Computer Slang - leetspeak " Elite Speak "
What is leet speak ? How to decipher computer slang ?
Leet (most commonly 1337 but often also leetspeak, leetspeek, or l33t) from the
phonetic form of the word "elite", is a cipher, or novel form of English
spelling. It is characterized by the use of non-alphabetic characters to stand
for letters bearing a superficial resemblance, and by a number of spelling changes
such as the substitution of "z" for final "s" and "x"
for "(c)ks". Leetspeak is traditionally used on the Internet and other
online communities, such as bulletin board systems. Leetspeak is commonly used
by hackers, crackers, script kiddies, and gamers.
Leet speak for hackers ?
However, leetspeak is not popular amongst all hackers. Many consider it a pointless
affectation, and as it has become widely used it is less useful as a way of
showing membership of an "elite" group. It is nonetheless a cultural
phenomenon well-known amongst hackers and many other Internet users.
AOL speak VS leetspeak
Certain factions maintain that "true" leetspeak is spelled correctly,
with the exceptions described above. They do not consider the use of extreme
short forms (such as "b" for "be", or "u" for
"you") as leetspeak; instead, they refer to it by such terms as "AOL
speak". This is because they associate such habits with users who use ISPs
like AOL, which is associated with "newness" and therefore not considered
"elite". Another convention sometimes associated with leetspeak or
Internet chatting is capitalizing every other letter (LiKe ThIs), sometimes
called studlycaps or stickycaps. A similar habit involves capitalizing every
letter except for vowels (LiKe THiS).
Respect VS Understanding
While it's important to respect your children's privacy, understanding what your
teenager's online slang means and how to decipher it is important as you help
guide their online experience. While it has many nicknames, information-age slang
is commonly referred to as leetspeek, or leet for short. Leet (a vernacular form
of "elite") is a specific type of computer slang where a user replaces
regular letters with other keyboard characters to form words phonetically—creating
the digital equivalent of pig Latin with a twist of hieroglyphics.
Leet words can be expressed in hundreds of ways using different substitutions
and combinations, but once one understands that nearly all characters are formed
as phonemes and symbols, leetspeek isn't difficult to translate.
Key points for learning leetspeek
• Numbers are often used as letters. The term "leet" could be
written as "1337," with "1" replacing the letter L, "3"
posing as a backwards letter E, and "7" resembling the letter T. Others
include "8" replacing the letter B, "9" used as a G, "0"
(zero) in lieu of O, and so on.
• Non-alphabet characters can be used to replace the letters they resemble.
For example, "5" or even "$" can replace the letter S. Applying
this style, the word "leetspeek" can be written as "133t5p33k"
or even "!337$p34k," with "4" replacing the letter A.
• Letters can be substituted for other letters that may sound alike. Using
"Z" for a final letter S, and "X" for words ending in the
letters C or K is common. For example, leetspeekers might refer to their computer
• Rules of grammar are rarely obeyed. Some leetspeekers will capitalize
every letter except for vowels (LiKe THiS) and otherwise reject conventional
English style and grammar, or drop vowels from words (such as converting very
• Mistakes are often left uncorrected. Common typing misspellings (typos)
such as "teh" instead of the are left uncorrected and may be adopted
to replace the correct spelling altogether.
• Non-alphanumeric characters may be combined to form letters. For example,
using slashes to create "/\/\" can substitute for the letter M, and
two pipes combined with a hyphen to form "|-|" is often used in place
of the letter H. Thus, the word ham could be written as "|-|4/\/\."
• The suffix "0rz" is often appended to words for emphasis or
to make them plural. For example, "h4xx0rz," "sk1llz0rz,"
and "pwnz0rz," are plural or emphasized versions (or both) of hacks,
skills, and owns.
Leet speak & Illegal Activity
It's important to remember that the leetspeek community encourages new forms
and awards individual creativity, resulting in a dynamic written language that
eludes conformity or consistency. However, there are a few standard terms. The
following is a sample of key words that haven't changed fundamentally (although
variations occur) since the invention of leetspeek. The first series is of particular
concern, as their use could be an indicator that your teenager is involved in
the theft of intellectual property, particularly licensed software.
Leet words of concern or indicating possible illegal activity:
• "warez" or "w4r3z": Illegally copied software available
• "h4x": Read as "hacks," or what a computer hacker
• "pr0n": An anagram of "porn," possibly indicating
the use of pornography.
• "sploitz" (short for exploits): Vulnerabilities in computer
software used by hackers.
• "pwn": A typo-deliberate version of own, a slang term used
to express superiority over others that can be used maliciously, depending on
the situation. This could also be spelled "0\/\/n3d" or "pwn3d,"
among other variations. Online video game bullies or "griefers" often
use this term.
Other common leet words:
• "kewl": A common derivation of "cool."
• "m4d sk1llz" or "mad skills": Refers to one's own
talent. "m4d" itself is often used for emphasis.
• "n00b," "noob," "newbie," or "newb":
Combinations synonymous with new user. Some leetspeekers view "n00b"
as an insult and "newbie" as an affectionate term for new users.
• "w00t" or the smiley character \o/: An acronym that means
"We Own the Other Team," used to celebrate victory in a video game.
• "roxx0rs" Used in place of "rocks," typically to
describe something impressive.
• "d00d": Replaces the greeting or addressing someone as a "dude."
• "joo" and "u": Used instead of "you."
This is also commonly written as "j00" or "_|00."
• "ph": often replaces "f," as in "phear"
for "fear" (as in "ph34r my l33t skillz") and vice versa,
such as spelling "phonetic" as "f0|\|371(."
Chat Room Slang - What does it mean ?
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