Information Week's history of "pwn"



  • The Google tech news linked this article about how the MacBook air was hacked during the "PWN to OWN" competition.  The article itself is ho-hum, but I thought this paragraph in the middle was interesting:

     "Pwn" is computer gaming slang
    for "own," as in conquer. The "p" typo serves to heighten the humiliation of
    defeat by emphasizing that the loss came at the hands of a youth who can't even
    spell or type correctly.
    The term has also come to be used in security circles.

     Say what?

     http://www.informationweek.com/software/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=207000434



  • Ah, you youngsters, you can't spell, can't tell your o from your p, and you even don't know it. You even can't remember your own history, no matter how short it is. That reminds me of a funny story from way back, when winters were still winters. There I was, in the trenches, ...



  • Wow, that's a new explanation. I've never heard that one.

    power owned, p next to o, "pawn" (like in, that analalog game chess) are some I've heard, who knows more?



  • Its a stupid typo that originated from one of the maps of Warcraft 1.

    I hate it when people say "pone", it makes me want to stuff them in the trunk of a volkswagen bug and pay someone to drive it far far away. Is it a different word than own? No. Should you then pronouce it differently? Hell no.



  • Excuse me shadowman, but "serves to" has not much to do with "history". You tell me if it really really really doesn't serve. Not a WTF.



  •  You could pronounce it different if you believe it's from "power owned", like me; But personally I don't use L33T in my RL speech...

    [img]http://www.sabrina-online.com/strips/SO_sm401.GIF[/img]



  • @dtech said:

    You could pronounce it different if you believe it's from "power owned", like me; But personally I don't use L33T in my RL speech...


    Dude, TRWTF is posting furry comics.  GTFO.

     

    Also, I pronounce it was "pwowned", otherwise how are IRL people going to know you are 1337?



  • @ulzha said:

    Excuse me shadowman, but "serves to" has not much to do with "history". You tell me if it really really really doesn't serve. Not a WTF.
    What the fuck are you bitches babbling about?



  • @dtech said:

    Wow, that's a new explanation. I've never heard that one.

    power owned, p next to o, "pawn" (like in, that analalog game chess) are some I've heard, who knows more?

     

    Some explanations in CounterStrike circles used to say it meant "pistol owned". 



  • @Spacecoyote said:

    Its a stupid typo that originated from one of the maps of Warcraft 1.

    I hate it when people say "pone", it makes me want to stuff them in the trunk of a volkswagen bug and pay someone to drive it far far away. Is it a different word than own? No. Should you then pronouce it differently? Hell no.

     

    That's pretty much my reaction to anyone using l33t-speak out loud.



  •  @dtech said:

    (Furry Comic...)

    WTF, I looked at that and thought someone made a comic of Lingerance...

    I have no idea why that squirrel thing made me think of Lingerance, but whatever...

     

    I really need more sleep.



  • @ulzha said:

    Excuse me shadowman, but "serves to" has not much to do with "history". You tell me if it really really really doesn't serve. Not a WTF.
     

    Um, ok, it doesn't serve.   Now who are you? 



  • @dtech said:

    Wow, that's a new explanation. I've never heard that one.

     

     

    Hunh. The typo explanation is the only explanation I'd ever heard. "P" is next to "O", etc.



  •  @Soviut said:

    @dtech said:

    Wow, that's a new explanation. I've never heard that one.

    power owned, p next to o, "pawn" (like in, that analalog game chess) are some I've heard, who knows more?

     

    Some explanations in CounterStrike circles used to say it meant "pistol owned". 

    owned -> 0wn3d -> pwned -> pwnt (mid 90s, late 90s, early 00s, mid 00s) 

    'O' is next to '0' which is next to 'P'... 

    Any other explanations are of the Fornication Under Consent of King variety -- people are retarded and will parrot anything some asshole speculated about what everyone secretly wonders (but are too afraid to ask).

     



  • @kirchhoff said:

    Any other explanations are of the Fornication Under Consent of King variety -- people are retarded and will parrot anything some asshole speculated about what everyone secretly wonders (but are too afraid to ask).

    I always assumed it originated as a typo in a poorly translated video game (like the 'all your base are belong to us' thing). Or it was just typo'd enough online that it caught on.  But I'm fairly certain that all of the <adverb that starts with p> owned explanations were invented after the fact. 

    Information week's assertion that someone using the word pwned or some variation is saying "Haha, I owned you and I also can't spell!" is ludicrous.



  •  i always thought the P was used like it was the person 'ownin' u sticking their tongue at u..



  • The version of the story I believe is that in a badly-translated asian FPS one of the messagees was "You pwn the map", which  appeared when you won a level. The suggested  entymolgy that it came from a chess term meaning to defeat with only the king and a pawn does not appear to be true, as there is no apparent evidence for pawn being used in this sense.



  •  I always though that pwn'ed came from p,o and 0 all being next to each other, and that the typo became popular - like how the typo of putting a "1" instead of an "!" became popular and now people actually type "one" instead of "!"... (as in "You got pwnd!!!3@$!11one!oneone")

     I thought it was BS when I read on wikipedia that pwn meant "power own"...

     

    Pwn still isn't as cool as chown tho :P 



  • [img]http://www.forumspile.com/owned/Owned-StarWarsCS.jpg[/img]

    I am sorry, that was stronger than me.



  •  @Physics Phil said:

    The version of the story I believe is that in a badly-translated asian FPS one of the messagees was "You pwn the map", which  appeared when you won a level. The suggested  entymolgy that it came from a chess term meaning to defeat with only the king and a pawn does not appear to be true, as there is no apparent evidence for pawn being used in this sense.

    It's not possible to checkmate with only a king and a pawn.

     As for the etymology, I'm putting my money on the typo explanation. It's the most obviouos and simple one. Maybe in some communities it independently evolved in another way, but I doubt it spread from one of them.



  • @LiquidFire said:

    It's not possible to checkmate with only a king and a pawn.

     


    It is, if you get the pawn to the other side of the board and get a piece back :)



  • @LiquidFire said:

    It's not possible to checkmate with only a king and a pawn.
     

    Sure it is, but you need help from an incredibly convenient placement of the opponent's remaining pieces. Consider this scenario, black to move:




  • @bstorer said:

    Consider this scenario, black to move:


    And... the bishop eats the white pawn?

    My chess skills are way rusty, but I don't see a checkmate here.



  • @Spectre said:

    And... the bishop eats the white pawn?


    My chess skills are way rusty, but I don't see a checkmate here.

    D'oh!  That should've been another pawn.  Like this:

     

    A knight would work, too. 


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