W00t is Merriam-Webster’s word of the year. The term is the victory cry of computer hackers and gamers, who also heatedly argue its origins. Merriam-Webster cites the explanation that gamers coined it as an alphanumeric acronym for “We Owned Other Team.” Contentious hackers claim it was code for when they gained “root” or complete access to a system.
“It's a term that's arrived only because we're now communicating electronically with each other," says a Merriam-Webster official. In fact, computer fans call their speech "l337," pronounced “leet” and short for “elite.” An Illinois English professor was unimpressed: "It's amusing, but it's limited to a small community and unlikely to spread and unlikely to last."