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The term "w00t" (spelled with double-zero "00") is a slang interjection used to express happiness or excitement, usually over the Internet. The expression is most popular on forums, USENET posts, multiplayer computer games (especially first person shooters), IRC chats, and instant messages, though use in webpages of the World Wide Web is by no means uncommon. The spelling with double-zero "00" is similar to l33t text.
The definite origin of the term "w00t" is unknown but has been seen early on in IRC chats. One theory claims that usage of this term dates back to the mid-1990s, when it was probably derived from the alternative spellings of whoomp and whoot. These spellings are variously used in the phrases, "Whoomp, there it is", or "Whoot, there it is" from two songs in 1993 from rap groups Tag Team and 95 South, respectively. Another theory is that people started jokingly mimicking trains in children's books, that went "Woot! Woot!", doing so as a statement of victory, or applauding good news. (Some people today say "Woot! Woot!" while making the hand-gesture of pulling a train's horn cord). Some people say it was just a parody on a child with a speach defect trying to say "loot" and saying "woot" instead. Others have theorized the term is an acronym for "We Owned the Other Team". It has also been alleged that "w00t" is a contraction of the phrase "woo, loot!" used in Dark Age of Camelot, "wonderous loot" used in Ultima Online and "Wonderful Loot" in Everquest whenever a player found large quantities of/or rare valuable items in game. W00t is also somewhat like the Scots word "hoots", which is used in a similar manner — an exclamation signifying surprise, disbelief, or kindred reaction. This is also along the line of some peoples use of "W00t?", replacing 'wot?' or 'what?' as a response to a happy surprise. Another supposed origin is as an expression used by a hacker (see security cracking) who has just broken into a computer system, obtaining "root" access: "woot, I have root!"
The word "w00t" itself was first seen in 1994. The expression rose in popularity in the late 1990s and early 2000s (decade). It has not reached general usage or understanding. W00t is pronounced to rhyme with "boot" or "shoot", and can also be written as "woot", "w00+", or "w007". Some persistently argue that "w00t" is the only proper spelling.[who?] The symbolic approximation of Latin letter forms makes w00t a prime example of internet leetspeak. It may also sometimes be seen spelled as "wewt" or "wought".
The word was featured on the list of Merriam-Webster's Words of the Year for 2007. They said, it "reflects a new direction in the American language led by a generation raised on video games and cell phone text-messaging".
In 2011, "woot" was added to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary. The word is officially recognized in the dictionary without zeroes, and is instead spelled with two o's.
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- Jessica Bennett (December 14, 2007). "W00t! There It Is A quirky online gaming term is crowned Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year. A proud day for geeks everywhere.". The Newsweek. Retrieved July 19, 2011.
- Jason Szep (December 12, 2007). "w00t crowned word of year by U.S. dictionary". Reuters. Retrieved 2011-07-19.
- "DeviantART hires w00t!media to grow advertising in UK". July 12, 2011. Retrieved July 19, 2011.
- "w00t.IN | F.A.Q". Retrieved July 19, 2011.
- Mark S. Tucker (September 9, 2008). "A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange by Mark S. Tucker". Retrieved July 19, 2011.
- "review and pieces listing w00t Garaj Mahal". Retrieved July 19, 2011.
- Matthew Holehouse (August 18, 2011). "Woot! Retweet and sexting enter the dictionary". The Telegraph. Retrieved August 18, 2011.