Origin uncertain: perhaps an alteration of newie with intrusive b (compare freebie), possibly a blend of newborn + baby, or perhaps a shortening of new boy or new beginner. If the term comes from "new boy", it very likely originated in Newfoundland, where "new boy" is quite common, and sounds like 'newbie' when spoken.
newbie (plural newbies)
- (slang) A newcomer, someone new to something. [from 20th c.]
- (Internet) A new user or participant; someone who is extremely new and inexperienced (to a game or activity). A beginner.
- (slang) Anything recently introduced into a setting, especially something that replaces an older version.
2005, Rickford Grant, Linux Made Easy: The Official Guide to Xandros 3 for Everyday Users, San Francisco: No Starch Press, ISBN 1593270577, page 155:
- If you find that you would prefer using the new printer most of the time, while using the original only when needed, you can make the newbie the default printer for your system.
- For usage examples of this term, see Citations:newbie.
The term "newbie" was greatly popularized with the advent of the Internet, but was in use before then. The word is also spelled as noob, n00b, or nub.