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I was really hoping "facebook" would be named Word of the Year by Merriam-Webster. But no, "w00t" — in l33t-speak no less — took home the honors. I should have known better than try to call an Internet poll. My mistake was underestimating the videogamer community's pull. Now if they could only agree on an etymology.

Some say "w00t" was originally [a truncated] expression common among players of Dungeons and Dragons tabletop role-playing game for 'Wow, loot!'" Another common myth is that it "derived from the gaming phrase, 'We Own the Other Team!'" And "others maintain that w00t is the sound several players make while jumping like bunnies in Quake III." Okay. The number of myths almost guarantees they are all wrong.

Most likely, "w00t" is simply a corruption of whoot which, like whoop, is an imitative cry for joy. It almost certainly predates all of the gamer mythologies. "W00t" — there it is. (Photo by ThinkGeek)