculine, like passion in the night and lust that
strikes like lightning. *Stroke* sounds so cutesy. *Slash*
sounds dynamic, dominant, daring, and exciting.
--› we have a winner. So far, this looks like
the citation for the OED. Note that though this is the first use
in this zine, the writer seems to have heard the word (and alternatives)
before. It suggests that early S/H slash writers pronounced their
pairing "ess slash [or stroke] aitch", while early K/Sers were (they
inform me) saying "kay ess". Anyone remember differently?
1982: Forum #21, Aug-Oct: No instances of slash or / alone.
1982-83: Hanky Panky: 14 issues, from approximately March 1982
to June 1986--although that is deceptive, as there was a very long gap
before that final issue came out. The penultimate issue was published
in approximately July 1984). HANKY PANKY was specifically the S/H letterzine
(not to say S/H wasn't discussed in THE S&H LETTERZINE, because it was--but
the S/H fans decided they wanted a forum of their own). The word slash
is not used anywhere in HANKY PANKY. As with NTS, there is much use
of "/" (virgule in quote marks) to represent
slash fandom in general. And the specifics--K/S, S/H, H/J, B/D, etc.
are also common. There are also a few references to male/male, m/m and
1983: Datazine #23, Dec/Jan: ad for Naked Singularity:
NS will be offered in two sections: (1) Straight and (2) KS.
-- this implies to me that the opposite
of "straight" was "K/S, not slash in general" within
ST fandom at this time
Datazine #25, April/May: in "planning stages" ad for "Who You
Know, What You Know and How You Know It" (Starsky/Hutch):
buyers should be aware that the "/" relationship
-- first use of stand-alone virgule found
so far outside Starsky&Hutch. Note that this use supports a theory
of Judith Gran's:
In the early days of K/S fandom, there
was only K/S, and only a few other same-sex couples were even on the
horizon. So people thought of K/S as unique and special, and S/H (Starsky/Hutch)
as only slightly less unique and special, and it was only until a pairing
like H/J [Harry/Johnny, based on the movie Magnum Force] emerged
from the slash-fantasy soup and crawled up on land that fans began to
generalize from the unique, special, deep-friendship-based pairings
to the more abstract phenomenon of "slash."
More specifically, my hypothesis is that it takes a critical mass of
at least three same-sex pairings in the fan fiction produced and read
by a common core of media fans to generate the concept of "slash" in
1984: Not Tonight Spock #1: [which I can't find here, but
ksl says:] The word slash is used twice in
the first issue (January 1984)--once by the editor (who went back to using
"/" in the next issue) and once by a columnist
(who then used "/" throughout the rest of
NTS #3, May: interview:
I have a basic problem with the proliferation of "slash
NTS #5, Sept: interview:
The K/S premise sems to me to leap right out of the screen, but I
can't call myself an objective observer. From early childhood days I
loved the slash concept. When I used to
watch "Man from UNCLE" I concocted the juiciest fantasies about Illya
and Napolean -- and this was even before I even heard the word homosexual.
I also loved Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson. But when in my 20's
I started watching 'Trek' it was like finding pure (?) gold.
Warriors/Lovers -- Are you tired of zines just dedicated to
K/S, S/H or H/J? Is your imagingtion [sic] whispering: "What about the
other slash pairs in history, films,
fantasy, horror, & TV?" Well, Slashers,
rejoice! Presenting: Warriors/Lovers by The Theban Band/Saffo Press!
For more info [cut] Keep in mind -- this will not be your ordinary
-- this is the first use I've tracked down
so far for "slashers" or other verb-based uses of "slash".
NTS #6: ad above appears, also ads for S&H letterzine, Pros/S&H
letterzine, multimedia (pros, Hooker, S&H, MUNCLE, ST) zine, referring
to "/". All the trek-only zines refer to
ad for Idicon 2:
Once again it will be an ADULTS ONLY convention because "/"
fandoms will be out of the closet.
-- any further information about the Idicons,
especially their programs, would be historically useful. I have been
told, for instance, that the term PWP ("Plot, What Plot?")
came from the title of an IDICon panel discussion.
No Pants, No Badge, No Gun (Starsky/Hutch):
yes, this is a 'slash' zine
Discovered on a Rooftop (Pros), August: Editorial includes the casual
There are many types of stories in this issue. Slash
stories, straight stories, poems, songs etc. Some of them have been
read by members of the 'circuit'; if you're on it, you know what I'm
talking about and if you're not then you just have more new stories
to read about than the rest of us.
There's also an advert in the zine that reads:
Sunshine Press Presents
"In the Public Interest"
A "Professionals" (Bodie/Doyle) Fanzine
We are currently seeking submissions to this newly proposed Professionals,
Bodie and Doyle slash fanzine. Stories,
poetry and artwork are all needed. [etc: pre-ordering info, no other
reference to slash]