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How To Speak Like A Geek

by Sean P. Aune | April 28, 2010

As you cruise around the Web, blogs and Twitter, you run into a billion acronyms, and it is honestly impossible to know them all, but it can also be embarrassing to ask what some of them mean at times because you don’t want to come off as not being “in the know.”  So, we’ve made a short guide to help you with some of the most common ones as of late so you can know them and never have to reveal your secret shame to anyone that you had no clue what FML meant.

We’re going to assume you know BTW, LMAO, LOL, ROFL and some of the other more common ones out there.

i pwn newbs#fail: This is a common hashtag on Twitter, and just as it implies, it is used any time someone or some entity has “failed” in some way.

1337: 1337 is known as “leet speak”, short for “elite speak”.  It is a form of typing on the Web that replaces lots of letters with numbers and symbols, which can be a bit daunting to remember for normal folks, so luckily there are translators out there.  So, remember, 7echn0BuFF4l0 f7w! (TechnoBuffalo ftw!)

Epic Fail: Have you ever thought to yourself that someone did a lousy job at at something?  Well, when they really botch something up on a scale you almost can’t comprehend, that is an “epic fail.”

FML: Fornicate my life, although it’s usually a different “f” word that relates to sexual intercourse.  Having a bad day?  Something ironic happened that made your day just a little bit worse?  FML.  “My parents just walked in on me with my girlfriend, FML!”

FTW: For the win is usually a way to express your pleasure or preference over something.  “I love Windows.”  “Macs FTW!”

IMHO: In My Humble Opinion, which usually means the person is about to express an opinion that is usually not so humble.

n00b/newb: No, it is not spelled with the letter “o”, but instead two zeros.  This doesn’t so much you are literally new to something, but someone feels like you are completely unskilled at something, then you must be a “n00b.”

NSFW: This is probably the most important one to now as it stands for “Not Safe For Work”, and it means just that, you don’t want to look at whatever is marked with that while you are at wor.

OH: This one shows up on Twitter a lot and means “over heard” a conversation near the person, as in “OH: I am so going to hit on that like it was a nail.”

PWN: Usually used in reference to video games, when you show your superior skills, you can say “Oh, did you see how I pwned that guy with my knife?”

TLDR: Too Long, Didn’t Read.  This is the last thing you ever want to see on a blog post you spent hours working on, and the first comment you see is “TLDR” … meaning the person got bored and didn’t finish reading your post.

w00t: Again, this is done with zeros as opposed to the letter o, and essentially it means “Yahoo!”

ZOMG!: A variation of “Oh My God”, but it is like just many times more awesome, like “ZOMG! Ponies!”

Any you would like to know?  You can ask here, we promise not to mock you … much.


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Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...


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