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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pwn (below: Various pronunciations) is a leetspeak slang term derived from the verb "own",[1][2][3] as meaning to appropriate or to conquer to gain ownership. The term implies domination or humiliation of a rival,[4] used primarily in the Internet-based video game culture to taunt an opponent who has just been soundly defeated (e.g., "You just got pwned!").[5] It was popular among Counter-Strike gamers before spreading through the more general Internet world.[6] The past tense and past participle, pwned, may also be spelled: pwnd, pwn'd, pwn3d, pwnt, poned, pawned, or powned.[citation needed]

In hacker jargon, pwn means to compromise or control, specifically another computer (server or PC), web site, gateway device, or application. It is synonymous with one of the definitions of hacking or cracking. The Pwnie Awards are awarded by a group of security researchers.[4]

Popularity of the term among teenagers rose in the mid-2000s, with the spread from the Internet written form to use in spoken language.[7]



The word pwn most likely came about as a common typo of the word "own" because the "p" and "o" keys are adjacent on a standard English keyboard.[7][8]


'Pwn' has no generally accepted pronunciation: renditions include /ˈoʊn/, /ˈpoʊn/, /pəʔˈoʊn/, /ˈpɔːn/, /piːˈoʊn/. This is because it is primarily used in written form, thus it has no single accepted pronunciation. Originally, 'pwn' and its variants were pronounced /ˈoʊn/) in the same way as the derived verb 'own'; the tail of the 'p' being "silent". A notable usage of this pronunciation can be seen in the Internet distributed series Pure Pwnage (pronounced "pure ownage",[9] /ˈpjʊər ˈoʊnɨdʒ/).

Where speakers vocalize the "p", pronunciations include "pwen", "pawn", "pun"[10] and "pwone".[11]

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ "Pwned - 10 Tales of Appropriation in Video Games" (Martin Pichlmair)
  2. ^ "Computer Slang"
  3. ^ Ludlow, Peter; and Wallace, Mark (2007). The Second Life Herald. MIT Press. p. 53. ISBN 0262122944
  4. ^ a b Naone, Erica (November 2008). "The Flaw at the Heart of the Internet", Technology Review 111 (6): 62–67.
  5. ^ Peckham, Aaron (2007). Mo' urban dictionary: ridonkulous street slang defined. Andrews McMeel Publishing. p. 230. ISBN 0740768751
  6. ^ Beaudoin, Andy (April 26, 2007). "A brave new World", The Update. Retrieved on 2009-05-23.
  7. ^ a b Bennett, Dean (February 8, 2007). "Teen slang now following Internet shortcuts", Canadian Press. Convenience link.
  8. ^, pwn - own, accessed 2006-01-01.
  9. ^ The word "pwnage" can be pronounced several different ways. The show's creators pronounce it "ownage". "'Pwn' was originally a typo of 'own', because the 'P' is near the 'O' on the keyboard. The person is still trying to say 'own'." [TeamSpeak chat, December 13, 2005].
  10. ^ Pwn, PC Magazine Experts Help Encyclopedia, accessed 2 March 2008.
  11. ^ Rhoads, Christopher (August 23, 2007). "What did U S@y?". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 26, 2009. 

Simple English

Simple English Wiktionary has the word meaning for:

Pwn is a slang term, which came from the verb "own",[1][2]. It implies ownership, as in domination and humiliation of a rival. It is usually used only on the Internet. The past tense may also be spelled: pwnd, pwn'd pwn3d, pwnt or powned.

The word pwn may have begun as a typo of "own" because the p and o keys are close to each other on a standard English keyboard.

Pwn comes from the word pwned, that comes from the word owned and that comes from the word own.


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