WOOT?!?

Q: I see it all the time in blogs, IMs, etc., seemingly expressing some kind of excitement, but really, is just annoys me. A lot. So what the heck is a Woot anyway?!? And how does one kill it??

A: You speak ill of "w00t"? Merriam-Webster's word of the year for 2007? Don't be hatin'.

W00t (spelled with two zeroes, rather than O's) is the current generation's equivalent of a John Phillip Sousa march, with all the excitement for far less effort or calories. Its popularity is due to its use in video game culture, but specific details of how it came into being vary wildly. Reuters says in the above article that "w00t" is a derivative of the obsolete word "whoot", a derisive laugh, or may simply be the noise that bunny-hopping players in Halo or Quake make as they carom about the map like rubber balls. People in hacker circles claim that it goes back to a system of code words used to throw off prying administrators, and that it was an indicator that the hacker had tapped into the "root" of a system. When I did my own digging a while back, I found sources that claim "woot" is an acronym for "we owned (the) other team". These encapsulate the most serious answers I've seen, though they aren't the only ones.

I think the "whoot" reference is half-baked. It sounds like a grown-up who doesn't get gamers, and all their newfangledy talk. I also find the hacker origin suspect. It smacks of a snobby funlessness that "w00t" rejects by its very nature. It seems likely to me that the answer is a hybrid of two of the theories - a happy hooting noise that also condenses some longer phrase, if not the one mentioned then something similar. Besides that, it just fun. W00t! Heh. I feel happier, just for typing that. W00t! W00t! Heh. W0000000t!

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