Derived from the word “relationship”, shipping is a general term for fans’ emotional and/or intellectual involvement with the ongoing development of romance in a work of fiction.
I have to admit I am a bit of a shipper: I always have some preference to who has to end up with who. I hate all those Brangelina like type of names though and I refuse to use such monstrosities on my beloved TV and book and video games friends (Brangelina is allowed though, those are celebrities, not real people). So who have I shipped for in the past? Veronica and Logan, Buffy and Angel, Buffy and Spike, Sarah and Grissom, Delenn and Sheridan, Ivanova and Marcus, and many more.
One of my favourite “they’ve always been hinting, but never actually went there” couples were Samantha Carter and Jack O’Neill in Stargate: SG-1. Throughout the entire series they never actually even kiss (right? tell me if I’m wrong, I might be forgetting something here), but there was always the feeling there was more between the two. The writers of the show seem to agree with me: in a blog post Stargate writer Joseph Mallozzi shows a scene that was cut from an episode of Stargate Atlantis (episode 4×16 Trio to be exact):
Carter: So…you seeing anyone?
Carter: Around the base, you seeing anyone?
Keller: I dunno…I had a moment with – with this…guy. He’s not exactly easy to read so…I guess the short answer is “no”. You?
Carter: Well, I’m the boss, so I can’t really…
Keller: Right Anyone back home?
Keller: Un-huh, I thought so. Give it up.
Carter: Well, it’s complicated.
Keller: Show me a relationship that isn’t.
Carter: He’s in Washington…I’m here.
Keller: Ouch. Long distance relationship.
Carter: He’s going to retire soon, so maybe –
Keller: Really! Retire? So…an older man, huh?
Carter: Not that much older.
Keller: Washington, older man…is he like a Senator or something? Someone famous? Would I know him?
Carter: Probably not.
Too bad the scene was cut from the episode. It also gives a good explanation to why Keller almost kisses Ronan the one week, then suddenly asks Rodney out the next week.