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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Newsletter, Issue 6: Gamer to English

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24 posts found

Managing Editor

Joined: 7/08/05
Posts: 6729

OP  12/26/05 7:49:58 AM#1

This week, we took a brief look at the origins of the word Pwned. Pwned is a word that is unique to gamers, and isn't often used in the world outside of gaming, but certainly has its place here on our forums.

Are there other words out there that I am missing? Let me know!

Jon Wood
Managing Editor


Novice Member

Joined: 10/12/04
Posts: 8

12/27/05 10:17:15 AM#2

Pwned has been around a lot longer than WOW... Infact most people I know of claim this comes from early first person shooter games where most L33t speak got started.

The way I hear it Pwned was a simple mistake (seeing how the O and P keys are next to each other on the key board) that caught on... Again Far before WoW and even Prior to the Original Everquest.



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Posts: 1594

Freedom of choice
is what you got,
freedom from choice
is what you want!

12/27/05 11:28:36 AM#3

Word Pwned originated back in old Counterstrike days. It is term largely connected to FPS.


The story goes that one very succesfull CS player had a script that was sopposed to say "You have been OWNED" when he scored succesfull frag.

But instead by typo mistake it said "You have been PWNED"


Rest is history

"Before this battle is over all the world will know that few...stood against many." - King Leonidas


Novice Member

Joined: 12/25/04
Posts: 544

"Yooooooooow, Kelly Clarkson!"

12/27/05 12:19:28 PM#4

I go to high school and I walk in there and I hear the word Pwned probably 3x more than I've ever heard it at a Lan party or ventrilo channel. It confuses me how a girl who doesn't know what fps means or afk... can say Pwned and even have a clue what they are talking about.

drperry Xfire Miniprofile

Novice Member

Joined: 8/08/04
Posts: 13

To Err Is Human, To Forgive Is Divine, Neither Of Which Is Marine Corp Policy.

12/27/05 12:27:25 PM#5
I would have to agree that this has been around a LOT longer than WoW... i was shocked as I read my newsletter from Outlook Express this morning that you guys would say that , lol, so I rushed over here to be an ass and correct you guys from the terrible mistake but luckily it had been done. And im pretty sure Pwned originated around or in CS... although I'm not a fan of it, the word spread pretty far and wide.

Freeworld Admin

Joined: 5/01/03
Posts: 785

12/27/05 2:41:34 PM#6

here is the low down on Pwned

The news letter was nice but you failed to do your homework on this subject.


Novice Member

Joined: 2/08/04
Posts: 19

12/27/05 2:57:56 PM#7
It has existed before counter strike. I used this word in quake 1 when it came out, which is where I believe the word originated. Quake 1 was released in 1996, half life was released in 1998. The quake community pretty much believes in orginated when one guy started saying 'pwned' instead of 'owned' just to see if it would catch on.

Novice Member

Joined: 8/08/04
Posts: 13

To Err Is Human, To Forgive Is Divine, Neither Of Which Is Marine Corp Policy.

12/27/05 8:19:52 PM#8
i am just thorougly disgusted that even on that wikipedia it says that pwn came from World of Warcraft possibly... im doubting that it was a mistake that the guy put pwn... he probably did it because he was familiar with the gaming language like that. but in no way even close did it originate there... thats just sick... iv been saying it waaay before WoW... and thats my second post on this topic... thats how disgusted i am... 

Were You Saying/Hearing PWN Before WoW?

Never heard of it
No... I R a newb and think WoW is new and revolutionary and they created pwned
(login to vote)

Managing Editor

Joined: 7/08/05
Posts: 6729

OP  12/27/05 9:14:35 PM#9

I'm really pleased that everyone is taking such an interest in this topic.

Like it said in the newsletter, there are lots of different ideas about how this one got started (as you can see from the posts in this thread). I liked the WoW story just because it put the origins in the MMORPG genre. It's really quite difficult to track down the true origins of alot of these L33T terms, but I like talking about it.

I think WoW gets credit mostly because it was the MMORPG that brought the most people into the genre. Many people who never would have played MMOs (or used the language of MMOs) came to the genre through that title (the strong franchise behind it really helped).

I really enjoy hearing everyone's views. Keep it up! And if anyone finds a correct-for-sure ansewer, let me know!

Jon Wood
Managing Editor


Novice Member

Joined: 1/11/04
Posts: 22

12/27/05 10:47:22 PM#10

If you simply want to hear that a MMORPG takes credit, WWIIOL was using it three years before WoW. Either way, if you never heard it before WoW you're living a sheltered life.


Novice Member

Joined: 7/02/05
Posts: 375

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12/28/05 6:39:47 AM#11

I always thought pwned came from the verb "to pawn"...guess I was wrong.

As for where it originated, I don't know...but I can say for sure I've read it in everygame I've played since...Starcraft (my first online game).


