The early days of the Internet were like the Wild West.
It was a new technological frontier and people pretty much made up the rules as they went along.
What a time it was!
What were some slang terms from the dawn of the Internet Age?
Folks on AskReddit shared their memories.
1. Getting hot in here.
“”Flaming” or “Flame war” when out of control arguments break out.
Kind of like “trolling” but the people who started it are serious about what they are saying.”
“ASL was a thing. Don’t see that anymore.
If someone asks you “ASL?”, it’s safe to assume they’re in their early to mid 30s or beyond.”
“DOS attacks were originally called nukes.
It was very easy to get someone’s ip address and nuke them with a simple, easy to find program, bumping them offline or even causing their pc to shutdown.”
4. Time to celebrate.
“Woot (spelled w00t, whoot, wewt, and others). It was a celebratory term in gaming.
It dates back to the 80s, with one of the earliest forms of online gaming, RPG games that were played on dial up BBS (bulletin board system). It was short for “what a hoot”.”
5. Getting owned.
“Own or Pwn (like “oh I owned you”, like “I defeated you”).
Another gaming word. Used if you beat someone. Owned, pwned, pwnage, poned.”
6. Not again!
That’s what we said when we were suddenly disconnected from the AIM chat because someone had the audacity to call us on the phone.”
“”Warez” was pirated stuff, “Sup” or a little later on “‘Lo” was the standard greeting, we used “BRB” a lot, “Progs” for programs.”
8. Get on the highway.
“It wasn’t called “the internet”, it was either the “world wide web” or the “information superhighway” and you paid for it by the minute.”
9. You poser!
“Poser was big.
Poser being someone claiming they’re something they are not. I’m a mega hard poser. I’ve never fit neatly into any category. Pr0ns for p**n.
ROFL was big and lmao was a lot less used. w00t was common. 1337 speak all over the place. N00b was the name for everyone. Ah the days before memes…”
10. Night owls.
“We were called “zombies” and “nocturnals” because on or about 1990 we used to chat and exchange files over the internet at night.
Internet connection was 110 bauds… sometimes 2400 bauds (that’s 0.0024 Mbps). At daylight hours, the connection was painfully slow. At night when almost everybody was sleeping, we were able to transfer files (Huge files, 50Kb for example).
P**n pics were 16Kb aproximately. During the day was practically impossible to transfer those huge files.
Best time to use the internet connection was from 11pm to 6am.”
“NO CARRIER meaning basically your modem lost signal was used to describe failed attempts at dating, FWIW.”
12. I remember it well…
“In the nascent stages of the internet you would commonly hear “Get off the internet, I need the phone.”
The dial up modem on the computer connected through the phone line meaning you couldn’t use both simultaneously.”
13. Ack ack.
“Ack I haven’t seen around for a while.
Common in texts and AIM for ‘acknowledged’ or ‘yeah go on, I’m following’. Sometimes doubled: Ack ack. That was a thing.
It was useful for showing you’re still reading the walls of text your high and/or anxious friend is sending you while you’re trying to do your homework, but then 10 year olds got phones and it became strictly onomatopoeia for disgust and finally whether they should call a doctor and why did you eat that whole cat.
It was like the kids from Mad Max 3 where language isn’t getting passed down properly.”
Do you remember any digital slang terms from the early days of the Internet?
If so, please share them with us in the comments.
Thanks a lot!