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Deletion debate[edit]

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The following information has failed Wiktionary's deletion process.

It should not be re-entered without careful consideration.

Yet more on this vexed subject can be found on the Beer Parlour Archives and on talk:pr0n -dmh 17:15, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)

  • Pr0n - represented as a misspelling of porn. We really don't need to represent every conceivable typo for a word. Eclecticology 00:01, 26 Oct 2004 (UTC)
    • I believe this particular spelling is used to refer ironically to the ANN*0Y1NGLY MI SSPELLED SPAM everyone gets. If this can be supported (I can't be bothered at the moment) it can stand since it doesn't let in other random misspellings. If nothing turns up in a week, go ahead and gun it. I for one won't miss it. -dmh 02:33, 26 Oct 2004 (UTC)
      • Deliberate misspellings aimed at getting round anti-spam software are not Wiktionary material, in my view. To go further than Eclecticology, I would say we must not list every conceivable typo of a word, otherwise Wiktionary will become filled with junk and lose credibility. — Paul G 08:47, 26 Oct 2004 (UTC)
        • That wasn't what I meant. I meant that non-spammers (may) used this spelling, and this spelling particularly, to mimic the nearly endless mutations that actual spammers employ. If it is true that this particular spelling is used for this particular purpose, then it deserves an entry. For example, a quick google for "pr0n" (why does no one ever seem to do this in these cases — I'm not saying it's never done, just not in cases like this it seems — but on the other hand I'm a little reluctant on this one myself ...) shows just such an entry in the Hacker's dictionary, which is probably where I got the notion in the first place. It's also used in domain names, presumably because people expect it to be recognized. Finally, without trying all the possibilities (I'll leave that to the pornographers :-), pr0n gets about five times as many hits as p0rn. I'd say keep it -dmh 05:49, 27 Oct 2004 (UTC) (-dmh)
    • This term seems to have a significant enough life of its own to potentially merit inclusion, google gives 155,000 hits ... but I would feel a lot better about it if we could find some sort of mainstream citation for the term. I don't think this is a simple case of a mis-spelling. It is also clearly realted to entries such as 1337DavidL 15:56, 27 Oct 2004 (UTC)
      • Google for "pr0n jargon" and take your pick of Hacker's dictionary mirrors. -dmh 20:27, 27 Oct 2004 (UTC) (-dmh)
      • Deleted. I see none of the above as overwhelming support for these monstrosities. Eclecticology 08:18, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)
        • Um, so far two of us (three if the original author wasn't DavidL) have argued, quite reasonably I think, for keeping this entry. We have specifically argued narrowly. Other permutations do not appear in the hacker's dictionary nor do they appear nearly as commonly in google. Conversely it's really not hard to find this spelling, and only this spelling mentioned with the meaning given. Here's another one, not that I expect you to consider it legitimate: [1]. It's also mentioned on Wikipedia, under w:leet. If you don't find that convincing, fine, but I don't see how your displeasure is grounds for removing an entry. I also don't see why entries you don't like should require "overwhelming" support. Please reinstate. -dmh 18:28, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)
          • Blade Hirato recently removed this discussion, but I'm not sure why. The last addition to it is now about two days old, and no reply has appeared. At this point the discussion is still open. -dmh 19:34, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)
      • Although I still don't think that this item merits an entry, I do agree that this discussion was removed prematurely. My preference would continue to be to restrict this matter to leet and perhaps leetspeak, while dumping all entries other that entries that are represented as being in that idiom. Many of them are not even spelling variants, but might be better characterized as typographical distortions. It's evident from the Wikipedia article that the list is open ended, and subject to individual variations. Eclecticology 01:17, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)
