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I thought this came from a quake (3?) map?

Well that's what the page for pwned says...we may have a problem on this wiki. Seems to me that this is derived from pwned, if pwned originated the way the article on pwned says it did.

From RfD[edit]

Obscure leet. — Paul G 09:22, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

wtf? That's one of the most common leet words out there, and even exists in the speech (yes, speech) of people who don't use leet. Keep.Muke Tever 23:07, 7 October 2005 (UTC)
  • What happened to pwn? "I will pwn you" gets 4,180 google hits. [1] Kappa 14:52, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
    • Strong keep. Whoever hasn't heard of pwned should get a life (right…). Jon Harald Søby 18:20, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
Keep. But most of the stuff on pwned should be moved to the infinitive pwn. 12:15, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Keep an integral part of l33t, without a doubt should be kept.MGSpiller 01:19, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Keep, as per Muke, Monsieur, et al. That is, the anon is right that much of the content of pwned should be moved to pwn, and Muke is correct that it is indeed spoken. However, it is pronounced in a variety of ways, as "owned", "powned" (the pronunciation which is currently there is the American transcription of this), "pawned", and even "pooned" as if it were Welsh. Other common forms are pwnt (pronounced all of the aforementioned ways, but ending unvoiced, as the spelling suggests) and, similarly, ownt. I'm very surprised this was even nominated, to be honest. --Wytukaze 18:07, 12 October 2005 (UTC)
BTW, our policy on L33T is that we don't include L33T words per se, but we do include those that are used outside L33T contexts. This is analogous to a word borrowed from a conlang when we don't include the conlang itself. All this, of course, is subject to the usual rules for attestation. E.g., the infamous pr0n got in because it was shown that the term is used in English with no other L33T-isms around. Nearly all L33T terms will not meet this test. -dmh 20:03, 14 October 2005 (UTC)


Can anyone independently verify the stated etymology? It is pretty vague and seems like something someone invented because it is logical rather than because it is accurate. - [The]DaveRoss 21:42, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Agreed, I edited it once to some less concrete sounding language because the way it's written now sounds as if someone wants to pass off their opinion as fact. I also offered up another common theory as to the term's etymology which someone felt the need to edit out. If I'm wrong, then I'm wrong. There is no ego here. But if you state something as fact, cite your references. That's the rule, friends. The text below was my version of the etymology. Thoughts?

There are several possible origins of the term "pwn" and its variants. Some suggest it stems from nothing more than a typo citing the proximity of 'O' and 'P' on a QWERTY keyboard. Another possibility is the term arose as a contraction of "pistol-owned". This was a taunt often used in first person shooter (FPS) type games to indicate that a player has scored a kill with the weakest projectile weapon in the game which was often a pistol. Thus demonstrating superior skill with an inferior weapon.

I cannot seem to find the page I'm looking for online anymore, but it made the observation that "pwn" had been in usage long before its current vogue, having come from the acronym for "Phrack World News," a section of "Phrack," the first hacker newsletter from the 1980s. (Phrack, by the way, has its own Wikipedia page.) When a new hack was published, the safeguards against it were effectively "PWN"ed. I'll keep looking for the reference, but I did want to add this "caveat" to the etymology discussion. StavinChain 18:31, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
This scan shows a 1989 usage of the term in the Phrack World News. StavinChain 18:48, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
Thanks! (Your first link was broken, by the way; I've fixed it, I hope you don't mind.) —RuakhTALK 19:03, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Pwned has an etymology listed that is specific, if it is right then perhaps pwn is a derived form of pwned. Unfortunately none of the forms of pwn seem to have citations for their pages.

Specific doesn't mean correct. Someone will have to do the research to find supporting documentation. --EncycloPetey 18:40, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
I know, that's why I put the "if" in "if it is right". The urban dictionary (link here: ) says this for the etymology:

"Originally dates back to the days of WarCraft, when a map designer mispelled "Own" as "Pwn". What was originally supose to be "player has been owned." was "player has been pwned"." If any of you has the original warcraft, we might be able to verify that at least appears there.Scotty Zebulon 19:32, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

The Internet is full of quotations from ancient computer games, far longer ago than the 1990s. If this "player has been pwned" existed, it would be on at least one Web page, but it's not anywhere (I mean with screenshots or evidence of any kind). Clearly an invention. Equinox 00:31, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Spelled wrong.[edit]

This word is spelled wrong. Somebody obviously accidentally typed a "p" instead of an "o". Or was it a "w" instead of a "u"? Can we get a copy editor in here, please? —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 17:05, 22 July 2008 (UTC).

