Folk Speech

Folk Speech – Videogaming


Woot is a word used in popular teenage culture as an expression of happiness or agreement much the way one would use Yay or Woohoo. The word was originally created by online gamers, but quickly found its way into the vocabulary of non-gamers online. People are now even saying it in everyday conversation. A non-gamer friend of mine began using the word in everyday conversation in August 2007 after picking it up on online message boards. Players of the game Doom first created the word woot. It is actually an acronym for “we own the other team”.  Woot was a way of quickly saying that your group was showing dominance in the game. Since it was only used as an expression of victory it became a way to express happiness like the word yay.

The formation of special words and acronyms is not uncommon among a subgroup of a society. In this case the word woot came out of using an acronym to reduce typing. Words such as these allow a group to assess a person’s knowledge of the group. Someone who is a member of a group like this will know the terminology common in the group. I think woot is an acceptable expression for online, but when people use it in everyday face-to-face speech it is annoying. The expression is very informal and kind of nerdy.  I think the jump of woot into popular speech shows the increased influence of the Internet on younger people. Many young people know and can use a plethora of online abbreviations and expressions such as lol, rofl, ttyl, l33t, and gtg. Woot has even become the name of a very well known online retailer. is a retailer that sells only one product each day. Usually it is an electronic good, but regardless the product is always sold at a highly discounted price. This website was the first one deal per day type website. has been profiled in magazines like Time, PC Magazine, and Motley Fool.