Someone sent me a link to woot.com this morning. I exclaimed that there is a special place in hell for the person who decided to use that domain for a commerical purpose. That hell involves having nothing to do but sit on efnet for millenia. Then I noticed the linked Thinkgeek page.
w00t belongs to gamers the world over. It seems to have been derived from the obselete 'whoot' which essentially is another way to say 'hoot' which itself is a shout or derisive laugh. But others maintain that w00t is the sound several players make while jumping like bunnies in Quake III. Still others want you to believe that it comes from the phrase 'wow loot' used in multiplayer RPGs many moons ago. And if you can believe it some folks even think it was derived from the gaming phrase, 'We Own the Other Team!' Fiction or fact? I suppose you'll just have to decide what 'w00t!' means to you...
Fiction you fucks. There is another special place in hell for people who think words like pwn and w00t are the recent inventions of multiplayer gamers. This word had become popular and then gone out of fashion long before Quake III was released. The first time I heard it was on efnet in a hacking related channel in 1992 or 1993. Its a combination of Woohoo and Root; as in "Woohoo, I got Root!"
Words like pwn and w00t are so obviously hacking related that its hard to understand why gamers would rationalize that they have something to do with quake. However, it is really interesting that these words have been appropriated by that scene and become extremely mainstream. When I saw Cartman say pwn on national television a few months ago I almost jumped out of my seat. I don't really know who invented the term, but that person is likely only one degree of separation from the folks who hang out at summercon.