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12/28/05 7:46:38 AM#12

Originally posted by Deadfast
i am just thorougly disgusted that even on that wikipedia it says that pwn came from World of Warcraft possibly... im doubting that it was a mistake that the guy put pwn... he probably did it because he was familiar with the gaming language like that. but in no way even close did it originate there... thats just sick... iv been saying it waaay before WoW... and thats my second post on this topic... thats how disgusted i am... 

Reread the wiki, it says Starcraft, possibly even Warcraft (not World of Warcraft), which wouldn't surprize me. Warcraft had one of the first popular multiplayer modes on small networks.

Pwn definatly comes from a typographical error that caught on. It's more reasonable to say that it was already in use outside of the mmo world before it became oh so popular. I remember going online in '96 and not having leetspeak everywhere bashed into my ears set aside from the abreviations used in chatrooms.

You could have chosen a word that's more mmo and less general "intarnet usage" related.



Novice Member

Joined: 4/07/03
Posts: 1

12/28/05 1:59:15 PM#13

Much older than WoW, for sure.
I first came across this "word" by the time Quake 3 went hit the shells...


Freeworld Admin

Joined: 5/01/03
Posts: 785

12/28/05 4:28:02 PM#14

Originally posted by Stradden

I think WoW gets credit mostly because it was the MMORPG that brought the most people into the genre. Many people who never would have played MMOs (or used the language of MMOs) came to the genre through that title (the strong franchise behind it really helped).

not to sound mean but anyone that thinks this term started in WoW has to be smoking crack. This term was being used over 5-6+ years ago (i know becuase i have used it for that long). Teenage kids always like to believe the things they are doing are the new thing on the block. so if your like 14-18 years old then this term was made when you where like 8-12 years old. Just because some of you may not have been on the internet or gaming when this term started does not mean it started in the game you first heard it in.


Novice Member

Joined: 9/22/05
Posts: 77

12/28/05 4:38:44 PM#15

Well i aint sure how long WOW exist, but it think CS 1.3 version and lower were created beofre WOW, in that first person shooter CS was the word pwned used (from my opinion) before WOW,...


But everybody has his opinion, so ill stick to my opinion - theroy...



R.I.P my dear MOTHER (1965-2004)


Novice Member

Joined: 8/08/04
Posts: 13

To Err Is Human, To Forgive Is Divine, Neither Of Which Is Marine Corp Policy.

12/28/05 11:34:03 PM#16

Seems Like You Dont Know What WoW is... Its World of Warcraft, released in 2004. Yes... original CS outdates this thing hugely.


Novice Member

Joined: 7/25/03
Posts: 4

12/30/05 10:00:47 PM#17
I've been playing EQ for at least 5 years and using Pwn for at least that long.  Starting in Starcraft or original Warcraft would make perfect sense though I don't specifically remember using it while playing either of those games online.  I know by the time I was playing the original Unreal Tournament multiplayer it was coming into more common usage though off the top of my head I can't place that on a timeline.  Definitely not from WoW though.  EQ players were claiming that EQ would pwn EQ2 and WoW long before WoW was even in beta. 

Novice Member

Joined: 1/21/05
Posts: 2144

12/30/05 11:30:30 PM#18

Lol my friend's name is boe(not spelled the right way) and he took the word owned and made it...boned...omg I'm bored...

Anyways...I've been wondering how to say "pwned" is it "poned"(just saying "owned" with a "p" in front of it)?


Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/27/04
Posts: 1

1/03/06 9:09:01 AM#19

I'd like to make this alot clearer to all, as there seems to be alot of confusion with the word "pwned".
It is most definately did not, as any old gamers will agree, appear with WoW. Infact the word pwned has been used for an amount of time noone could surely say.
Alot of people say that the word "came from" starcraft/warcraft/Diablo and whatnot, but we must remember that like myself, most players on those games played an assortment of others too~ all of which used the word.
Another thing about the word is "where it came from".. This again cannot really be decided, but there are alloooot of different opinions on the matter. - The most logical, to myself, being that it is a mis-spelling of the word "owned" due to the o and p being next to one anther on a qwerty keyboard~ obviously since these days the word has been labeled as its own and given its own many meanings :P
*Owned was a very popular 'offence' (term used lightly) in many older games, and is still used quite a bit today~ (eg when killing someone in pvp)*
Other opinions may be such as, "a word someone made up" and whatnot, but hey, im telling you what i think ^-^ ~

Hope this helps anyone who wants to know :P


Novice Member

Joined: 12/24/05
Posts: 1

1/03/06 10:53:38 AM#20

ok, the word "pwned" was actually p00ned, and was a piss take of all the gamers that stared L33t speak, and first appeared around the Diablo 1 ere, when online play really kicked off, the idea behind P00ned was when two players where to get into anargument the l33t player would be " 0mG ! 0w3N|) Y0u S00 H4R|)"
where as the regular player, could take the mic by simply saying "haah you where "p00ned."

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