        • In a separate but related discussion, Eclecticology also writes: "The issue of pr0n is really the legitimacy of the status of any kind of leet entry. They are not words; they are wilful typographical distortions of words. From what I can see, any English word can be transformed into a leet counterpart. Like pig latin they are the product of infantile word games intended to mask their meaning from the uninitiated. Fortunately nobody is trying to promote pig latin. Like pig latin formulas can be applied to English words to produce new leet words."
This is exactly the basis of misunderstanding here. pr0n is manifestly not like other LEET-isms. It may not even derive from LEET. It could just as well be a piss-take on the broken spellings deliberately used by spammers. But whatever the origin, pr0n is one of the few such that has escaped the laboratory and is now running wild in the lexicon. Search for it on slashdot, for example, and you'll find abundant usages in ordinary English text where it is the only LEET-smelling word on the page. Further, it is the only such mutation that gets any significant use in this way (p0rn also appears on slashdot in the same way, but two orders of magnitude less often).
This is doubtless why it is the only such spelling of porn that I've seen mentioned in the Hacker's dictionary and other glossaries (for that matter, mention in THD should be sufficent basis for inclusion in Wiktionary, full stop).
While we're at it, the situation with Pig-Latin is exactly analogous. Do a google for ethay or isthay. Now do one for ixnay. Why would Pig-Latin for "nix" be an order of magnitude more common than Pig-Latin for "the" and "this"? Because "ixnay", despite its origin, is understood in general speech. Granted, hearing it tickles the "this is Pig-Latin" sensor for those in the know, but that's just part of its flavor. There are almost certainly speakers who understand ixnay without realizing it's Pig-Latin (especially since Offspring put out Ixnay on the Hombre). The same goes for "amscray". It's in Indiana Jones, with no other Pig-Latin in sight as I recall, and has even prompted a German Indy fan to ask what this English word "amscray" means. Adding entries for ixnay, amscray and pr0n in no way implies that eanutpay utterbay or TH3RM0M3T3R merit inclusion as well. -dmh 06:42, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)
If we were to go down this route (and I think we would be opening a big can of worms if we did) and give these words legitimacy in Wiktionary, I think they would have to come under the title "pig Latin" and "Leet" respectively, as these can be considered dialects of English rather than as standard English. We already treat some creoles and pidgins as separate languages (such as Tok Pisin). How might we handle words such from Jamaican patois, such as "nyam" and "fi", which are used alongside standard English in conversation? — Paul G 10:22, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I'm with Dmh. I believe pr0n deserves an entry &mdash I also think it shouldn't be treated as a seperate language. It's jargon term, specific to one area, but is still perfectly English. As for amscray and ixnay, these aren't even jargon — just regular words (well, Americanisms) that happen to have origins in a language game. They deserve entries just as much as okay does, which arose quite similarly. Somewhat more radically, I also think that common l33t spellings should be listed as alternates in entries, of course marked as nonstandard. L33t deliberately for the purpose of obfuscation shouldn't be included, but j00 definitely should.
On creoles and pidgins: Tok Pisin, from what I've seen, is quite dissimilar to English. Although some words are vaguely recognisable, overall an English speaker would have quite a difficult time understanding a Tok Pisin speaker. Thus, it merits being treated as a seperate language — as opposed to l33t which, apart from a few slang terms, corresponds regularly to English. --Vladisdead 12:55, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)
This discussion really belongs in the beer parlour. Just one point I'd like to add to what Vladisdead says: there are many conjectures about the origin of "okay" (amongst which are "Old Kinderhook" and "orl korrect"), but the true one is unknown - see its etymology in print dictionaries. I would not think it is pig Latin as that would make the original word, "ko". As far as I aware, this does not mean "all right". — Paul G 09:47, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)


