Home > Video: what does ‘pwn’ mean?
Pwn has just been added to OxfordDictionaries.com as part of our August update – but what does it mean, and where does it come from?
Our video explores the word’s history, and how a slip of the hand added to the English language.
August 27 / 2015
computer game, own, ownage, popular, pwn, pwnage, video game
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This is a good definition but to my knowledge the word “pwn” was first used to denote a trophy or conquest for a malevolent hacker known as a “cracker”. To pwn a computer meant that you had broken through (cracked) its defenses and were its owner, in complete control of its resources and abilities.
Perhaps Oxford’s definition is in fact correct. It’s possible that the cracker term “own” was incorporated into leetspeak and borrowed by gamers whose inattention to the chat box, due to the fast-paced game in progress, led to this misspelling using the adjacent keyboard key.
Rather defective logic at work here (along with subtitles in poor English )!