It seems to have originated as a typo, yes, but it's since taken on a life of its own. —RuakhTALK 19:53, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

Category amendment[edit]

Can someone tag this as "Internet slang," so it appears in the appropriate Category page? It's absence is conspicuous. Thanks, JamesLucas (" " / +) 18:01, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

You could have done that yourself. It merely required the removal of the pipe (|) between "internet" and "slang" in the context template. --EncycloPetey 18:06, 29 August 2008 (UTC)


Why does pwn'd redirect to this article on pwn, isn't that a variant of pwned? Really!--T3h 1337 b0y 12:52, 7 May 2009 (UTC)


This article lists several pronunciations, but I have only heard one of them, who ever pronounces pwn the same as own? Who pronounces it poon? Now pawn I can see kinda, as I thought it was short for pawn before I heard it pronounced how pown would be. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 18:52, 18 October 2008‎ (UTC).

Okay, I just read wikipedia's article on pwn, and it appears that wikipedia has far outdone this wiki, I suggest we immediately make use of the sources listed on the wikipedia page to improve this article, also, it seems that this article actually has an incomplete pronunciation listing, it should include puh-owned. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 19:00, 18 October 2008‎ (UTC).

Tons of people pronounce own and pwn the same way - infact, it is the most common pronounciation. 09:16, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
Source? Moreover, how do you know that these people aren't just saying own? — Smjg (talk) 21:58, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
Someone needs to update the
. It is currently much too quiet, and sounds like "poon", whereas the proper pronunciation is generally accepted to be "own". 01:57, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
Does anyone actually pronounce this /pwəʔˈn̩/? - -sche (discuss) 23:44, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
I have removed enPR: pwə-nʹ, /pwəʔˈn̩/, Template:X-SAMPA from the entry... - -sche (discuss) 03:41, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
While we're talking about it, what about /piˈəʊn/, /piˈoʊn/ and /pwən/?
The only pronunciations of "pwn" that I've every heard are /oʊn/, /pəʔˈoʊn/, /poʊn/ and /pwoʊn/. I've never heard any of these other ones, and (furthermore) even if /piˈoʊn/ is an actual used pronunciation for this word, I still highly doubt /pwən/ is. Maybe the person who added it meant /pwəʊn/? Tharthan (talk) 16:23, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
TBH I don't think I've ever actually heard the word pronounced. But I'd imagined it to be pronounced /puːn/, probably by analogy with words like cwm, which I've tended to hear pronounced /kuːm/ rather than /kʊm/ as the entry indicates. Still, there are 11 pronunciations given for pwn here (though 4 pairs are just accent variations of each other), thereby making me even more surprised that /puːn/ isn't among them. Still, I'd imagine there are at least some people who pronounce it like this....
And about the "own" pronunciation ... This might make a bit of sense insofar as pwn is a typographical mutation of own, whereas it's much less likely that someone's tongue will slip and pronounce an o as a p. However, if you are intentionally using the word pwn, as opposed to mistyping/miswriting/missaying own, then it doesn't make as much sense. Maybe people are actually saying own, but making the typo when later transcribing it. — Smjg (talk) 21:58, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

RFV discussion: September–October 2015[edit]

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The following discussion has been moved from Wiktionary:Requests for verification (permalink).

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Especially for /piˈoʊn/ (and BrE variation /piˈəʊn/), /pəʔˈoʊn/ (and its BrE variation /pəʔˈəʊn/), /pwən/. I have only heard /(p)oʊn/ in my life. Hillcrest98 (talk) 22:42, 18 September 2015 (UTC)

Not strictly the right place to list this, but I've only ever heard /poʊn/ (to rhyme with own). Renard Migrant (talk) 09:40, 20 September 2015 (UTC)
Interesting. I've only ever heard /puːn/. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 13:02, 20 September 2015 (UTC)
Resolved, IMO: a while ago I referenced as many pronunciations as I could. - -sche (discuss) 17:43, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

Analogous terms (typos which have taken on a life of their own)[edit]

See teh, pr0n... AnonMoos (talk)`