This spelling is not designed by spammers, and even if it is that's part of its etymology now. Its main usage has been as leet-speak, a kind of joke spelling jargon, partly because it's cool, partly because ignorant parents etc don't realise, or didn't before, that it refers to "porn". Let me dig out some usage history just on Usenet, where there are 62,000 hits alone - a lot more than plenty of words Shakespeare used.


  • - 14 Jun 1994 by Sam Brown: [2]
  • comp.sys.mac.hardware - 2 Jul 1994 by Sam Brown: [3]
  • - 9 Nov 1994 by Sam Brown: [4]

Notably, these first 3 usages, just over a decade ago now are all by the same poster. In the first post he seems to be jokingly referring to the "leet" spelling in way which suggests it has recently become a cool idiomatic spelling. His 2nd post seems to use it as either a keyword/password, or a signature only. His 3rd post mixes other "leet"/jargonistic spellings which I would not consider to carry the idiomatic force of "pr0n" itself: "thru" for "through", "Zl0w" for "slow", "tonz" for "tons".

The spelling then disappears from Usenet until 1996:

  • alt.devilbunnies - 4 May 1996 by 'TinselTown' O'Donnel: [5]
  • slo.stats - 16 Jun 1996 by Usenet News: [6]

This time the earlier post is almost totally in "leetspeak". The second post refers to an internet computer using the "pr0n" as its name. From the context it's hard to tell if this is a reference to the leet spelling of "porn" or if it's a techno-abbreviation which coincidentally resembles it. I tend to believe the former though.

In the next full year from these appearances, there are over 600 uses across Usenet. The first page of these hits all refer to the porn sense, most having no other "leet" spelling in them, suggesting that the porn industry has now began to pick up the fact of this spelling's adoption.

In the full year ending today there were over 23,000 uses across Usenet. The first page this time seems to exclusively refer to spamming techniques and how to combat them. This suggests that this spelling has been adopted by anti-spam groups alo.

My conclusion is that this is a legitimate new word worthy of having an entry in Wiktionary. Other words will have to be considered on their merits. — Hippietrail 12:02, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Thanks very much for tracking this down in detail. BTW, what are you using to do time-limited searches. Google's main page only lets you do "last week/month/3 months/year" or something like that, and there have been a few times lately I wanted to say something like "more than a year ago" or "before this date"?
FWIW, I don't see how "pr0n" is a corruption of "porn" (it doesn't make me yearn for the good old days of pure, innocent, "porn"), and I'm not convinced that "corruption" has any legitimate use at all in a descriptive dictionary. But there are other fish to fry at the moment. - 17:11, 29 Nov 2004 (UTC) (-dmh)
dmh, I'm using the Advanced Groups Search interface - have fun with it! (: — Hippietrail 06:31, 1 Dec 2004 (UTC)

From WT:FEED (March 2009)[edit]

"pr0n" doesn't mean same as "porn", it means "sexually appealing". It's a term coined in IRC in mid-1990s amongst teenagers. Teenage boys used the term to define girls/women that looked like sexually appealing to them. It was used for some relatively older models/artists who had nothing to do with porn, but just were good looking.

- Mika Lindqvist, founder, FieldNet Association -

I've only heard it to mean "porn", across various IRC networks. Perhaps your sense is the original one (can you show us any evidence meeting WT:CFI?) but I'm not sure it's the current one. Equinox 23:23, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

alternative form of what?[edit]

Shouldn't we refer (as a misspelling) to pron and not to porn?--Dixtosa (talk) 15:11, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Deletion debate[edit]

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The following information passed a request for deletion.

This discussion is no longer live and is left here as an archive. Please do not modify this conversation, but feel free to discuss its conclusions.


I am only nominally (not really) nominating the entry for deletion, to confirm in a formal way that its inclusion has consensual support. The last RFD discussion is from November 2004 and can be found at Talk:pr0n. This is a leet or leetspeak entry--"a form of chatspeak characterized most strongly by its alphanumeric substitutions". A related vote: Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2011-01/Final sections of the CFI#Remove (support removal of) "Typographic variants"--Dan Polansky 09:36, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

  • Symbol keep vote.svg Keep. --Dan Polansky 09:36, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Keep. Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV 13:37, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment: If we keep this, it's a slippery slope into keeping every attested w0rd. (Incidentally, 'w0rd' is an attested w0rd.) - -sche (discuss) 06:47, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
    If we want to exclude "pr0n" and "w0rd", we need to extend CFI or exclude these outside of CFI. Current CFI does not provide any basis for excluding "pr0n", even when we consider CFI without WT:CFI#Attestation vs. the slippery slope section. --Dan Polansky 08:02, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
  • K33P --Daniel 07:06, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Symbol keep vote.svg |<33P This is no longer just a nonce substitution but slang, like n00b. ~ Robin 08:19, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Keep, looks curiously like a word in a language to me. Mglovesfun (talk) 14:58, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Keep. It's not like it is just p0rn, and it is at least slang. Mark Hurd (talk) 05:52, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
Keep, I suppose. I do not think "usually to bypass a filter in online games" is accurate; remove unless evidenced. Equinox 16:51, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
Keep per Robin Lionheart.​—msh210 (talk) 16:54, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Kept. DAVilla 06:48, 5 March 2012 (UTC)