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Author Comments

Pwn is a leetspeak slang term, derived from the word "own", that implies domination or humiliation of a rival, used primarily in the Internet gaming culture to taunt an opponent who has just been soundly defeated (e.g. "You just got pwned!"). The past tense may also be spelled pwnd, pwn3d, pwnt or powned.

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. An outside party who has pwned a system has obtained unauthorised administrative control of it.

Even though pwn appears as early as 1989 and is primarily used in written form only, it has no single accepted pronunciation. Common pronunciations include "own," "pone," "pawn," and "poon" (c.f. Welsh cwm); "pwen" is also considered an acceptable pronunciation, although the first and second pronunciations are generally considered the most correct.

Electronic Gaming Monthly editor SeanBaby was also one of the first to commonly verbalize the word, speaking the word "owned" after an abrupt "puh-" sound, as if bluntly laughing before using the jargon.[citation needed] This frequent pronunciation was later replicated on episodes of South Park ("Make Love, Not Warcraft," "The Ungroundable").


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Credits & Info


4.00 / 5.00

Feb 2, 2009
5:55 PM EST
General Rock
File Info
1.5 MB
1 min 17 sec

Licensing Terms

Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.